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Beginning Medical Spanish


Enrichment Elective - ELEC 5006



Vidhi Makanji (MSII)

Class Schedule

Lectures and labs will meet on the following days at 12:00pm:


Lectures: (12pm-1pm)
All in 2.088)

Lab: (12pm-1pm)
All in 2.088

Week 1 - August 12 (2.038)

Week 1 - August 14

Week 2 - August 19

Week 2 - August 21

Week 3 - September 09

Week 3 - September 11

Week 4 - September 16

Week 4 - September 18

Week 5 - September 23

Week 5 - September 25

Week 6 - October 14

Week 6 - October 16

Week 7 - October 28

Week 7 - October 30

Week 8 - November 4

Week 8 - November 6

Week 9 - November 11

Week 9 - November 13

Week 10 - November 18

Week 10 - November 20




Course Materials:

Beginner's Spanish Manual


Course Description:

This course is designed to teach students of little to no background in foreign language the basics of understanding and speaking Spanish in the healthcare setting in particular. This is achieved by a combination of 10 one-hour lectures about basic Spanish fundamentals and 10 one-hour “lab” sessions with focused practice of skills learned in lecture. We realize that the limited number of class sessions is not sufficient for anyone to master all, or even most, concepts in learning a new language.  Although excellent instruction and resources will be made available, it is up to the student to take advantage of these and spend time outside of class to reach individual goals. We do expect that each and every student begin to build a knowledge base for more advanced Spanish coursework in the future.  Grammatical structure, common phrases, and medical vocabulary will assist students in acquiring conversational engagement skills and develop a deeper understanding of Spanish in the healthcare setting.  This course aims to fulfill at least five course objectives for successful transition into the intermediate medical Spanish course.  


Course Objectives:

  • Student will be able to converse with peoples in Spanish on topics in healthcare and medicine using basic medical terminology.
  • Students will be able to articulate and respond to basic patient concerns.
  • Students will be able to conduct basic Health of Present Illness (HPI) assessments in Spanish.
  • Students will gain some exposure to cultural and social factors that influence the practitioner-patient communication with Latino peoples and immigrants to the United States.
  • Students will be confident in their newly acquired Spanish-speaking abilities and know when to call on the help of an interpreter certified in Medical Spanish.


Course Credit and Grading:


Students must attend at least 80% of the scheduled lecture and lab sessions, as well as complete at least 6 writing assignments to receive credit for the course.  Sign-in is required to indicate attendance to the Office of Student Affairs for course credit. A document will be posted in the front of the lecture room for sign in during class, or the instructor will take attendance for any given session.  Students who do not sign in do not receive credit for that lecture’s attendance.  Both students discovered signing in for another and the student being falsely written in will be permanently excused from the course.  Academic dishonesty, as indicated by university policy, will not be tolerated.  Missing more than two of the ten lecture or two of the ten lab periods will result in no credit for taking the course.  Illness or exceptional circumstances will be taken into account on a case by case basis.  Written assignments are posted on the class  coursesites page, and are to be completed by students prior to the following class session.  Feedback will be provided upon submission of the assignment, and completion will be tracked via the Coursesites grading system. While students do not receive a grade in this course, if all attendance and homework requirements are satisfied, then the course will appear on the student’s transcript as an elective course completion. 



Homework Assignments:

Students are expected to have read the material assigned before class.