Module Catalogue 2022/23

SPA2021 : Introduction to Catalan

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Josep Cru
  • Lecturer: Ms Laura Arbones Martinez
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment

This module is not suitable for native speakers or those with an A-Level (or equivalent) in Catalan.

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment

Students must be taking FRE2061 Level C French or SPA2061 Level C Spanish in order to take this module.


In consonance with the overall aims of the degrees offered in the SML, this module aims to build on skills acquired at Stage 1 (languages learning skills and skills of cultural study) and provide students with an introduction to modern Catalan which will take them up to Lower Intermediate (post-GCSE equivalent) level.

This is an introduction to the Catalan language. It aims to give you a basic knowledge of Catalan grammar and vocabulary using written and spoken sources (this includes students’ ability to use and understand authentic material and produce their own written and spoken output). You will also learn to communicate orally in Catalan and understand varieties of the spoken language. You will also learn to identify the problems that beset a ‘minority’ language and its cultures and set these in the context of your knowledge of modern Spain and France.

Outline Of Syllabus

Work requirements:

Weekly language exercises: consisting of grammar, comprehension and translation exercises.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

At the end of this module you will have gained:

- An understanding of authentic written texts in Catalan
- Translation skills Catalan - English
- A knowledge of Catalan grammar, register variation and pronunciation
- Knowledge of a range of vocabulary and idiom (spoken and written)
- Listening skills with the use of different types of authentic sources in the foreign language and the ability to respond appropriately in written or oral form.

Intended Skill Outcomes

You will have learned to:

- Write and/or tye in the target language (e.g.: reports, essays, summaries)
- Read for information using authentic materials of appropriate complexity and length and respond appropriately in written or oral form.
- Communicate orally in Catalan and understand varieties of the spoken language
- Converse, discussing directly with target language speakers and producing and giving presentations in Catalan using an appropriate range, on agreed topics.
- Identify the problems that beset a 'minority' language and set these in the context of your knowledge of modern Spain and France.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching222:0044:00PiP Language seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1561:00156:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
SPA2121Introduction to Catalan - Part 1
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Private study mainly in the Language Resource Centre

As this is a beginners’ languages course, it is more classroom-based than the other optional modules, hence the higher number of contact hours (partly funded by Institut Ramón Llull). The language teaching will be integrated (oral, aural, and writing skills), rather than compartmentalised, and thereby closer to a real-life situation. This explains why class tests and group learning are continuous.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A40Assessing grammar, vocabulary, reading and writing
Oral Examination152M30Consisting of a role-play exercise and an informal conversation in Catalan.
Aural Examination602M30Listening comprehension exam based on comprehension questions
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MWeekly grammar exercises and written tasks
Written exercise2MWeekly grammar exercises and written tasks
Oral Presentation1MIn-class oral presentation
Oral Presentation2MIn-class oral presentation
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Written examination (unseen) (40%) - In the 120-minute exam students will answer 3 sections:
a) Reading comprehension with short questions
b) Grammar and vocabulary exercises
c) Write a composition in Catalan of 150-180 words on a personal topic. There will be two options.

Listening comprehension exam (30%) 1 hour, all questions to be answered in Catalan. Students will control the audio and listen to the recordings as many times as they wish. 5-6 short audio recordings with comprehension questions (gap-fill, true/false or multiple-choice questions). Exam to be held in the language lab at the end of semester 2.

Oral examination (30%) consisting of a short reading exercise followed by a role play and an informal conversation in Catalan based on the text and/or on students’ personal and academic interests. End of semester 2 (15 minutes).

In the 120-minute written examination students will answer questions which directly relate to skills learned during the course. In addition, the 15-minute oral exam will allow students to give evidence of their ability in spoken Catalan by taking part in a role-play exercise based on an everyday situation (e.g., ordering food in a restaurant, buying a train ticket etc.), which they will prepare in advance, and by answering some informal questions in Catalan about themselves, their studies, their hobbies and interests, etc.

In case of pandemic, the format of alternative assessment will be 24-hour take-home exam for written and listening exams and a live oral exam organised online.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2022/23 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2023/24 entry will be published here in early-April 2023. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.