Puntarenas, Costa Rica
USAC
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Puntarenas Courses - 2020 Summer Session I

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

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. Mari Rice | Boise State University

Course offered:

Mari Rice has spent her life as an educator and has had the opportunity to travel and work abroad in nearly 50 countries. She currently serves as faculty in the Environmental Studies Program at BSU where she also oversees experiential education/internships. Her areas of specialty include agriculture, water resources, and sustainability.

Session II:

Dr. Paul Tidman | University of Mount Union

Course offered:

Professor Tidman is a veteran teacher who enjoys teaching a wide range of courses. He has published articles in Epistemology and Philosophy of Religion and co-authors a leading formal logic textbook. Dr. Tidman is an avid backpacker and climber and coordinates Mount Union’s innovative Wilderness Experience trip each August.

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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Environmental Ethics

Summer Session II (Natural Resources, Philosophy; 300-level; 3 credits)

Ethics is largely concerned with ethical relationships between people. But what are our ethical obligations towards non-humans? Do animals have rights? Do trees? What about entire ecosystems? This course will explore these and related questions. Specifically, we will consider whether traditional human centered systems of ethics can adequately account for our obligations regarding the natural world, or whether a more radical approach to environmental ethics is required. All these issues will be studied against the backdrop of Costa Rica, with its incredible biodiversity and wondrous rainforests, a country many see as a model for environmental protection and restoration.

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Hospitality and Tourism Marketing

Summer Session I (Marketing, Tourism / Hospitality; 300-level; 3 credits)

Successful marketing requires keen attention to detail, understanding nuances, and effective communication. Service industries often face challenges addressing consumers because they offer experiences rather than tangible objects. Sportfishing, nature walks, mangroves, bioluminescence, and surfing are some services that face such challenges.

Throughout the course, students will learn how marketing expertise is applied to services in the hospitality and tourism industries. Students will also become acquainted with current practices for attracting new customers and building customer loyalty through a variety of delivery methods such as multi-media, lectures, field trips, and guest speakers.

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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 Marine Biology

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

The oceans occupy about seventy one percent of the Earth’s surface and tropical seas hold the highest ecosystem and species diversity on it. This course will introduce the basic concepts of tropical oceanography, marine geology, marine ecology and marine biology, with emphasis on the interaction between species, between species and their environment and between ecosystems. Students will also learn about human environmental impact, and the utility, management and conservation of the ecosystems. This course includes field trips involving firsthand contact with the marine environment and coastal population.

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Introduction to Tropical Marine Conservation - Maintaining Biodiversity

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

This course explores the current threats to tropical marine environments and the policies being implemented to reverse environmental degradation. Students will analyze current policies protecting marine life and propose policy changes to encourage the preservation of the ocean.

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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)

An introduction to a local cuisine in a hands-on kitchen environment. Authentic preparations of several local dishes will be taught. Correct cooking techniques are emphasized. Readings and lectures on local food customs and traditions will support and contextualize the cooking instruction. Students will learn about Latin American culture, and practice conversing and following instructions in the Spanish language.

Dietary restrictions may not be accommodated.

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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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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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The Ocean: Environmental Challenges and Solutions

Summer Session I (Environmental Science, Natural Resources; 300-level; 3 credits)

This course will examine the environmental challenges currently facing the ocean and marine life and will consider sustainable solutions to addressing these problems. Issues such as overfishing, climate change, habitat destruction, pollution, plastics in the ocean, and global shipping will be addressed, with consideration to the economic, social, and environmental implications they pose. Both global and regional examples will be considered. Students will complete an individual research project on a topic of their choice.

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Twentieth-Century and Contemporary Latin American Cinema

Summer Session I (Art, Spanish, World Languages and Literatures; 400-level; 3 credits)

This course is designed to present Latin American cinema from the 1950 to the present. Students will learn about the relationship between cinema and society through an evaluation of aesthetics, cinematographic language, and content.

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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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