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A buen puerto: advanced Spanish

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This module follows on from an OU Level 2 Spanish module. It continues to develop your knowledge and understanding of the society and culture of Spain and Latin America and to extend the practical skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. The study resources include online authentic audio and video, comprising interviews and documentaries, and illustrated printed materials. You will also develop your critical, analytical and intercultural skills. The module is structured around six themes, which give a broad introduction to different aspects of society and culture in Spanish-speaking countries.

What you will study

Most of the materials for this module are delivered online via the module website, and you will spend a considerable amount of time carrying out interactive online activities.

Each of the six module themes is studied over five weeks. There are online activities through the module website – including listening and speaking exercises – two printed module books and videos for each theme. A range of online activities on the website gives you the opportunity to access further authentic material and develop your ICT and communication skills.

The themes in detail are:

  • Culturas: Multicultural origin and identity; religion and society; immigration and exile; music and dance as an expression of identity
  • Arte: Arts and crafts; the social function of art; music as a means of protest; cinema and society
  • Lenguas: Language and politics in Spain; languages in Spanish America; Spanish in the USA; language and change
  • Ciencia: Sciences old and new; the scientific method; from inventions to products; science in the Hispanic world
  • Mercados: The world of work in the Hispanic context; trading; the global world: prosperity or poverty?; culture, identity and the global village
  • Medio ambiente: National parks and their conservation; tourism and the environment; sustainable development. 

The module uses a wide range of mixed media that has been selected to increase your knowledge of the themes and develop your confidence in the four language skills (reading, listening, writing and speaking). You will also progressively develop your analytical skills leading up to a small scale project at the end of the module. The structure of the material allows you to evaluate your progress regularly and provide strategies to improve your language and general learning skills. The materials are interactive and encourage your participation.

This module is designed to enable you to achieve a level of language proficiency equivalent to level C1 of the Council of Europe Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Professional recognition

The Chartered Institute of Marketing now recognises this module under their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme.

Entry requirements

This is an OU Level 3 module for students who have successfully completed an OU Level 2 Spanish module or who have an equivalent knowledge of Spanish.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the modules, please speak to an adviser.

Preparatory work

If you have time before the module begins, we suggest that you continue to use your Spanish in any way you can. You could do this by: redoing some of the activities in your OU Level 2 Spanish module; watching and listening to the audio and video materials from your OU Level 2 module; listening to Spanish radio broadcasts; accessing authentic resources online; borrowing Spanish books and films from the local library; or reading a Spanish newspaper. Anything you can do to keep practising your Spanish will be helpful.

What's included

You'll have access to printed books and a module website, which is the focal point of your study, and includes:

  • a week-by-week study planner
  • course-specific module materials
  • audio and video content
  • assessment details and submission section
  • online tutorial access
  • and access to forums where you can communicate with your tutor and fellow students.

Computing requirements

A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

A desktop or laptop computer with either an up-to-date version of Windows or macOS.

The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).

Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

Materials to buy

Set books

  • Butt, J. & Benjamin, C. A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish (6th edn) Routledge £34.99 - ISBN 9781138124011 Students may also use the 3rd, 4th or 5th edition of this book.

Note: In addition to the above set book students also need access to a good bilingual dictionary, and also a monolingual dictionary such as either: Diccionario Esencial de la Lengua Española, ISBN 9788467023145, £39.95; or Diccionario Salamanca Español para Extranjeros, ISBN 9788493453749, £39.99.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You'll have a tutor to help you with the study material who will mark and comment on your written and spoken tutor-marked assignments (TMAs). You can also ask your tutor for advice and guidance.

This module usually includes a mix of face-to-face and online tutorials. Some tutorials are offered online only, and others are offered face-to-face and online. Please note that student numbers on the module, and where tutors are based, will affect the locations of where face-to-face tutorials are held. We cannot guarantee that these will be hosted in specific locations, or locations that have been used previously. While you're not obliged to attend tutorials, you are strongly encouraged to take part as they will provide you with the opportunity to speak and listen to Spanish and meet other students and tutors, whether online or face-to-face. Note that you can attend as many tutorials as you like, offered by any of the tutors. The online tutorials will give you practice in using the conferencing tool used for the end-of-module speaking test.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs). The written part of the end-of module assessment (EMA) must also be submitted online. The EMA includes a speaking test which is also carried out online.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying L314 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Future availability

A buen puerto: advanced Spanish starts once a year – in October.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2021, the last time it will be available for study.

It will be replaced with a new module, Spanish studies 3: language and culture of the Spanish-speaking world (L336), beginning in October 2022.

Course work includes:

5 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school