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Spanish: Variation and Oral Discourse

Code: 103566 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2502758 Humanities OB 2 2
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Carme de la Mota Gorriz

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
spanish (spa)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


In order to attend this subject, students must have a general linguistic knowledge and a command of oral and written expression comparable to those obtained after completing the baccalaureate.

A level of English that allows students to read bibliography in this language is recommended.

Objectives and Contextualisation

With the subject, issues related to the Spanish language are raised, which allow both to improve the communication capacity and to expand the linguistic knowledge of the student body. It is intended to ensure that students (a) have knowledge and tools that allow them to delve into the factors that condition variation in the Spanish language, (b) become familiar with the fundamental aspects of discourse analysis and (c) have the methodology necessary both to analyze oral discourses and to develop their own oratory capacities in formal situations.

At the end of the course each student will have learned to:

(a) have a global view of the current situation of Spanish, taking into account its different varieties; (b) know the main available resources about Spanish;

(c) master the most important aspects of prescriptive rules of Spanish;

(d) reason about the concepts of variation, norm and standard;

(e) know the basic mechanisms that govern the construction of oral and written texts in Spanish;

(f) express themselves orally and in writing in the academic field in an appropriate and effective manner;

(g) analyze the discourse with a linguistic and communicative approach;

(h) study linguistic productions from the perspective of pragmatics;

(i) know the theoretical bases of the current oratory;

(j) employ various types of support material and

(k) make a formal oral presentation for an audience.

Students must become aware of the fundamental role that, in any discipline and workplace, the correct, adequate and reflective use of language plays. Oral productions will have to be well structured, they must be understandable, they must be linguistically correct and they must be realized with clear articulation, the appropriate pronunciation and the pertinent intonation, according to the needs of formal oral discourse.



  • Identifying the characteristics of a space and a territory in order to manage the resources for its local and territorial development.
  • Interpreting social and cultural diversity.
  • Properly using the resources and methodologies of the study of contemporary culture.
  • Respecting the diversity and plurality of ideas, people and situations.
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analysing and interpreting oral texts of different nature.
  2. Applying and adapting in a coherent way the characteristics of the standard dialect in various communicational situations.
  3. Communicating in a properly, organised, and suitable manner in an oral conversation or presentation.
  4. Detecting and correcting any type (grammatical, spelling, stylistic, pragmatic, argumentative...) of inadequacy in a text.
  5. Expressing contents and arguments in a reasoned manner in (oral and written) formal discourses.
  6. Knowing the main data about the current situation of language (legal status, territorial extension, number of speakers...).
  7. Knowing the main institutions associated to language (academic, public administrations, foundations, consortium, etc.) and their functions and development.
  8. Mastering the main linguistic variation parameters.
  9. Mastering the varieties of oral discourse, and its level of adequacy and formality.
  10. Understanding the concept of linguistic planning and applying it.


Unit 1. Introduction and initial reflections. The faculty of language. Universal grammar and particular grammar. The use of language The linguistic variation. Language as an object of study: internal linguistics and external linguistics. Linguistic prejudices. Languages, dialects, variants. The linguistic evaluation criteria. Grammaticality, acceptability, adequacy and correction. Variation and oral discourse. The speakers skills. The formal situations and the academic field. First thoughts.

Unit 2. Varieties of the language. The temporal, geographical, social and situational varieties. Hesitation and linguistic change. Language, identity, gender, sexism. Spontaneity, formality, planning. Oral language and written language. Oralization.

Unit 3. Sources of documentation on language. Description, explanation and prescription. Resources on Spanish: grammars, dictionaries and style books. Digital resources. Platforms, corpus, atlas. Practical application.

Unit 4. The normative correction. Norm and use. Critical review of the sources on rule. The standard of the language. The standardization process. The officiality. The polycentric norm. Frequent problems of normative correction. Orthology.

Unit 5. Discourse analysis and pragmatics. Textuality and discursivity. Competences and use of language. Objectives and methods of discourse analysis. The pragmatic analysis of the discourse. The communicative intention. The notion of context. The adequacy criterion. Multimodality. The enunciative depth. Subjectivity and modalization. The speech acts. The analysis of the conversation. Cooperation and conversational maxims. Relevance and ostensive-inferential communication. Politeness. Intercultural pragmatics. The intentional nature of the discourse.

Unit 6. Current oratory. Introduction and initial oral presentation. Qualities valued in an oral speech: first thoughts. Planning. Adequacy. Structure. How to start an oral presentation. The introduction. The conclusion. How to close an oral presentation. The voice. The body as an instrument for the voice. Preparation and care of the vocal instrument. Breathing. Voice projection. Clarity in articulation. Expressive use of the voice. Verbal expression. Normative correction. Techniques for short presentations. Support material. Non-verbal communication. The fear of public speaking. The questions and answers time. Improvisation.

Unit 7. Recapitulation, self-evaluation and final reflections. Synthesis on current oratory and preparation for the final presentation. The analysis of oral language: approaches, theories, methods, applications. Reflections on own learning.


An active methodology, based on the flipped classroom, will be used, and critical thinking will be promoted, both when facing problems, data or situations of a linguistic nature, and when reflecting on one's own learning. The theoretical explanations, the realization of exercises, the commentary of texts and discussions and practical activities will be combined.

It is necessary to regularly use the Virtual Campus, because students will be informed of any question related to the subject through this tool.  It is advisable to carry out a continuous monitoring. The material proposed for each session should be studied before the class and will serve as a starting point for the activities developed. Active participation will be taken into account.

Throughout the course several oral practices will be carried out. The oral presentations of each student will be recorded and analyzed and, given the nature of the subject, results of the oral tests will be public for the whole group. Likewise, a reflective and documented activity must be prepared, in which they will solve linguistic problems related to the syllabus and not directly addressed in the classroom.


Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Directed activities 30 1.2 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 5, 3, 4
Type: Supervised      
Supervised activities 30 1.2 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 5, 3, 4
Type: Autonomous      
Autonomous activities 90 3.6 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 5, 3, 4


Requirements to pass the subject

  • Para aprobar la asignatura es necesaria una nota global igual o superior a 5 y haber obtenido una nota superior a 3,5 en el trabajo en grupoen el examen y en la exposición oral final.
  • Para optar a la reassessment es necesario haber obtenido una nota global superior a 3,5.
  • La exposición oral inicial, el trabajo en grupo y el seguimiento con actividades continuadas no están sujetos a recuperación.
  • Se obtendrá un "no evaluable" si se han aportado, como máximo, estas dos pruebas: la exposición oral inicial y el trabajo en grupo.
  • En caso de que el curso sí sea evaluable, si se deja pendiente alguna prueba, la calificación de dicha prueba será 0 y se incluirá en el cálculo de la nota global.




  1. First oral presentation: 10 %
  2. Group work: 15 %
  3. Exam: 35 %
  4. Final oral presentation: 30 %
  5. Active participation (progression and and ongoing activities): 10 %


Evaluable elements

  • Knowledge and practical application of the syllabus contents
  • Knowledge and mastery ofthe oral use of formal oral language
  • Proper, effective and linguistically correct expression
  • Evaluation of the analysis of the grammatical aspects (phonetics, phonology, morphology, lexicon, syntax and semantics) and pragmatics of the oral language
  • Evaluation of the analysis of phonic aspects of oral language
  • Practice of expository and argumentative procedures
  • Ability to create original oral texts
  • Use of the critical method
  • Ability to apply knowledge to practice
  • Disposition and ability to work in a group
  • Development of self-criticism and personal initiative
  • Ability to adapt to new situations
  • Mastery of the tools that support oral presentations
  • Mastery of the usual procedures for recording and analyzing oral samples



In regards to writing, it's understood that the student will write paragraphs with full content. Obviously, spelling errors, punctuation and speech structure will be taken into account. Oral expression must be correct and appropriate to the communicative situation.

It is also expected that students know the general rules of submission of an academic work.

The aspects related to the gender perspective are taken into account in the content of the subject.

In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for this activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.

At the beginning of the course both the methodology of the subject and the evaluable tests will be explained. Specific guidance will be later provided for each test. The guidelines with the detailed description of the evaluable activities content and the dates of submission can be consulted in the virtual teaching space of the subject. The procedures to be followed for reviewing all grades awarded can change depending on the type of test and will be announced in due course.

In the event that tests or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
1 First oral presentation 10% 0 0 2, 9, 5, 3, 4
2 Group work 15% 0 0 1, 2, 8, 9, 5, 4
3 Exam 35% 0 0 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 5, 4
4 Final oral presentation 30% 0 0 1, 2, 8, 9, 5, 3, 4
5 Active participation 10% 0 0 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 5, 3, 4


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Other online resources will be provided during the course.


In order to prepare the support material for the oral interventions, the common programs of the office packages are suggested (as PowerPoint, Keynote, OpenOffice Impress, Publisher and Open Office Draw, among others) y teh computer application Prezi (https://prezi.com/es/).

To record and transmit video it is suggested to use OBS Studio (https://obsproject.com/es).

For video editing it is suggested to use Filmora (https://filmora.wondershare.net/es/), OpenShot (https://www.openshot.org/es/), Shotcut (https://shotcut.org/) and VSDC Video Editor (http://www.videosoftdev.com).

To record and edit sound Audacity (https://audacity.es) is suggested and, if acoustic analysis is required, Praat (https://www.fon.hum.uva.nl/praat).

The choice of programs will depend on goals, operating system, and personal preferences. Among others, you can check these links to find the most convenient ones: CNET Download (https://download.cnet.com/), Softonic (https://www.softonic.com/) y Tucows (https://tucows.com/).