This course will become read-only in the near future. Tell us at if that is a problem.

Lesson 1.1 Introduction, Spanish letters and pronunciation, and grammar structure


Module 1 (20 minutes)

Bienvenidos! Welcome to the course! We’re really excited to have you along. Before we go any further, I want to introduce myself. Since I’ll be doing so in Spanish, you’ll want to watch our introductions on Instreamia – the interactive learning platform we’ll be using. As you’ll see in a minute, Instreamia enables beginners like you to understand people speaking in foreign languages, by giving you interactive subtitles (you can hover over words and click on them) which are highlighted when someone speaks. We’ll go into more detail in a minute, but for now, visit this page. As you watch, don’t worry about understanding everything. Feel free to read the translations as I speak, and just watch the video through once and try out the interactive subtitles. We’ll work on learning what I’m saying afterward.


Note: For exercises to work, first enroll in Spanish MOOC on CourseSites

Lesson 1.1 Video, Teacher Introduction (view only)

Okay, I hope you enjoyed hearing my introduction in Spanish. (If you can’t access the video for any reason, let me know). Hopefully the subtitles and translations helped for you to understand some of my phrases. If you didn’t understand everything, don’t worry! We’ll work on getting you to understand next.

Module 2 (20 minutes)

Now that you’ve seen a little of how Instreamia facilitates understanding Spanish, let’s let it teach you. The next task is to watch the same video, and this time use it as a listening exercise. Instreamia will have you fill in the blank for words, so you can practice listening and identifying words. Listen to the video and participate in the listening exercise. Once you’ve done it once, click repeat exercise twice, so you will have done the exercise for a total of three times watching and learning from the video.

Lesson 1.1 Video, Teacher Introductions (with listening exercise enabled)

Great job! You are starting to train your ear on how to hear and understand Spanish. You’ve got a long way to go, but each exercise brings you closer to learning Spanish.

Module 3 (20 minutes)

Now that you’ve practiced listening for a bit, let’s work on learning some of the words in this same video, since you’ll need to learn them for the speaking practice. This time, when you open Instreamia, it will have you guess the meaning of some words. When you see a word highlighted, choose the correct English translation for it. You should repeat this exercise twice more too, and the words will change, adapting to how well you answer each time through.

Lesson 1.1 Video, Teacher Introduction (with reading exercise enabled)

Excelente! You’re doing great! Now that you have an idea of how the integrated learning platform works, you can learn from our first native speaker, or should I say singer: Laura Pausini.

Laura Pausini – Bienvenido on Instreamia

Okay, now that you’re on boarded to Instreamia, and welcomed to the class, let’s talk a bit about what this class is and how you’ll be evaluated. This video will explain what to expect:

  • Learning a language is a life-long pursuit
  • There’s no finish line, fluency is a mile marker on the path
  • This course will start you along the path
  • Any measureable progress will be rewarded
    • You can receive points for making progress in whatever way you like
    • You can retake evaluations as many times as you like
    • You can come up with your own ways of demonstrating skills
    • You can receive more than 100% of possible points if you surpass learning expectations
    • You can learn principles (and receive credit) not on the syllabus

Alright, so now that you know what to expect out of this course, we can jump into the course material.

Module 4 (30 minutes)

The first thing you’ll learn is pronunciation. This set of videos with incorporated exercises will teach you rules for the correct pronunciation of each letter in Spanish. As you watch, pay special attention to the five vowel sounds since in Spanish they never change. You can watch or rewatch these videos as many times as you like, and afterward you should feel comfortable with the rules for pronouncing each letter.

StudyStream – Learn Spanish Pronunciation – Letters A, B, C, D, E, F

StudyStream – Learn Spanish Pronunciation – Letters G, H, I, J, K, L

StudyStream – Learn Spanish Pronunciation – Letters M, N, Ñ, O, P, Q

StudyStream – Learn Spanish Pronunciation – Letters R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z


Module 5 (60 minutes)

Okay, now that you’ve learned the rules for pronunciation, we’d love for you to get some practice hearing pronunciation from more native speakers. For this section, you can choose any videos you want within Instreamia, and you should use the “Listening” exercise to work on hearing specific words and identifying them correctly. For this exercise, don’t worry about the meaning of what they’re saying. Just focus on the letters and the sounds that combinations of letters make. Here are some of my favorite videos. I realize these videos go fast, and it will be a challenge, but if you focus your effort on listening, you’ll be alright.

Shakira – Suerte (whenever wherever)

Pinocho (Pinocchio) Part 1

TedX – How the Internet can change lives


At this point, you should learn all the words in my introduction. This will give you a good base for your assignment, which will be to introduce yourself. This link will show you how far you are and help you make it past the check point.

Checkpoint – Words to Teacher Introduction

Module 6 and assignment (60-90 minutes)

So now that you’ve watched me introduce myself in Spanish, it’s your turn to do the same! Your assignment is to use this template to create 5 Spanish sentences you’d like to say about yourself. After clicking this link, click “Use Template” at the top. This will create a Google Doc in your Google Drive.

Spanish Introduction Template (note: You must be logged into a Google account to use this)

(Important! Don’t write first in English then translate to Spanish. This will make the assignment extremely difficult and unnatural. Work on using words you’ve learned and seen in Spanish, and lookup words to complete sentences as you need to)

First, write your introduction as a new post in your assignment workbook:

SpanishMOOC Assignment Workbook

After writing your assignment, record audio/video introducing yourself at one of these links:

SpanishMOOC Voice Email (sends audio recording just to me)

SpanishMOOC Voice Board (lets all the students hear your audio)

GooglePlus Record a video (send a video to me)

After submissions are made, I’ll make some of them available to the class so you can hear each others’ intros.

This assignment is worth 20 points, which is 2% of your grade. You should complete it no later than 1/25/2013.

Extra Mile (up to 5 points)

In Spanish, adjectives can be modified using special endings, like -ito, -ote, and isimo. Watch this video about these endings, then add two additional sentences to your introduction using adjectives with these endings.

Special Endings in Spanish Video

Additional Resources:

Wikibooks Spanish Lesson: Como te llamas?

Spanish By Choice Podcast: She’s not Mexican

Task Discussion

  • Dirk   Jan. 23, 2013, 1:45 a.m.

    Wow, lots of stuff to do!

    It took me a little while to figure out instreamia, but now that I know it seems to be going well!