UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Spanish level 1

Prerequisite for entry

For complete beginners or those who have had only very little contact with the language.

Term duration

10 x 2-hour classes.


After 20 hours students may progress to level 1+

Aims and objectives

The aim of the course is to enable students to function at a basic everyday survival level (basic vocabulary, grammar, morphology, syntax and phonetics). Students should be able to communicate in and understand Spanish on a number of practical everyday matters. Language learning skills, including autonomous learning and how to approach some authentic materials, will be introduced. Some transferable skills will also be covered.


  • Saying hello and goodbye. Introducing yourself and asking someone’s name.
  • Giving and requesting personal details: nationality, profession/studies, age, etc.
  • Explaining the reasons why we study Spanish and do things. 
  • Expressing intentions and speaking about skills in other languages.
  • Talking about family and relationships, marital status, and age. 
  • Describing someone’s physical appearance and character.
  • Explain the location of items, what items/things are present and where. Describing your city or town.
  • Talking about the weather. 
  • Identifying places and objects. Talking about preferences. Expressing needs.
  • Shopping: asking for items, asking about prices, etc.

Course content

Main topics/themes to be covered:

  • Greetings and farewells. Introductions. 
  • Countries and nationalities. Languages.
  • Jobs, places of work and studies.
  • Personal details: address, telephone number and email address. 
  • Family and relationships.
  • Physical appearance and character. 
  • Cities, towns and regions. 
  • Objects. Shopping. Currencies. 
  • Phonetics

  • Basic rules of the Spanish pronunciation.

Grammar and linguistic structures

  • The alphabet. Spelling words.
  • Numbers.
  • Subject and reflexive pronouns.
  • Subject pronouns: tú versus usted.
  • Verbs: Regular and irregular verbs in the Present tense.
  • Verbs: ser versus estar and some uses of hay.
  • Nouns: gender and number.
  • Adjectives: gender and number. Agreement between nouns and adjectives.
  • Definite and indefinite articles: el, la, los, las - un, una, unos, unas
  • Possessive adjectives: mi, tu, su
  • Demonstrative adjectives and pronouns: este/esta/estos/estas, esto
  • Interrogatives adjectives, pronouns and adverbs: qué, cuál/cuáles, cuántos/cuántas, dónde, cómo
  • Adverbs and prepositions of place: cerca, lejos, en, al lado...

Learning resources

  • Course Book:  Aula Internacional 1 (student’s book English version. Difusión.  ISBN-13: 9788415846772) Chapters:  1 - 2 - 3 - 4 – 5 (only family).
  • Online platform campus.difusion.com (materials to be used in class, as homework and for self-study; details will be provided in class). For this online platform, students will need to open their own account and then, for full access, purchase a premium account for a year access.
  • We recommend you to acquire your book (Aula Internacional 1), or the platform, or both through the European Bookshop http://www.europeanbookshop.com/setbooks.php?institution=195705&class=900
  • In addition, there is a range of language learning materials for self-study in the Self-Access Centre (SAC).