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Academic Year: Fall/Winter 2014/2015

Term: 1

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Olga Ponichtera


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 622

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24537

Office Hours: Thursday 2-3 pm (or by appointment)

Course Objectives:

Course Objectives

Upon the completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Converse in Polish about a variety of topics from daily life (intermediate level)
  • Express their opinions on a variety of more abstract topics (personal preferences, hobbies, beliefs, opinions about current news events, expectations)
  • Read intermediate level texts
  • Use written language to express themselves on a variety of topics


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Agnieszka Burkat and Agnieszka Jasińska. HURRA! PO POLSKU 2. Prolog: 2010 (textbook and workbook)


Method of Assessment:

Assessment in this course is designed to evaluate your skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.


3 Chapter Tests 30%

Vocabulary and Grammar Quizzes 10%

Homework (written and oral) 10%

Culture Encounter (with presentation) 10%

Oral Exam 10%

Final Exam 30%

Total = 100%

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

This is a self-reporting tool for undergraduate students to report absences DUE TO MINOR MEDICAL SITUATIONS that last up to 5 days and provides the ability to request accommodation for any missed academic work. Please note, this tool cannot be used during any final examination period. You may submit a maximum of 1 Academic Work Missed request per term. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up with your Instructor immediately (NORMALLY WITHIN TWO WORKING DAYS) regarding the nature of the accommodation. If you are absent for reasons other than medical reasons, for more than 5 days, or exceed 1 request per term, you MUST visit your Associate Dean's Office/Faculty Office). You may be required to provide supporting documentation. This form should be filled out immediately when you are about to return to class after your absence.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:









TR Sept. 4


Formal and Informal Introductions; course expectations


Personal introductions / diagnostic writing



T  Sept. 9

Chap 1

Structures: wyglądać na+ biernik; być + narzędnik




Describing people



TR Sept. 11


Chap 1

Masculine adj. in Nominative case




T  Sept. 16

Chap 1

Structures: moim zdaniem; myÅ›lÄ™, że…,


Communicative exercises



TR Sept.18

Chap 2

Creating masc. (virile) plural nouns in the Nominative

  • masc. (virile) pronouns

Talking about work, work schedules, agreements



T Sept. 23

Chap 2

Conjunctions: a, i, ani, lecz, ale, jednak





TR Sept. 25

Chap 2

Pronouns: każdy, wszyscy


Communicative exercises



T Sept. 30


Test 1





TR Oct. 2

Chap 3

Numerals and ordinal numbers;

review of the past tense


Talking about the past; expressing time relationships



T Oct. 7

Chap 3


Past tense (verb aspect);

Months and dates


Our life and dates



TR Oct. 9




Chap 3


Communicative exercises



T Oct. 14

Chap 4

Use of future tense (perfective aspect); use of future tense (imperfective)


Education, school, courses, career plans



TR Oct. 16

Chap 4

Creating and use of modal verbs in the future tense





T Oct. 21

Chap 4


Conditional expressions (using conjunctions: jeśli / jeżeli)





TR Oct. 23

Chap 5

Review of material

(Chap 1-4)





T Oct. 28

Chap 6

Review of Locative case


Life in the city (architecture, infrastructure, entertainment)




TR Oct. 30

Chap 6

Comparative and superlative adjectives

Expressing preferences, expressing location



T Nov. 4


Test 2





TR Nov. 6

Cont. of Chap 6



Communicative exercises



T Nov. 11

Chap 7

Creating and using adverbs in a sentence


Cultural Encounter due

Speaking about nature and the environment; expressing preferences



TR Nov. 13

Chap 7


Comparative and superlative adverbs

Presentations (set 1)




T Nov. 18


Comparative sentences

Communicative exercises



TR Nov. 20

Chap 8

Composing complex sentences; Conjunction “żeby” in opposition to “że

Presentations (set 2)

Describing relationships between people (family, family obligations, hopes and expectations etc.)



T Nov. 25

Chap 8

Verb “powinien





TR Nov. 27


Oral Exam



Communicative Practice



T Dec. 2


Test 3







Final Exam (date will be announced)



Other Course Information:

Details of Course Assessment and Expectations

1. Dictionaries

Some exercises in the textbook require a dictionary. You may use a Polish-English, English-Polish dictionary of your choice. 

2. Homework Assignments

Homework (written and/or oral) will be assigned nearly every class as a way of reinforcing your knowledge of the material we cover. If there is an answer key, you are expected to correct your text prior to submission. You will be graded on completion and concerted effort, not the number of errors. The homework is due next class, unless otherwise specified. 

3. Tests

We will have three in-class written tests and an exam. Each test will consist of four sections: (listening comprehension, reading comprehension, grammar and vocabulary section (controlled writing), and composition (free writing). 

4. Oral test

These will be conducted in pairs and based on role play dialogues. You will be evaluated on content, accuracy (pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency of your interaction). 

5. Quizzes

We will have regular quizzes to assure your knowledge of a portion of vocabulary or grammar. 

6. Attendance and Participation

Please keep in mind that attendance is required to ensure your success in this    course. Language acquisition is a social activity, so get to know your fellow students and instructor. You will be able to collaborate effectively, and help/ guide each other in the learning process.

Cultural Encounter

  1. watching a Polish film and writing a one-page report
  2. reading a Polish novel in translation and writing a one-page report
  3. coming to a Poland-related lecture/ performance/ event and writing a one-page report
  4. interviewing a Polish native speaker (this can be one of your relatives or friends) and writing a one-page report

Ask the instructor for other possibilities. You will present your report with the aid of visual aid (Power Point presentation).