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Student and tutor module reviews

En rumbo: intermediate Spanish

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  • Points: 30
  • Code: L140
  • Level: 1

Student reviews

The course layout is different to Portales and instead of audio CDs accompanying the books, there are a DVD and a CD-ROM alongside 3 books.

I enjoyed the course although at times I did find it difficult and found in parts that the language and grammar being taught was well above "intermediate" level. If you're planning to study this course then I would advise to make sure that your level of Spanish is at least intermediate level else you may struggle in parts.

The course books were informative. There's the usual grammar and vocab alongside articles on Spanish culture which I found interesting. I do think that there isn't enough exercises in the books to practice, I felt as if I would complete maybe 1 or 2 examples of a particular grammar point then suddenly move onto the next one which I found confusing at times (alongside difficult to keep up!)

The DVD and CD-ROM are informative and it was nice to watch some clips in Spanish and practice my pronounciation however a lot of people on my course said that the CD-ROM didn't work on their computer.

The TMAs are enjoyable and I really did like completing them. The feedback I got from my tutor was helpful.

Overall I enjoyed the course and would recommend to anyone wishing to further their Spanish. I would advise that you have enough time set aside for this course though, even though it's only 30 credits, it felt like a lot more and I easily spent 20 - 30 hours a week working on this course. Good luck.


Course starting: February 2012

Review posted: December 2012

I did this course as part of the Certificate in Spanish, having completed the more basic Portales course. I couldn't give En Rumbo the time that it deserved, but I enjoyed the materials and in particular the TMAs, which were well put together. I also enjoyed the discipline of preparing for the TMAs and the tutorials.

As is the case with OU languages, it's difficult to get the speaking practice, and I finished the course not really feeling as if I had a very good grasp of the language, especially when I compare it to O and A level days in the 1970s when I picked up French and German fairly quickly with regular and long exchange visits during the school holidays!

Despite this, we covered enough material for me to get a good appreciation of how the language 'works' and this has led me to sign up for a Level 2 Spanish course. So, as an incentive to improve the basics and move on to a higher level, I would certainly recommend it.

Course starting: February 2011

Review posted: February 2012

Faculty response

We are glad to hear that you enjoyed the materials and the TMAs. It's true that it is hard to get through the module if you don't give it the time it requires, however, you did well to concentrate on the TMAs and get the most out of that part of the experience.

I thought the materials, tutor and assignments altogether made this course interesting and useful in terms of developing language skills and knowledge. There still remains the problems - and they are problems - with relying on Elluminate. I personally have never had a problem accessing it, using it, etc. However many students do have that problem and if you are being assessed for your final mark with 2 or 3 other students who are having feedback issues, volume issues, etc, etc you end up spending the best part of 2 hours waiting for the tutor to help them deal with their problems, rather than just getting on with a group speaking exam.

Course starting: February 2011

Review posted: December 2011

Faculty response

Thanks for your feedback. We are glad you found the module interesting. We are aware of problems with Elluminate, especially how it can add to the stress at the time of the end-of-module assessment. We have reviewed some of the procedures, and are also making changes to the assessment strategy that we hope improve this issue considerably.

This course was very well written. I found the variety of resources especially helpful, as soon as I started to flag, there was a different activity or presentation method to revive my interest. The tutor was excellent and gave detailed feedback on TMAs. My only criticism would be that the training for Elluminate was very frustrating, I wasted hours listening to people who hadn't read the basic instructions before attending the tutorials. However once underway Elluminate is a great tool for speaking practice and we had many good discussions and lots of mutual support.

I highly recommend this course to anyone with GCSE Spanish or above(I did not do the Level 1 OU course).

Rosalyn Linssner

Course starting: February 2010

Review posted: December 2010

I must say I was absolutely terrified of studying with the OU at first. But once I got going I found it really enjoyable. It was very pressured especially towards the end. I loved the interactive course materials, which were brilliantly presented, my tutor was really encouraging and helpful and was just as passionate about languages as the rest of us!

The course team are experts in their field and can answer practically anything in Spanish (and it is a huge help if you are fortunate enough to be able to speak to native speakers too, so make good use of the course resources and the internet).

All in all a very interesting course, but very deceiving as you do not always realise the amount of study involved. My advice to anyone thinking of embarking on OU study is to study the materials as soon as they are received, contact the tutors as soon as possible if there are any problems, and of course, get to know other students because interaction on a language course is paramount. As long as you are prepared for the long haul, it is worth every penny. The personal satisfaction gained is enormous.

Patricia Seaborne

Course starting: February 2010

Review posted: December 2010

An interesting and quite challenging course, yet my Spanish improved considerably and quickly over the duration of the course. I finished the course feeling reasonably competent in Spanish. I am pleased I did this course because I now have an OU Certificate in Spanish (with Portales as well). It has given me the boost to study other languages with the OU.

Course starting: February 2009

Review posted: March 2010

Great course, although I feel that the OU's reliance on technology has severely limited it's language learning facility. As such, I have decided to no longer follow the language strand and switch to a humanities degree.

One hour of spoken tutorials every two weeks is simply not enough to learn a language, to the point where it is a barrier to my language studies.

Despite this, I passed the course.

On another note - the support the OU gave me during a very difficult time half way through the course was second to none, when I could have easily given up. I am very grateful for this support, and would like to mention it.

Andrew Marshall

Course starting: February 2009

Review posted: December 2009

I really enjoyed this course, and found the listening/recording CDs really helpful. However, a word of warning - if you are going to do the L140 course, you get very little help with speaking, and not enough tutorials!

Sue Hudson

Course starting: February 2008

Review posted: July 2009

The course was structured superbly - I was one of first cohort who did the new course materials. Really enjoyed it and has advanced my Spanish linguistic ability greatly! Highly recommended!

Darren Saunders

Course starting: February 2008

Review posted: March 2009

I thought LZX194 Portales - Beginners' Spanish would prove a hard act to follow, but I'm pleased to say the revised version of L140 En Rumbo - Lower intermediate Spanish certainly didn't disappoint me.

En Rumbo is definitely a step up from Portales, which is to be expected, but the workload is more than manageable if you are determined enough. The structure is different to Portales too, with two main coursebooks, a book for reading/writing exercises, an interactive DVD ROM, a DVD and further exercises via the course website.

The grammar aspect was probably the most challenging for me but it does sink in eventually if you keep at it. My tutor was fantastic with a great sense of humour, very supportive and ready to answer any query I had about the language.

My advice is: -

1) Attend as many tutorials as you can, whether they are online or face to face and try to take part in the online revision tasks and your tutor group forum.
2) Keep in regular contact with a few other students on the course especially towards the end, as it will really help you with the oral ECA.
3) Access the course website on a regular basis, at least once a week, as there's a lot of useful information on there.
4) Get yourself a Spanish-speaking friend - there are websites that will help you find one.
5) When it gets tough, and it probably will, don't panic and more importantly don't give up; ask your tutor for support, talk to fellow students and help each other!

I have now earned the Certificate in Spanish(Open) and have registered for L204 Viento en popa - Upper intermediate Spanish starting in February 2009 and looking forward to it.

Buena suerte a todos!

Brenda Hercules

Course starting: February 2008

Review posted: December 2008

Please note

Each of the views expressed above is an individual's very particular response, largely unedited, and should be viewed with that in mind. Since modules are subject to regular updating, some of the issues identified may have already been addressed. In some instances the faculty may have provided a response to a comment. If you have a query about a particular module, please contact your Regional Centre.

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Module satisfaction survey

The figures below are taken from a survey of students who sat the exam/completed the end-of-module assessment for the October 2013 presentation of L140. The survey was carried out in 2014. 34% of our students responded to the survey covering what they thought of 10 aspects of the module. See this page for the full text of questions and more information about the survey.

Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of this module 90.7 %
Overall, I am satisfied with my study experience 89.2 %
The module provided good value for money 71.9 %
I was satisfied with the support provided by my tutor/study adviser on this module 91.6 %
Overall, I was satisfied with the teaching materials provided on this module 89.9 %
The module met its stated learning outcomes 90.8 %
I would recommend this module to other students 85.8 %
The module met my expectations 83.1 %
I enjoyed studying this module 87.5 %
Overall, I was able to keep up with the workload on this module 80.8 %
Faculty comment: "The module team is very pleased to see such a positive response to the module, and in particular how well the module meets its stated learning outcomes and how many students would recommend the module. The support provided by tutors is highly valued. We are aware that some students feel the workload is high and have prepared further support messages to help learners navigate the materials and decide what activities are most important for them. We are working on a new version of the module and will make every effort to address students' concerns."
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