Conditions of Use
It does cover all essential areas that we normally require students to learn: University, family, at home, shopping, and leisure. The selection of vocabulary is appropriate but could be more rigorous. In my opinion it is good but too general;... read more
It does cover all essential areas that we normally require students to learn: University, family, at home, shopping, and leisure. The selection of vocabulary is appropriate but could be more rigorous. In my opinion it is good but too general; could be more specific. The strong side of the book is good explanations (with examples) provided by the author when the new topic is presented. A lot of attention given to commonly used phrases, which is good.
The book is well-written. The content when presented is error-free and totally unbiased. There is a significant number of graphs that help to understand the material better than just lengthy and wordy explanations.
The context is universal, and the book will be relevant for a long period of time. The study of university activities, house chores, leisure time activities are universal at all times.
Text is written in a simple but academic language. The material is explained well, not excessively wordy but enough to present a new grammatical topic to students. All this is well supported by examples.
The whole book is well thought through; every section is presented in the same manner; the author does not experiment but rather carefully adhere to academic standards in terms of usage of the book's framework. The book cannot be called "revolutionary" but it is, perhaps good because it is reliable and dependable source of knowledge for Spanish I students.
Text is divided into sections that are perfect in size. At the same time, all these sections can re rearranged, if necessary, added or reduced after the first semester when the instructor tries the text and knows what is more important, or less.
This is a strongest part of this book. Students learn most important information first - university life, that they presumably, just started. Then they go back to their family stuff, then to their house. It is a perfect organization of the required topics.
The book is not overloaded with unnecessary number of images and charts. It is more focused on the grammar, on the vocabulary than on other external distributors that are, as a rule, useless for students.
The book does not have any grammatical errors which is important.
It could be richer in presenting a cultural component but, at the same time, this book is more grammatical, more traditional. It focuses students on language study more than just a culture.
This book is an excellent substitute for our traditional commercial book Exploraciones that is very expensive. With this book students basically cover the same material and do not need to pay for the book. Highly recommended.
Spanish I: Beginning Spanish Language and Culture by Matthew Dean (Humboldt State University) is a comprehensive introduction to the study of Spanish. It is organized in 5 thematic chapters (university, family, home, shopping, and hobbies) that... read more
Spanish I: Beginning Spanish Language and Culture by Matthew Dean (Humboldt State University) is a comprehensive introduction to the study of Spanish. It is organized in 5 thematic chapters (university, family, home, shopping, and hobbies) that offer fundamental vocabulary and grammar for the students who have never studied Spanish before. Each chapter clearly introduces the topic and provides a variety of activities for individual practice at home and interpersonal practice in class. The digital copy of the book includes audio files.
I have not found any errors. The content is accurate and cultural information unbiased.
The content of the textbook is up-to-date. The cultural information included is selected in such a way that it will not be obsolete in the near future, for example "Spanish last names", "Cultures of Mexico", "Spanish-speaking countries". In fact, there is not a lot of cultural reading sections in the book - the focus is more on vocabulary and grammar. The text is also allows the instructors to add/modify material, for example to use relevant videos.
It is written in a clear language, very accessible for the beginners. The learning objectives are clearly stated, the division of sections is consistent. The clarity of the text makes it easier to use for both instructors and students.
The textbook is consistent and provides a clear pattern to study. Each chapter/section provides explanations for each activity, so even if the instructor decides to skip some sections, it is easy to resume the lesson at whatever place.
Chapters are too long (5 chapters – each divided in 8 sections), however the instructor could easily reorganize the material, and skip some sections. The entire book is 329 pages - it is too much material for the first semester of Spanish, but the content of the textbook is not enough for the first two semesters (SPN 101 and SPN 102). The instructor should select the relevant sections that he/she can teach in SPN 101.
The learning objectives for each chapter are clearly stated and summarized, which makes the textbook is easy to use for the students and the instructors. The presentation of topics is consistent in each section. The writing exercises are included in the textbook (spaces are provided), and students can write in the book (they do not need to have an additional exercise book). The grammar explanations are easily comprehensible and followed by extensive practice activities.
I have not detected navigation problems or any distortions. The content and presentation are comprehensible and transparent.
The text provides relevant grammar, easy explanations, lots of examples, and practice activities/exercises. There is no need for the instructor to provide additional grammar practice.
There are not many sections focusing on cultural topics, however the cultural issues are present throughout the book (in all practice activities and examples). I find the content relevant. It allows the instructor to focus on linguistic aspects of language teaching, and select his/her own cultural material (for example videos).
I consider implementing this text for SPN 101. It provides ample grammar practice and detailed explanations.
The textbook covers the usual array of topics for a Spanish I course. The organization is stellar - with clear Table of Contents and ease of navigation. read more
The textbook covers the usual array of topics for a Spanish I course. The organization is stellar - with clear Table of Contents and ease of navigation.
The grammar and vocabulary topics are accurate.
The content in the text itself includes grammatical information organized into charts with narrative explanations. The exercises are easy to work with and use many contextualized fill-in-the-blank responses. Some links are provided to current articles and videos on-line. The links are excellent and relevant, but there are not many of them. The text creator promises a web site soon with many more features of this type.
Students will appreciate the very clear presentation of topics. The basic material can be enhanced with personalized videos by the individual course instructors, and/or with classroom sessions on the topics.
The text has a consistent design and framework. Each of the 5 chapters has 8 sections, There are three sets of materials for each section: PARA ESTUDIAR EN CASA, PARA PRACTICAR EN CASA, and PARA PARTICIPAR EN CLASE. It's a good resource, especially for a hybrid course.
The division into chapters and sections is well-conceived and easy to follow. The content may be a little too expansive in each chapter for an introductory level course. I would recommend instructors customize the content to suit their own course design.
The vocabulary and grammar topics integrate well with one another, and the cultural selections fit the larger themes.
The text is accessible as a pdf file with live links to some online content. There are no clickable or fillable activities, something that's appealing to students for practice activities. This text offers practice exercises, but they are necessarily in an interactive on-line format. It's a great resource to replace a classroom text or a traditional workbook.
This text is highly accurate and cleanly edited.
The general Hispanic cultural segments are good, but the representation of diverse people and cultures could be improved.
This text is a great resource that replaces a traditional text or eBook for a course. It can also be used as a workbook guide for students to submit homework assignments. This does not replace interactive material that can be completed fully on-line, but it is very useful for Spanish students wanting to have a comprehensive, accurate, and well-organized set of materials for class. The ability to modify content is appealing and makes the text more flexible. Students may opt to print a copy for a nominal fee, or they can use the free pdf file with live links to web-based content. I definitely recommend this text for Elementary Spanish!
The instructions for the activities and grammar explanations are quite long. It is better to have short and concise grammar explanations. read more
The instructions for the activities and grammar explanations are quite long. It is better to have short and concise grammar explanations.
Everything is accurate and error free.
The topics and information is relevant to Spanish language teaching.
The instructions could be accessible to students.
Good and consistent use of terminology and framework.
The chapters are too long for a beginning Spanish class.
The book uses a common and logical topics and sections.
No issues encountered
No grammatical errors.
The cultural content is inclusive for a Spanish language class.
No glossary or index but there is a table of contents and the sections are very well organized. It is easy to find what you are looking for. read more
No glossary or index but there is a table of contents and the sections are very well organized. It is easy to find what you are looking for.
Content is accurate.
The questions about the book itself and organization, titled " Sections and Parts of the chapters", is superfluous. Content in itself is timeless and even includes modern linguistic things like the use of "@" in latin@.
All grammar topics covered are explained well and can be understood easily by the professor, but students may need extra examples or a more basic explanation first.
Very consistent format.
Nice, straight forward activities with each lesson.
Organization makes sense and follows a natural progression.
Logical and plain interface.
Grammar is fine.
Good, but could use more content on Latin America. It is very Spain focused.
Overall a solid textbook with lots of workbook activities for students, I would definitely use this book and supplement it with videos, conversation, readings, etc. A great guide with brief explanations/lessons for a variety of basic topics. Other Spanish textbooks are more immersive and have instructions for activities in Spanish, whereas this is a very English heavy textbook. The lack of images is understandable but makes the book less visually exciting.
This book does a great job at covering vocabulary and grammatical structures for a beginner level Spanish course. However, the preterite and mandatos sections near the end of the book are often taught in higher level courses. There is no index or... read more
This book does a great job at covering vocabulary and grammatical structures for a beginner level Spanish course. However, the preterite and mandatos sections near the end of the book are often taught in higher level courses. There is no index or glossary. I would recommend adding one so students can quickly search for a topic when reviewing material. It would be ideal to have more culture, speaking, and listening activities embedded into the book.
There are a few typos throughout the book that could affect student pronunciation. Overall, the content in this book is accurate and unbiased.
The book primarily teaches vocabulary and grammar for a beginner level Spanish course. All of the information provided is necessary to begin learning Spanish, and therefore, the text will not be obsolete within a short period of time. Some of the cultural information and the assignments that use examples of key people may become obsolete over time, but those will be easy to update and won't affect the overall goal of the text.
The book is written in English. The text is clear and concise. Student level was considered when writing this book. Explanations, especially of grammar, are written at a level understandable for any college student.
The book is well designed. An explanation of the book's layout is provided at the beginning and that layout remains consistent throughout the text. After completing the first lesson and chapter, students will easily know what to expect and how to proceed in the course.
Each chapter is broken down into eight sections. The author did an excellent job using subheadings to divide the material. It would be easy for an instructor to assign certain sections from the text so that it aligns with his/her learning objectives and course material.
The organization of this text is quite impressive! There are five chapters that are broken down into eight sections. The sections are further broken down by sections titled "to study at home, practice at home, and practice in class". The material flows easily from section to section, building off of each other until the culmination of a chapter. The capstone project at the end of each chapter is ideal to assess students on the material.
The PDF is easy to open and the presentation is not distraction. The table of contents has links that take you to the beginning of each chapter. There were numerous audio recordings that did not work for me. However, links to outside materials worked fine.
No grammatical errors were noted.
None of the grammar is culturally insensitive or offensive. That said, there is not a lot of culture in the text. It would have been nice to see more images as well as incorporating culture into the grammar sections. I believe some of the articles in Spanish that are used in the cultural sections are more advanced than beginner level and would be difficult for them to read/comprehend.
The author did an outstanding job creating this text. It is organized and easy to follow. The grammar explanations are concise and the assignments build in difficulty. It is lacking in some areas, such as culture and listening/speaking type activities, but it would be easy for an instructor to add additional resources in these areas to ensure students are learning all language skills.
The textbook is very well organized and divided into 5 clear units. The opening page of each unit explicitly states the learning objectives. However, there is no general overview of the grammar topics given at the beginning of the text (in the... read more
The textbook is very well organized and divided into 5 clear units. The opening page of each unit explicitly states the learning objectives. However, there is no general overview of the grammar topics given at the beginning of the text (in the index). Rather, they are spread throughout the text and require the need to flip through the various chapters. The book does not have a glossary.
The content in the textbook is accurate and unbiased.
The text does not include pictures, photos, or other items that could quickly become obsolete. The culture topics and explanations of colloquialisms provided throughout the units do not refer to contemporary topics that will quickly change. The grammar content is very solid, and the activities could be used easily for several years.
The book is written very clearly from a U.S. English grammar perspective. It is accessible and will easily reinforce grammar rules as well as help students make connections between U.S. English and Spanish grammar.
This textbook is very consistent in approach. Each Unit is divided into 8 sections by learning objective. Each learning objective section is divided in the same manner, a flip class approach (Para estudiar en casa), then a practice section (Para practicar en casa), and finally an interactive production type practice for class (Para practicar en clase). This format was clear and offered the same format throughout the text.
The text is clearly divided into smaller sections within the units. It would be very possible to assign different sections. I would caution that this could be somewhat tricky because many of the production activities rely on previous knowledge of vocabulary and concepts. So, some rework would be needed if making drastic changes in the order of learning units.
This textbook does a very nice job within each learning objective to offer the students adequate explanation and practice before producing and applying the concepts in class. It is well scaffolded throughout and allows the students to build knowledge and confidence in the language as well as build up to the bigger capstone projects at the end of the units.
In the online version (PDF), some of the recordings would not work. Other links easily connected but would open in a new window causing issues in moving between the resources and the text. The subcategories listed on each unit’s opening page links directly to that section, making it very easy to maneuver the online resources. The printed version, however, does not provide access to recordings. Thus, students will have to pay close attention to both the text and online features in order to follow each unit’s skill practice.
There are a couple typos, but no errors that would impact the understanding of the content.
The text offers minimal culture. The culture topics do not use examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, or backgrounds. This may have been intentional to keep the text very generalized; however, it does a disservice of representing the rich cultural and varied ethnicities in the Spanish speaking world. There is one video which should be replaced with a more authentic representation of the cultures of the Americas. Some of the photos used in the video do not authentically represent the cultures of the Spanish speaking countries.
I feel like this text offers a nice skeletal base to use for building a course. The grammar explanations are clear and concise, and the practice activities are easy to understand. I feel like any teacher would have to infuse more lively photographs and deeper culture exploration to really make the course connect to the students.
Effective index and/or glossary was available at the beginning of each section (or unit). It may be useful to consolidate all these into one "central" index that shows everything from all sections all at once. When teaching throughout the semester... read more
Effective index and/or glossary was available at the beginning of each section (or unit). It may be useful to consolidate all these into one "central" index that shows everything from all sections all at once. When teaching throughout the semester I always want to be able to find my place at a glance if I need to give the students reference to something learned several weeks earlier. This becomes even more critical when using only screens and electronic materials. (I give a 1 for only this concept) The content is appropriate for a first level Spanish that wishes to cover only the present, beginning of the preterit, imperative and perifrastic future. (I give a 5 for only this concept.) 5+1=6 divided by 2 = 3
Some minor mistakes (spelling or typos) that can easily be corrected with a thorough proof-reading. No reason to consider bias (no examples of stereotypes or prejudiced assumptions by gender, race/ethnicity, age, sexual preference/identity, ideology, religion, etc.) From this point of view the book is almost "asceptic"; but it does not necessarily pretend to discuss any of these social constructs or sets of beliefs, therefore it is not a problem.
Yes, quite "neutral" so it can be considered "timeless."
Good explanations of grammar concepts accesible to non-grammarians or someone without extensive linguistics knowledge. This is particularly useful in the context of teaching to students educated in the US system, as my experience shows me that very few students have been taught grammatical structure in the English mother tongue.
Yes, the structure and design is well organized and consistent throughout the book.
The only problem with division by modularity in this case is how the individual instructors in different teaching centers will consider using this book. That is not a problem inherent to the book itself, but will need to be resolved by each instructor willing to consider its use. For example: the order of content is easily shuffled if the instructor prefers to do the present progressive immediately after teaching the present tense of "estar" or divide it in some other way.
The organization of the book clearly follows the logic of the author and their teaching style/experience/objectives. This is true of all textbooks; but the instructor willing to use this book needs to become familiar and enter into the logic of the author to effectively use this book. It was hard for me to judge from just the review; I had to work at it to understand the logic and render justice to this review. I would definitely need to work much much much more to adapt it for my classroom.
The audio files (for pronunciation sections) were not available to me. The newspaper article or video files linked were available without problem but did open in the same window. When it was time to "return" to the page in the book were I was studying I could only use the return arrow from my browser and it brought me to the beginning of the document, so I had to make sure I took note of my page before departing so I could jump there again. These two problems should be fixed.
The book is trying to walk a very fine line between the flipped classroom and avoid heavy grammar content (which experience tells us is "boring" to most students). However, some of the video links (for example the one on greetings) work exclusively from the English without any grammar explanation. This could be justified as a practical approach and can work effectively for students; it does leave the grammar explanation to the instructor who may choose to cover it or not at their discretion.
I give a 3 as a "neutral" value: the book is neither sensitive nor insensitive. I did not see any content directly related to any cultural images or concept that could be construed either way.
The changes this textbook needs are not major and could be easily implemented. It should be exciting to see Dr. Dean complete the rest of grammatical concepts of Spanish introduction (presumably with a second part to this text.)
The content is understandable for the students and instructors. It has clear instructions and explanations. It covers the first basic topics in grammar and vocabulary. The textbook does not have some important content such as readings, videos, and... read more
The content is understandable for the students and instructors. It has clear instructions and explanations. It covers the first basic topics in grammar and vocabulary. The textbook does not have some important content such as readings, videos, and listening activities. In addition, it lacks cultural topics.
There are a few typos that I notice but in general, the book is well written and has accurate information.
The book has some of the most important for beginners studying Spanish. However, instructors would need to add some extra resources because the book alone is not enough, especially it is needed more listening activities and topics related to current events.
The explanations are written in English. It would be helpful to have at the beginning of the book some explanation of basic grammar terms such as verbs, conjugation, and other grammar expressions. I will also add more drawings for visual learners.
The organization of the book is consistent. The vocabulary and chapters are structured clearly and all the sections have a review and a project.
The textbook is organized into 5 chapters and each one of these chapters is divided into parts that are easy to use. The table of content provides information about where to find specific information.
The book is well organized and clear. From the beginning, one can see that the book is divided into 5 chapters with 8 sections. It also follows a flipped classroom technique in which students are prepared before coming to the classroom and then they practice with the instructors during the time of the lesson.
The book is on PDF and it has some videos and listening activities. Students will require to have an internet connection to be able to use the links that the book provides. On the other hand, some of the links are not working.
It is well written and it has few typos.
The book includes some cultural information that is not culturally offensive. However, I would include more information about the various countries that speak Spanish including the United States, and their characteristics.
The book can be used correctly by adding a lot of extra resources. It requires a lot of cultural information about the Hispanic countries that can help to motivate students to learn the language. Instructors also should add a lot of visuals, videos, and listening activities because they are important for the students to be able to acquire the language.
For both teachers and students, the content, would be easy to understand. read more
For both teachers and students, the content, would be easy to understand.
There are a couple of spelling mistakes,
Grammar and Vocabulary are relevant for this level.
All instructions are in English.
Students will follow easily the format.
Yes, the textbook activities are numbered so the instructor can easily divide the content.
The topics are presented from easier to harder to understand. There are activities that help the reader review and reinforce grammar topics.
Display features don´t distract or confuse the reader. Excellent presentation.
Well done. The use of acronyms, short explanations, examples when needed will make it easier for the reader to understand and retain.
I would like to have more cultural content for my classes.
The PDF is searchable. Well done.
The book is very thorough in covering beginning topics of grammar and vocabulary. There are also very well-conceived and comprehensive student projects at the end of each chapter. However, the text is lacking in comprehensible input (readings,... read more
The book is very thorough in covering beginning topics of grammar and vocabulary. There are also very well-conceived and comprehensive student projects at the end of each chapter. However, the text is lacking in comprehensible input (readings, audio recordings, videos) and has very little cultural content. Each chapter begins with a complete list of learning objectives, but there is no glossary.
I noticed a couple of minor typos, but otherwise all of the content was accurate and error-free. I didn't detect any particular bias.
Since the book focuses on grammar and vocabulary, there isn't much content that will become obsolete quickly. There are a few exceptions, such as the inclusion of President Trump in a Chapter 1 spelling activity; mentions of Brad Pitt, Taylor Swift, and Jennifer Lawrence in Chapter 1; and a list of athletes in Chapter 5. However, these could very easily be updated.
Grammar is explained very clearly in a way that should be accessible to college undergraduates. However, the text doesn't contain any images that could be used to illustrate new vocabulary and clarify meaning. For example, pictures or drawings would be helpful to clarify a pair of dialogues in Chapter 1 in which a student is talking about him/herself in one dialogue, while in the second dialogue a professor and student are talking about someone else. As another example, images and floor plans would be helpful to identify house and furniture vocabulary in Chapter 3. In every chapter, there are activities for which students are instructed to read aloud or practice pronunciation at home, yet there aren't any recordings to provide models for students. These activities are likely to be futile for beginning Spanish learners to do at home. In Chapter 3, students are directed to 4 articles on El País, which are interesting authentic materials, but they are much too difficult to be accessible to a beginning Spanish student.
The textbook follows a highly consistent structure throughout. I noticed two inconsistencies in vocabulary (the use of both el pijama and la pijama, and the use of both la pluma and el bolígrafo), but these are very minor and could actually serve as effective examples of regional variation.
The text is especially strong in this area. There are five chapters, each of which is divided into eight sections; and each section is further divided into subsections--following a flipped-classroom model--"Para estudiar en casa," "Para practicar en casa," and "Para practicar en clase."
The text is well-organized, and topics are presented in a way that is consistent with other beginning Spanish textbooks.
There are links to videos and articles in El País that work just fine. However, there are links to audio recordings in Chapter 1 that don't work, and there are instructions in Chapter 5 to "listen to the model," but without a links to recordings. A minor annoyance is that when you follow a link to an external page and then return to the textbook, it takes you back to the first page rather than to the page you had been reading.
Other than a few minor typos, I didn't find any grammatical errors.
The text has very little cultural content, and there isn't anything that I found insensitive or offensive. At the same time, the lack of cultural content (and the lack of photographs) is a missed opportunity for the inclusion of the wide diversity of races and ethnicities that make up the Spanish-speaking world. One important exception is the cultural note in Section 1.4.b. of gender-neutral language, such as "ell@s" and "latin@os."
This textbook offers very clear explanations of beginning Spanish grammar and incorporates relevant and useful beginning vocabulary. There is a plethora of exercises and activities that move from controlled to open-ended practice, including excellent end-of-chapter projects that require synthesis of each chapter's topics. This would be an excellent text for an instructor who wishes to focus on these areas. Beyond grammar and vocabulary, an instructor would likely need to supplement the text with additional cultural materials as well as comprehensible input in the form of readings, graphics, or audio and video recordings.
In my opinion the content of Spanish I: Beginning Spanish Language and Culture covers the grammatical structures and vocabulary for the first two terms of the first year at college level. Spanish I is divided in five chapters and presents similar... read more
In my opinion the content of Spanish I: Beginning Spanish Language and Culture covers the grammatical structures and vocabulary for the first two terms of the first year at college level. Spanish I is divided in five chapters and presents similar topics to other Spanish textbooks. Each chapter has eight sections and each one has different topics, clear and concise explanations for the grammatical points and also activities to practice. Spanish I doesn’t have a vocabulary list for each section or chapter nor an index with all the topics covered along with their page number. As the text progresses there are more vocabulary words. The main table of contents lists only the theme of the five chapters and their page and there are very few images in the textbook. Also, I have been able to watch some videos, but I could not listen to the audios, despite several attempts. Finally, this book introduces very few topics from the culture of the Spanish-speaking world to first-year Spanish students.
I think that the content is accurate and I didn’t find errors. I just believe there is a confusion in Pg. 99 (To learn the present tense conjugation of the verb estar) because it mentions that only the ending for nosotros and vosotros are the same as regular - ar verbs and the other forms are irregular.
There is an activity with January 2021 that will be obsolete in a few days. Also in the video “Spanish in the world” (2013) some data is not updated, such as the number of people whose native language is Spanish. However, there are also videos that are relevant today such as the "Greetings in Spanish" (2017). The textbook Spanish I has some pertinent short cultural notes, like the one that mentions the use of the symbol “@” to express "gender-neutral version", as in nosotr@s or ell@s and the one about hugs and kisses with greetings in the Spanish-speaking world. I believe in general the content is “up-to-date”, and the materials that are going to become irrelevant can be replaced by others as time passes by the instructors.
The explanations of the grammar points, the instructions, the notes in each section are clear and concise and are in English. I believe the content of the textbook shows the author's experience as a Spanish instructor. The book follows the “flipped classroom approach”, so the practice of the grammar points in class is important to clarify any doubt.
The organization and terminology of the book are consistent across all chapters, which is an advantage for the students and the instructors. There are five chapters and every chapter is divided in eight sections. There are learning objectives for each section and each one is labeled with a letter. Each section is divided into three parts: “Para estudiar en casa”, “Para practicar en casa and “Para practicar en clase”, using the flipped classroom approach, so students learn the content and complete some activities at home, to practice later with their classmates during class time. Every section is consistent, starts with the learning objectives, an introduction, explanations, notes, the activities to practice and a self-evaluation. All the chapters and their sections have the same consistency.
As mentioned before, Spanish I is divided into five chapters and each chapter into smaller reading eight sections with different topics and grammar structures and with its own set of Learning Objectives that can help students to become more aware of their own learning process. The chapters, and the section titles in each chapter are clickable and the titles, subtitles and activities are consistent. Also each section is divided into three parts with different colors.
The topics in the Spanish I textbook are presented logically. At the beginning, some vocabulary words and grammar points are introduced to start building a good foundation to learn the Spanish language. However, I believe a list of vocabulary words for every section would help the students to follow the content more easily. More complex concepts are being introduced in the following sections.
The book is on PDF and instructors and students can download it. It requires internet to watch the videos. As I mentioned before there are symbols of audios that didn’t work for me after many attempts. There is no distortions of charts. Spanish I has very few images and doesn’t have grammar charts at the end. It would be great to have more images and grammar charts.
I didn’t see any grammatical errors.
There are many students every year that start studying Spanish and a very few continue. Many students fall in love with the Spanish language because of the linguistic varieties, the cultural topics, the history, etc. so we have a great opportunity to present some of these subjects in our classes. There are many countries where Spanish is spoken, including the United States, so we have a great variety of choices, like the use of the Spanglish in the United States. In my opinion Spanish I doesn’t present many cultural themes. In the first chapters there is an attempt with few cultural notes and some videos, but I believe it is not enough because this is a Spanish textbook.
I believe Spanish I is a good textbook to start teaching Spanish. As the author mentions instructors can always personalize the content and modify, eliminate and add material (the cultural topics, for example). Also I like the flipped classroom approach that uses the book, and the learning objectives for each section because both help students to become more responsible for their own learning. It is great that students can have this book at no cost.
The usual vocabulary topics and grammatical structures in a university-level first semester Spanish book are included, although there are also some less typical structures included in the last chapter, such as commands and past tenses (the... read more
The usual vocabulary topics and grammatical structures in a university-level first semester Spanish book are included, although there are also some less typical structures included in the last chapter, such as commands and past tenses (the preterit), that aren't usually presented until later in the language sequence. The text is a bit light on cultural material, and some chapters, such as 4 and 5, seem to have little or none. While each individual chapter has a very detailed list of the topics included, which can be clicked on, there isn't any overall table of contents at the beginning of the book, nor an index at the end. It could also be helpful for students to have a glossary with the vocabulary presented at the end, and even some grammar charts.
The content is accurate for the most part, with only a few errors, such as the misspelling of "olvidó" in 1.1.c (olividó) or a missing question mark in the dialogue in 9.8. There is sufficient inclusion of linguistic diversity from the Spanish-speaking world.
There are up-to-date references, such as an exercise with the January 2021 calendar page, and the inclusion of popular music and cultural figures, but they can be easily substituted for newer material as time goes on. The use of the 2005 article on mileuristas seemed a bit dated, and although reference is made to subsequent Spanish microcultures, I would likely substitute this for a more recent article/topic.
Explanations are straightforward and clear for the most part, but the understanding of some basic grammar terms is assumed, such as the meaning of "verb conjugation" at the very beginning in 1.1. My experience has been that there are many beginning students who are not familiar with either the term or the concept of conjugating verbs. Also, in some cases it would be helpful to provide models for the homework assignments so that it's clear what the student is being asked to do.
The same format and approach is maintained throughout the text.
The text is set up so that there are eight sections in each chapter, with the same organization that supports the flipped classroom approach throughout. It would be very easy for an instructor to customize this structure to fit his or her own course, including or excluding sections in the various chapters.
Each section of each chapter includes three very distinct sections--two for the student to do before class and one for communicative interaction in class. This appears to be a very effective organization for the flipped classroom approach.
The pdf format is text heavy, which is fine although some visuals would be welcome. Clicking on the initial table of contents for the chapters or then within the list of sections for each chapter takes one to that chapter or section, which is helpful, but it would be useful to have a link to take one back to the beginning as well. There were some links to videos that functioned well and supported the material being presented. There also were symbols and references to audio files, but these did not work, and I assume that they are still to be added.
The grammar seems fine for the most part.
While there isn't a lot of cultural material included in the text, what there is reflects cultural sensitivity for the most part, such as the discussion of gender-neutral terms in Spanish. I did find surprising the use of the term "salesgirl" in 9.8 rather than "sales clerk" or "saleswoman."
I think that this would be a very usable text for the class for which it's designed as long as the instructor is prepared to bring in more cultural material. The only real difficulty that I see relates to a second introductory course since this is set up for for the first of what is often a two-course sequence, and it would not be ideal to have to introduce a completely different text and approach in the second semester.
This textbook covers the vocabulary and grammar concepts typically covered in first-semester Spanish at the college level. The overall approach is a traditional grammar-focused one with presentation-practice-production. Each chapter presents a... read more
This textbook covers the vocabulary and grammar concepts typically covered in first-semester Spanish at the college level. The overall approach is a traditional grammar-focused one with presentation-practice-production. Each chapter presents a detailed table of contents and list of clear learning objectives. In addition to sections on vocabulary and grammar, each chapter contains sections on pronunciation/spelling and a final section focused on a cultural text (written or video) linked out to the web. There is very little focus on learning about the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world or on developing students' cultural competence. The textbook has no glossary. The main table of contents lists only the theme of each chapter but not the specific grammar concepts, vocabulary, or pronunciation topics.
The content is accurate and error-free.
The content (vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation) is relevant and will not change much. The information presented is up-to-date -- for example, there is mention of the use of -@ as a gender marker.
The presentation of content and most instructions are written in English and are clear.
The organization of the textbook, terminology, and framework used are consistent across all chapters. The textbook uses a flipped classroom approach where students learn the content at home, complete form-focused practices at home, and engage in more interactive practices during class time. Chapters 2-4 end with a final capstone project.
The textbook is organized into smaller sections that could easily be reorganized for the purposes of a specific course.
The content of the textbook is organized moving from simple to more complex grammar concepts. Each chapter is based on a theme (i.e., La casa) and vocabulary lists are presented related to that theme. Each topic is presented in English, followed by form-focused practice to be completed at home, then more interactive practice to be completed in class. The focus is on output with very little attention to input.
The interface is easy to use and navigate with some embedded audio files and links to outside sites. There is very little in terms of visual input (images, photos). Some pronunciation sections prompt students to listen to a model, but no audio files are linked.
Is well-written and virtually free of grammatical errors.
The textbook could make better use of examples, texts, and visuals that reflect a variety of backgrounds and greater diversity. This could be improved through greater emphasis on learning about the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world, through integration of texts, multimedia, and visuals, and through examples incorporated in practices and presentations. For example, the vocabulary list on holidays includes traditional Christian holidays (Christmas, Easter, etc.) but afterward asks students to look up any holidays that are relevant to them (Hanukkah, Ramadan). Perhaps these should be included in the main list.
This is a solid first-semester beginning Spanish textbook for those interested primarily in grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. Instructors will need to supplement this text with outside resources and assignments focused on developing students' proficiency in skill-building and cultural competence.
It covers most grammar and vocabulary topics (more so if it is for a quarter-based system), but it does not contain sufficient cultural material (realia, explanation, practice). (See ACTFL standards). For example, by p. 264 students should be able... read more
It covers most grammar and vocabulary topics (more so if it is for a quarter-based system), but it does not contain sufficient cultural material (realia, explanation, practice). (See ACTFL standards). For example, by p. 264 students should be able to google famous Spanish-speaking sports players and the U.S.-based list could be avoided. While there are communicative in-class activities (surveys), these are not particularly in-depth.
There's a typo on page 12. I think that, on page 132, the word "mostrador" as a translation of countertop is incorrect. "Mostrador" is usually the counter in a store (where one buys things, particularly in small stores). I think the word for countertop is encimera.
By concentrating on the basics the book will be easy to use from year to year. The Enrique Iglesias song could be swapped for another, as could the journal article. A seasoned instructor will be able to adapt it easily.
The book is clear, and the pronunciation guides and practice were excellent ("rr" p. 269, 2.2). It depends a lot on English however. I would like to see less English as the book progresses.
Yes, book is consistent.
Yes. The commands section towards the end seemed out of place and without purpose.
Yes, this works well. It recycles material, but not always in the most interesting way.
Yes, it's very simple and straightforward.
I commented above.
I don't think this book focuses enough on culture (see ACTFL standards).
I think this book would be good for a seasoned instructor who has experience developing their own materials and familiarity with the ACTFL standards. Experienced instructors with second language acquisition training can supplement the book with their own cultural materials (realia, etc.) and customize the communicative activities. This book does need supplementation in order to fulfill the ACTFL standards in communicative language and culture. I would remove the "commands" sections because it is unnecessary at this stage.
The book Spanish I is a very complete textbook. It covers the topics, vocabulary, communicative situations, grammar structures and cultural information that a student at the elementary level needs to communicate in Spanish in everyday life. I feel... read more
The book Spanish I is a very complete textbook. It covers the topics, vocabulary, communicative situations, grammar structures and cultural information that a student at the elementary level needs to communicate in Spanish in everyday life. I feel that the book covers what we usually study in the first two semesters of our Spanish sequence. The book includes an index at the beginning with the chapter titles (clickable). You need to visit each chapter to get a detailed outline of what is covered each chapter. A chart with the topics and learning outcomes in the first pages of the book or a more detailed index would provide readers with a general view of the book content from the beginning. There are some elements that stand out in this textbook compared to other Spanish textbooks. The book follows the flipped classroom approach: students have a set of assignments to do at home (sections “Para estudiar en casa” and “Para practicar en casa”) and then activities to do in class to practice what they have studied (“Para practicar en clase”). While most textbooks tend to reduce their written explanations (using videos or presentations to explain grammar and vocabulary instead), Spanish I includes lengthy ones. Because the author´s style is very accessible and he establishes connections with previously explained points, having these lengthy explanations actually helps students to assimilate the information. While most Spanish textbooks hide their strong grammatical orientation under claims of communicative approach, with Spanish I, you know from the beginning that you are studying grammar and why is necessary for you to learn it (the introduction for every section makes it clear). Spanish I includes extensive sections on pronunciation and vocabulary as well. Cultural information is mixed among explanations on vocabulary and grammar structures as cultural notes.
The content is accurate and presented in a methodical and accessible manner. The author always keeps in mind that his readers are students and novice not only in Spanish language, but also in matters of linguistic terminology and grammatical abstractions.
The content of the book is relevant. For the most part, it is written in a general way so that it will not require an update soon. On the other hand, the book includes frequent references to the local area and university that can confuse and won´t have the same identification effect in students from other institutions.
The text is clear and easy to understand. Although long, the explanations are written in a casual way that do not overwhelm students, the actual reader of the textbook. Spanish I includes many tables and charts that help presenting the information in a clear and organized way. The book does not include images or pictures that help to understand vocabulary. Images would make the text more appealing. The instructions on what students need to do are exceptionally clear.
The chapter and section´s structure is repeated and that provides consistency. Every section concludes with a self-evaluation (labeled “repaso”, review) and every chapter includes a Capstone project (a presentation, a dialogue played out, etc.) that put together all studied.
The table of contents, and the section titles in each chapter are clickable so it is easier to get to different sections of the book. The titles, subtitles and activities numbering are consistent and very helpful.
There is a clear structure that is repeated along the book. Spanish I is divided in 5 chapters and each chapter in 8 sections. The book follows the flipped classroom approach and that influences how it is organized: each section is divided in a set of assignments to do at home (“Para estudiar en casa” and “Para practicar en casa”) and then activities to do in class to practice what they have learned before (“Para practicar en clase”). With this approach, students become responsible of their own learning and class time can be spent on language practice rather than explanations on vocabulary and grammar. Several publishers seem to be transitioning to the flipped classroom approach by adding high-priced online platforms to their textbooks. Spanish I is a free alternative. The only disadvantage is that home assignments in Spanish I can´t be self-graded since it is a PDF (while home assignments in online platforms can be graded automatically saving a lot of time for instructors). It wouldn´t be too difficult for an instructor to review the answers at the beginning of class or provide the answer keys to students for self-evaluation though. The description of the book mentions that a complementary website with extra material for the textbook will be added soon. A website could provide the opportunity to create self-graded assignments to do at home.
The book is on PDF and can be downloaded or used online. It includes videos that require a connection to internet (actual links to online videos). I found a couple of symbols of audios in the book but they did not work. I assume those audios will be available in the upcoming complementary website for Spanish I. No distortions of charts. I would add some images.
There are no grammatical errors in Spanish I, only a few typos like “uno niño” (page 18) or “internationales” (page 45) that can be easily corrected in future editions.
The book includes cultural notes along the text mixed with linguistic explanations and it is not culturally insensitive or offensive. I would add more cultural information and examples of linguistic and cultural diversity in the Spanish-speaking world.
Spanish I is a good book to teach beginning level Spanish. Because it uses the flipped classroom approach, it is an excellence alternative to commercial textbooks that rely on online platforms for such flipped language teaching.
Table of Contents
- 1.En la universidad
- 2. La familia
- 3.En casa
- 4.De compras
- 5.Los pasatiempos
About the Book
This peer-reviewed textbook is designed for the true beginner with U.S. college students in mind. It contains themed chapters, which are divided into 8 sections. Each section has its own set of learning objectives, and is further separated into three types of assignments, Para estudiar en casa (with detailed explanations), Para practicar en casa (homework exercises), and Para practicar en clase (paired and group classwork activities). The explanations and primary input are written to be easily comprehensible. The individual exercises are geared towards acquisition of form and function, and the communicative classwork exercises promote interpersonal exchanges between students. The digital copy includes some embedded audio files, and we are developing a website to house many more resources.
About the Contributors
Dr. Matthew Dean grew up speaking only English. As an undergraduate, he began his exploration of Spanish, fell in love with the language and cultures, and never looked back. He began teaching Spanish at San Diego State University in 1997. Currently, he is Professor of Spanish in the Department of World Languages and Cultures at Humboldt State University. He has taught all levels of Spanish language, literature, and culture, and directed several study abroad programs. As a non-native Spanish speaker, Dr. Dean understands the struggles of the language learner. He has taught Spanish to thousands of community college and university students and invites you to start your language adventure today.