Trayectos 1: Mi vida en la universidad 1
Gabriela C. Zapata, Nottingham, England
Copyright Year: 2021
Conditions of Use
This text covers many of the vocabulary and grammar topics expected to be seen in a first semester beginning Spanish course. There are a few important omissions though including focus on forms and usage of the verb estar (to be), the verb ir (to... read more
This text covers many of the vocabulary and grammar topics expected to be seen in a first semester beginning Spanish course. There are a few important omissions though including focus on forms and usage of the verb estar (to be), the verb ir (to go), contrasting usage of the verbs ser and estar, and stem-changing verbs. These are topics that would typically be covered in a first semester Spanish college course. There is a good amount of cultural material integrated into every module along with related videos, songs, and other pertinent realia with which students can engage and explore more about Spanish speaking communities.
The text does not include a Spanish/English glossary. Although the Table of Contents is thorough, the actual text topics for the student are not easily found or set apart in any way from sections on framework, organization of the text, etc. I believe students would benefit if these were highlighted or set apart in some way, as well as the inclusion of a glossary and appendices for grammatical terms, verb conjugation tables, etc. There is extensive pedagogical material/guidance for instructors as to how the text should best be approached.
Overall, the grammatical and vocabulary content is accurate. I did notice a spelling or typographical error early on in a vocabulary section. There is a link for reviewers to suggest an edit to the book record.
The content is certainly up-to-date and especially relevant for college students engaged in typical university life. There are cultural sections that focus specifically on student life and Hispanic communities in the state of Texas, but perhaps these could be adapted by instructors for students based on their location.
The text and explanations are clear, thorough and accessible, although they could at times be broken down into multiple points. They do anticipate many typical learner's questions.
The text is consistent from module to module as far as organization and framework.
Grammar explanations are thorough but there are some large blocks of text that could be broken down into smaller chunks or points so as to be more accessible to learners. Also, providing additional vocabulary and expressions in the form of lists or tables in lieu of chunks of text or paragraphs would be easier to process for learners.
The text does flow well and follows a logical pattern throughout. Section headings could be more dynamic and pronounced.
The text is available on PDF and hard copy. There are no apparent navigational issues. Photos/images and charts are clearly presented overall, though some graphics are difficult to read (see p.67/95 of PDF for example). There are numerous links provided within the PDF to related audio and video clips. These links are functioning, though from one link, students must continue to click on a number of additional links from page to page in order to access all related material. Some of the linked videos are not of the best quality as far as the audio.
No grammatical errors are apparent.
This text is definitely inclusive as far as representation of the variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds of Spanish speakers. Examples of this can be seen throughout the text and in cultural sections. Regional linguistic differences are highlighted and learners are encouraged to explore these.
I would consider this text for in-person classes, but there would be a need for supplementary vocabulary and grammar exercises as well as in-class communicative activities.
Table of Contents
- Publishing & Licensing Information
- Table of Contents
- About the Project
- Program Features
- Theoretical and Pedagogical Framework
- Module Components and Organization
- Módulo introductorio: Interacciones
- Módulo 1: Somos estudiantes universitarios
- Módulo 2: Mi vida fuera de la universidad: Mi familia
- Módulo 3: Mi vida fuera de la universidad: Mi hogra
About the Book
Trayectos is an open curriculum for beginning second language (L2) learners of Spanish. The textbook offers the following features to L2 Spanish students and instructors:
- Learner-centered fresh, multimodal content, based on Learning by Design, a pedagogy inspired by the Multiliteracies movement (Kalantzis et al., 2005, 2016, 2019; Zapata, 2022). The four modules in Volume I connect the life worlds of learners with the life worlds of diverse Spanish speakers.
- Instruction incorporating the following features:
- Multimodal texts (e.g., readings, videos, posters) based on a variety of textual genres that contextualize topics about the lives of real university students;
- Communicative activities that bind language form to cultural meaning within real-life contexts, and offer students opportunities to discover how to use new Spanish vocabulary and grammar in diverse sociocultural situations;
- Critical thinking and language awareness tasks that showcase different varieties of Spanish, including those spoken in the United States, and help learners explore the Spanish-speaking world, including local Hispanic/Latinx communities; and
- Culminating tasks that oblige learners to synthesize their new linguistic and cultural knowledge into a personal, multimodal text.
- Supplementary digital resources that provide students with opportunities to practice the content learned through self-correcting activities (Práctica individual) and to use Spanish to broaden their knowledge of and critically analyze issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Spanish-speaking world (Voces de nuestro mundo; available at http://bit.ly/VocesMundo).
- An open copyright license (Creative Commons license) that gives all users the right to adapt the textbook and to share their new content with others, and digital how-to sections for instructors to answer their students’ unique needs.
About the Contributors
Gabriela C. Zapata, School of Education, University of Nottingham