Puntarenas, Costa Rica
USAC
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Puntarenas Courses - 2019 Summer Session II

Studying abroad can be a more meaningful and invigorating learning experience than at home—both inside and outside of the classroom. You may be more curious and alert than you usually are so use this heightened energy to enhance your studies as well as your cultural and geographical explorations. You may also encounter different teaching styles and course processes; be prepared to adapt and to learn.

Courses

You will enroll in three to six credits in Session I, and three to four credits in Session II, plus one additional credit if enrolled in the optional Cuba Field Study. At least one 3-credit course is required each summer session. Course availability is contingent upon student interest and enrollment and is subject to change. Please visit the USAC website for complete course descriptions and prerequisites.

Spanish Language and Literature Studies

Summer language courses are intensive, with one to five credits of Spanish taught in each five-week session. Language courses have a maximum enrollment of 15 students each. Spanish Conversation and Oral Skills is highly recommended to complement Intermediate Spanish I to Advanced Spanish II.

Session I and Session II

Ecological and Latin American Studies

The following courses focus on the culture, environment, and ecology of Costa Rica. Courses are taught in English unless noted in Spanish; most courses taught in Spanish are appropriate for students with four or more semesters of college Spanish.

Session I

Session II

To request a course syllabus: syllabus@usac.edu

Field studies

Deepen your academic experience through the optional Cuba Field Study which helps you explore the historical, cultural, and natural features of the region. Students who enroll in this 1-credit course will select a particular topic of interest to examine as part of the field study, and complete a research paper drawing from their field study experience as well as from additional readings, research, and written assignments.

U.S. Professor

Local faculty teach most USAC courses; however, the following U.S. professor is also teaching as a Visiting Professor.

Session I:

Dr. Aurea Cortés-Palomec | Fort Lewis College

Course offered:

Dr. Cortés-Palomec's research has primarily focused on plants, from population genetics to reproductive biology in order to better understand plant populations and the potential conservation efforts needed to save them. She is originally from Mexico and received her M.S. and Ph.D. from Ohio University with assistance from a Fulbright scholarship.

Course Descriptions

Advanced Spanish I

Summer Session I (Spanish; 400-level; 3 credits)
Summer Session II (Spanish; 400-level; 3 credits)

The objective of this class is to do a comprehensive revision of the most difficult grammatical points in Spanish. This will be presented through the use of theoretical and practical materials that permit the student to consolidate some of those complex grammatical aspects of the Spanish language that require frequent review and further development. Care will be taken, whenever possible, to focus on understanding and practicing their use in both the written and spoken forms of the language. Prerequisite: six semesters of college Spanish. Taught in Spanish.

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Advanced Spanish II

Summer Session I (Spanish; 400-level; 3 credits)
Summer Session II (Spanish; 400-level; 3 credits)

The objective of this class is to do a comprehensive revision of the most difficult grammatical points in Spanish. This will be presented through the use of theoretical and practical materials that permit the student to consolidate some of those complex grammatical aspects of the Spanish language that require frequent review and further development. Care will be taken, whenever possible, to focus on understanding and practicing their use in both the written and spoken forms of the language. Prerequisite: seven semesters of college Spanish. Taught in Spanish.

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Applied Linguistics: Foreign Language Teaching Methodology

Summer Session II (General Education, Spanish; 400-level; 3 credits)

The goal of this course is to introduce the students into the principal didactic criteria and proposals to teach Spanish as a second language in primary and secondary school and in adult education. Students will be provided with a general introduction to the actual approaches and methods in communicative language teaching. This will include the theories of language and language learning that underlie these methods and their principal didactic fundamentals - the learning objectives, the syllabus design, the roles of teachers and learners in the classroom, the role of grammar, the materials, etc. This course will also focus on classroom techniques and practices dealing with the different communicative abilities in Spanish. This includes techniques to work listening comprehension, to stimulate oral interaction in the classroom, to help developing language learners' writing skills and to teach vocabulary and grammar. Different materials to teach Spanish at different levels will be analyzed.

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Contemporary Central American Narrative

Summer Session II (Anthropology, Political Science, Spanish; 300-level; 3 credits)

Through reading and analysis of recent novels and testimonial texts from Central America, this course introduces students to the linguistic and cultural diversity of the region and to the complexity of its social and political realities. Readings include short novels and selections from testimonial texts by Rigoberta Menchú, Omar Cabezas, Rosario Aguilar, Manlio Argueta, Mario Roberto Morales, and Roberto Castillo.

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Dances of Latin America

Summer Session I (Dance; 100-level; 1 credit)
Summer Session II (Dance; 100-level; 1 credit)

The objectives of this course are to understand the antecedents of Latin American dance and to learn to correctly perform folkloric and cultural dances as well as the local rhythms, such as Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia and Bolero; and thus immerse the student in the social and cultural context of the area. Taught in Spanish but appropriate for everyone.

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Elementary Spanish I

Summer Session I (Spanish; 100-level; 4 credits)
Summer Session II (Spanish; 100-level; 4 credits)

Introduction to the language through the development of language skills and through structural analysis. The fundamentals of Spanish grammar (all verb tenses), vocabulary and useful expressions are studied. The goals of these courses are to build reading, writing, listening and, above all, speaking skills.

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Elementary Spanish II

Summer Session I (Spanish; 100-level; 4 credits)
Summer Session II (Spanish; 100-level; 4 credits)

Introduction to the language through the development of language skills and through structural analysis. The fundamentals of grammar (all verb tenses), vocabulary, and useful expressions are studied. The objective of these courses is to build reading, writing, listening, and above all, speaking skills. Prerequisite: one semester of college Spanish.

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Intermediate Spanish I

Summer Session I (Spanish; 200-level; 3 credits)
Summer Session II (Spanish; 200-level; 3 credits)

This course emphasizes learning the structure of the Spanish language. Classes are divided into three components: grammar/vocabulary, conversation and reading/writing, each of which is related to the themes covered. A review of basic elements, such as the present tense, ser and estar, preterit and imperfect, etc. is included. Prerequisite: two semesters of college Spanish.

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Intermediate Spanish II

Summer Session I (Spanish; 200-level; 3 credits)
Summer Session II (Spanish; 200-level; 3 credits)

This class continues the learning of the structure of the Spanish language. Classes are divided into three components: grammar/vocabulary, conversation and reading/writing, each of which is related to the themes covered. This level is specifically orientated towards functional and social communication, oral as well as written. Prerequisite: three semesters of college Spanish.

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Introduction to Tropical Conservation - Maintaining Biodiversity

Summer Session I (Biology; 200-level; 3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to establish a basic knowledge of what the tropics are and their importance to all of us, discuss their present status and consider the remaining options regarding their future. An additional fee of $200 is required for this course. (Session I)

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Introduction to Tropical Ecology

Summer Session II (Biology; 200-level; 3 credits)

This course is intended to give students a firsthand knowledge of tropical ecology and the issues surrounding conservation of biodiversity in a third world country. It does so in the context of an intensive foreign study tour in Costa Rica. An additional fee of $200 is required for this course. (Session II)

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Latin America and its Cultures

Summer Session II (Anthropology, History, Spanish; 200-level; 1 credit)
Summer Session II (Anthropology, History, Spanish; 300-level; 1 credit)

In this course you will learn the history of the cultures of the Americas, from the pre-Columbian societies to our contemporary Nations. . In order to achieve an overview of the historical development of them, we have developed the course through four thematic units: the principle characteristics of the pre-Columbian cultural areas; colonial legacy and independence; material progress and cultural occurrences in Latin America in the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century; and the political, social and cultural transformations of Latin America in the second half of the 20th Century.

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Latin American Cuisine

Summer Session I (Nutrition; 200-level; 1 credit)
Summer Session II (Nutrition; 200-level; 1 credit)

The Latin American Cuisine class is addressed to those students who enjoy cooking and want to learn how to prepare traditional Latin American dishes like “ceviche”, “picadillo”, “empanadas”, “tres leches”, and so on. At the same time, the students have the chance to practice Spanish and become more acquainted with the Latin American culture.

This is a program that changes depending of the time of the year and the products available in the market. For that reason, the menu varies every session. The dishes are based on sea food products, beef, cereals, home made pasta, and dressings.Traditional Latin American cuisine does incoporate, meat, dairy, eggs, and gluten. Students with specific dietary restrictions may not be able to eat all the food prepared in class.

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Latin American History

Summer Session I (History; 200-level; 1 credit)

Introduction to the history of Latin American Countries. We will review different key historical events that occurred in Latin America since its independence and to gain insight into its problems, politics and social realities. The role played by the United States of America in the History of the region is also reviewed. Taught in English. (Session I)

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Plants and People

Summer Session I (Biology; 300-level; 3 credits)

Plants play an integral role in shaping both the world we live in as well as our own human cultures. This course will explore both the basic biology of plants and our utilization of them for food, materials, fuels, medicines and use for social purposes. Our study will increase your appreciation of the important role that plants play in the world - a view that is often overlooked. This class does not have a lab, but Costa Rica is rich in plant biodiversity so you can expect to spend a considerable amount of time outdoors. I will take advantage of our location as much as possible and incorporate this into classes via visits to local markets and natural areas.

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Spanish Composition I

Summer Session I (Spanish; 300-level; 3 credits)
Summer Session II (Spanish; 300-level; 3 credits)

Classes revolve around compositions, which the student writes almost daily. Part of the class is used to correct the compositions or exercises that the student does outside of class. New advanced grammatical topics are also introduced and exercises reinforcing the use of that element are done in class. Also, part of the class is utilized for selected readings, discussion and vocabulary building. Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish. Taught in Spanish.

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Spanish Composition II

Summer Session I (Spanish; 300-level; 3 credits)
Summer Session II (Spanish; 300-level; 3 credits)

Classes revolve around compositions which the student writes almost daily. Part of the class is used to correct the compositions or exercises that the student does outside of class. New advanced grammatical topics are also introduced and exercises reinforcing the use of that element are done in class. Also, part of the class is utilized for selected readings, discussion and vocabulary building. Prerequisite: four semesters of college Spanish. Taught in Spanish.

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Spanish Conversation and Oral Skills

Summer Session I (Spanish; 300-level; 1 - 3 credits)
Summer Session II (Spanish; 300-level; 1 - 3 credits)

An optional two credit course addressed to students that have already completed a year of Spanish at the elementary level and want to start participating in the oral activities that the immersion setting facilitates.

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Spanish Phonetics and Phonology

Summer Session II (Spanish; 400-level; 3 credits)

A study of the Spanish sound system exploring how Spanish sounds are pronounced (articulatory phonetics) and the mental representation and organization of the sound system (phonology). Topics include the pronunciation of Spanish sounds (in comparison with English), the phonetic and phonological classification of vowels and consonants, phonetic and phonological transcription, and processes of sound change, among others. Variation across the Spanish-speaking world will be studied, with attention to regional differences (dialects), other social differences (social class, ethnicity, gender, and age) and stylistic differences (variation as affected by situation or context of communication). The course will introduce basic concepts in the above areas as applied to the study of language and will prepare students for further advanced Spanish linguistics courses.

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Twentieth-Century and Contemporary Latin American Cinema

Summer Session I (Art, Film, Spanish; 400-level; 3 credits)

Analysis of the form, content, directing, editing, social relevance, and history of recent films from or about Latin America. Special emphasis in contemporary tendencies of Art Cinema and the Latin American Documentaries. Prerequisite: six semesters of college Spanish. Taught in Spanish.

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Twentieth-Century and Contemporary Latin American Short Story and Essay

Summer Session I (Spanish; 400-level; 3 credits)

This course focuses on the development of Latin American fiction and nonfiction prose from the beginning of the 19th century to the present. Emphasis is on key texts and authors, aesthetic and historical contexts and special attention will be given to the particular issues raised by Latin American tradition and to the critical models available for reading individual texts. Prerequisite: six semesters of college Spanish. Taught in Spanish.

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