• SPAN 1003, 5 credits
  • Faculty Coordinator: Elizabeth Lake
  • Faculty Coordinator Assistants: Stephanie Anderson, Kristin Beamish-Brown, Kari Sunberg
  • Sponsoring U of M Department: Spanish and Portuguese
  • Fulfills U of M Requirement(s): Meets U of M degree credit requirements, such as departmental major, minor, or elective requirements
  • Teacher Applications: Check the Applicant Handbook for details.

U of M Catalog Description

Speaking/comprehension. Developing reading/writing skills based on materials from Spain/Spanish America. Grammar review. Compositions, oral presentations.

Sample Syllabus

Other Considerations

High school students taking SPAN 1003 and 1004 can immediately start advanced course work in Spanish if they begin their college careers at the U of M (and at many other colleges and universities, as well). Taking the LPE is an added bonus and a good indicator of a student’s future success in upper-division Spanish courses (whether at the U of M or elsewhere). Obviously, it is a very special experience to take a 3000-level course as a freshman, especially since 3000-level courses are often quite small. To get a major in Spanish, a student only needs 11 more courses in Spanish after SPAN 1003.

Class size limit: 24

Student Qualifications

Students enrolling in SPAN 1003 should be juniors or seniors in high school. Generally, students will have successfully completed four years of high school Spanish with an average GPA of 3.00 or better (in prior Spanish classes) before enrolling. Qualified ninth- or tenth-grade students may apply if they have instructor approval.

Instructor Qualifications

Instructors apply and are selected by faculty in accordance with the U of M policy governing Academic Appointments with Teaching Functions. Once approved, an instructor is appointed as a Teaching Specialist 9754 (University Job Title and Code) in the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. Instructor qualifications are determined by the sponsoring University department.

View the Instructor Applicant Handbook for course-specific qualifications and application steps.


  1. Conexiones: Comunicación y cultura, 6th Edition [abbreviated CT (Conexiones Textbook)]. By Eduardo Zayas-Bazán, Susan M. Bacon and Dulce García. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Available at Coffman Bookstore.
  2. MySpanishLab Online Student Activities Manual/Workbook (abbreviated MSL). By Manuel Martinez and Mónica Ayala.
  3. OPTIONAL: For those not using MySpanishLab, you can use either the paper or digital copy of CRISOL, SPANPORT's online workbook.

Spanish 1003/1004 Textbook Cycle

  • 2021−11: CIS 5th & 6th editions
  • 2024−25: 6th edition
  • 2025–2026: New textbook (details forthcoming)

Please note: SPANPORT is in the middle of a curriculum redesign and will be launching a new textbook in 2024-2025 and adopted in CIS in 2025-2026. After that CIS partners will offer Spanish 1003 and/or 1004 on a four-year textbook rotation. U of M CIS textbook support for each edition will be sustained for at least four years.

If you have questions about textbook use, please contact Jan Erickson at [email protected].

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the texts and readings specified or mandated by the University of Minnesota? If not, what are some of the choices?
Students in CIS sections of the course use the same textbooks and materials as those in the on-campus sections of the course. In some cases, high schools may be using a different edition of the texts.

Do teachers have a choice in assignments? Are there required assignments?
CIS teachers work from a common syllabus developed by the U of M second-year language coordinators; therefore all assignments should be the same for CIS teachers as for instructors at the University. In some cases, we approve modified versions of the U of M syllabus. For example, some high school teachers have a longer semester than the one at the University, and so some plan courses at a slower pace. All CIS teachers work with the following types of assignments: reading, listening, writing, culture, and grammar activities from the textbook and the workbook and class projects according to level.

It is highly recommended that classroom activities in CIS courses align with SPANPORT Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) and SPANPORT classroom best practice.  To do so, high schools should offer opportunities for students to interact with authentic texts, which may include listening to music and audio texts (podcasts, radio broadcasts, etc.), watching videos, films, and YouTube texts that enrich the students’ understanding of the themes and cultures taught in the course.  Additionally, students should regularly complete listening, reading, writing, speaking and grammar activities both in the classroom and online using either MySpanishLab, the textbook-produced online workbook, or CRISOL, SPANPORT's in-house digital workbook.  We realize, however, that each school has different facilities, and some of these activities are optional for CIS Spanish classes and vary among the teachers. The 1003 syllabus includes formal writing and speaking assessments, three unit exams, a final exam, and a presentational final group project.

It should be noted that all the policies for the course should be in English on the syllabus.

Who creates the exams?
The University Spanish language coordinators work with on-campus teaching specialists to create all exams that are used in all sections of SPAN 1003 and 1004. At times, the CIS SPANPORT team will work with high school teachers to create exams based on need by the CIS cohort. Exams have the same components: listening comprehension, grammar and vocabulary, reading comprehension, culture, and composition. We ask that all CIS teachers use the exams that are provided by the CIS SPANPORT team.

Is there a training and mentoring system for new CIS Spanish teachers?
The SPAN 1003 and 1004 coordinators, Joanne Peltonen, an assistant to the faculty coordinator, and the faculty coordinator serve as mentors to the CIS Spanish teachers. We have also established a listserv to help all teachers mentor each other. In addition, new teachers benefit from workshops that focus on both course content and University processes, as well as an orientation to College in the Schools that will familiarize them with the support available through CIS and prepare them for administrative tasks such as registering students and posting grades.

All CIS teachers have access to an online archive of activities that have been created by University instructors of SPAN 1003 and 1004, as well as participant instructors in the CIS program. It is hoped that all CIS instructors continuously contribute activities to this valuable resource.

High school class schedules vary: can a teacher in the block system teach U of M Spanish?
All courses offered through CIS have the same minimum number of contact hours as the on-campus sections. Teachers wishing to teach a U of M Spanish course on the block schedule should consult with the faculty coordinator (contact information above) to make sure this arrangement will work.

What happens at typical teacher workshops?
Typical activities at CIS workshops include meeting University faculty and hearing about their recent research in the discipline; reviewing and/or developing student assessment tools; sharing instructional materials; discussing particular content, pedagogy, or assessment of the University course; and receiving updates on CIS program policies and practices.

In addition to activities focused directly on the CIS course, teacher workshops will include presentations intended to further the teachers’ own learning and professional development. These are offered by the program faculty or guest speakers and may relate to Spanish language, Spanish cultures, or second language acquisition and pedagogy.

What happens at typical student field days?
Student field days provide an opportunity for CIS students to meet their peers, practice skills they have learned in class, and explore the Twin Cities campus. Past field days have included activities such as:

  • a campus-wide scavenger hunt conducted in Spanish
  • visits to select Spanish classes
  • interactive demonstrations, including music and dance
  • talks by U of M professors or graduate students from the Spanish Department
  • a visit to the Weisman Art Museum
  • mixers with other CIS students
  • panel discussions with current U of M Spanish students

High Schools Offering This Course

  • Apple Valley High School
  • Buffalo High School
  • Burnsville High School
  • Delano High School
  • Eagan High School
  • East Ridge High School (Woodbury)
  • Eastview High School (Apple Valley)
  • Eden Prairie High School
  • Hopkins High School (Minnetonka)
  • Mahtomedi High School
  • Monticello High School
  • Mora High School
  • Mound-Westonka High School (Minnetrista)
  • New Prague High School
  • North Branch Area High School
  • North High School (North Saint Paul)
  • Red Wing High School
  • Rosemount High School
  • Rushford-Peterson High School
  • Shakopee High School
  • St. Anthony Village High School
  • Tartan High School (Oakdale)
  • Waconia High School
  • Waseca High School
  • White Bear Lake Area High School
  • Woodbury High School