This advanced Spanish conversation book features a series of essays on a broad range of important, substantive, and interesting contemporary topics, together with vocabulary notes and explanations. A variety of exercises test readers' comprehension of the essays and encourage them to express a statement of personal opinion or interpretation about the issues raised in, or related, to the essay. Topics progress from the most easy subjects to the most abstract, and include: Costumbres alimenticias en el mundo actual. El dinero, la inflación y el desempleo. El estrés y sus consecuencias. El alcohol y las drogas. La desigualdad social entre los sexos. La destrucción del medio ambiente. Diversidad étnica y discriminación. La presencia hispana en los Estados Unidos. La revolución tecnológica. La influencia de la televisión. Consideraciones sobre la amistad. La búsqueda de la felicidad. For anyone wanting conversational practice in advanced Spanish.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Designed as a springboard to conversation, this text features a series of essays on a broad range of important, substantive, and interesting contemporary topics, together with vocabulary notes and explanations, and a variety of exercises that test students' comprehension of the essays and require them to express a statement of personal opinion or interpretation about the issues raised in or related to the essay.From the Inside Flap:
Hablando seriamente: Textos y pretextos para conversar y discutir is a textbook intended for use in third- or fourth-year Spanish conversation courses at the college level. With imaginative guidance from the instructor, classes based on this material involve students in a structured, creative effort that leads to a higher level of conversational proficiency.
This third edition of Hablando seriamente incorporates a number of important revisions. Overall, users of this book will now find that these revisions and other changes made in the text provide a more tightly structured set of materials for organizing an intermediate or advanced conversation class. The most important changes derive from the authors' desire to create more group and interactive communicative activities than were included in the first and second editions.
The two new chapters, "La presencia hispana en Estados Unidos" and "La revolución tecnológica," add important topics of current interest, as does the revised chapter, "El estrés y sus consecuencias," reintroduced from the first edition at the request of users and outside reviewers. Moreover, the chapter in the second edition called "La riqueza étnica de los Estados Unidos" has been rewritten as "Diversidad etnica y discriminación." The chapter, "La desigualdad social entre los sexos," has also undergone rewriting and factual updating. In general, all the chapters have been revised, updated and, when necessary, shortened.
Each chapter begins now with a Prelectura. It is important that this brainstorming conversational activity be done as group work in the class prior to the one in which the essay and accompanying exercises are assigned as homework. The Prelectura exercises are intended to get students talking by introducing them—through a number of simple opinion questions—to the thematic concerns reflected in the essay and to the exercises assigned for the following class. A number of Palabras útiles have been listed for each Prelectura, but the instructor will surely want to augment it by brainstorming and board work in which the students contribute further vocabulary.
To speak fluently about a subject, we need to know something about it. Therefore, the Lectura following the Prelectura in each chapter presents considerable factual information about topics of interest to most students. Following the Lectura is an Expansión de vocabulario that gives extensive explanations of the vocabulary for the Ejercicios which follow. These exercises, some tightly controlled and focused and others open-ended, improve reading comprehension, lexical expansion, vocabulary use, and the ability of students to express and defend their ideas and feelings about the issues discussed in each chapter. Finally, each chapter concludes with Tareas complementarias, four topics for discussion that may be assigned as group work for three or more students. The Tareas complementarias permit student participation that reflects their personal experience or professional goals.
Since today's college students study Spanish for many different reasons, the topics in this text cover a broad range of social, political, environmental, health, entertainment and philosophical issues of considerable importance in their lives. The Lecturas complement each other, but are nevertheless sufficiently independent to be studied as individual units.
This text presents more material than some instructors may wish or be able to include in a one-quarter or one-semester class. In such cases, we have found that students appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with the instructor in organizing the class and selecting the chapters to be studied. For example, Chapter 2, "El dinero, la inflación y el desempleo," could help economics or management majors improve their lexical proficiency in these areas of special interest. Similarly, sociology majors or future social services workers might be most interested in "La desigualdad social entre los sexos," "Diversidad étnica y discriminación," and "El alcohol y las drogas." Science majors, on the other hand, might have a preference for "La revolución tecnol6gica," "El estres y sus consecuencias," or "La destrucción del medio ambiente." Indeed, students with different interests and backgrounds can enrich class discussion of their preferred subjects.
The instructor and users of Hablando seriamente will also find some chapters—"Costumbres alimenticias en el mundo actual" and "El dinero, la inflación y el desempleo," for example—to be intellectually less complex and/or controversial than others, such as "Diversidad etnica y discriminación," "La amistad," or "La felicidad," which are philosophically more involved and incorporate a great many points of view.
The notes in the Expansión de vocabulario discuss important lexical distinctions not always made clear in dictionary entries. Words are treated in semantic categories or families, and are studied in terms of being synonyms, antonyms, cognates or false cognates of English. Approximately three-fourths of the lexical items in each chapter should be learned as active vocabulary for use in class conversation. The remaining may be considered as passive or recognition vocabulary needed to comprehend the Lectura and to answer some of the lexical exercises.
The line between active and passive vocabulary is a flexible one and should be drawn by the instructor in accordance with the abilities and specific goals of each class. Vocabulary expansion, greater aptness of expression, precision in the use of the Spanish lexicon, and avoidance of excessive interference from English are major objectives of this section. An Índice de palabras comentadas at the back of the book lists the words and expressions discussed throughout the Expansión de vocabulario sections. Nevertheless, most students will benefit from using a Spanish-English dictionary. More advanced students in the class may wish to use an all-Spanish dictionary recommended by the instructor. The Ejercicios in each chapter introduce a series of activities that reflect different levels of difficulty. Multiple-choice questions are presented first and test the student's comprehension of the Lectura. Students will find that they need to pay close attention to the wording of these questions in order to answer them correctly. The three sets of multiple-choice and fill-in questions, under the rubric La palabra adecuada, focus attention on lexical expansion and word usage. These exercises are followed by a short set of oral questions that stress the meaning of the Lectura and which can be answered by studying it and the Expansión de vocabulario.
Finally, as indicated before, the new Tareas complementarias require statements of personal opinion about, or interpretation of, an issue raised in or related to the Lectura. These questions constitute the conversational core of the textbook, and experience has shown that this is the part of the class that students enjoy most. We all love to express our own personal opinions about things that interest us. The spontaneous discussion that often develops from these questions, directed as group work, constitutes the creative interchange that is the essence of conversation. Moreover, at this stage in each chapter, students will be able to use the vocabulary and ideas previously studied to express themselves with more confidence and fluency. In this exchange of ideas, students can express their social experience and intellectual competence by discussing important adult issues rather than banalities or topics of little significance.
The success of a conversation class depends to a large extent on how well discussions in the class relate to the lives and interests of the students. Rarely a week passes without the news media informing us of an important happening or sensational event that relates to one or more of the Lectura topics. Therefore, classes can actualize and often personalize the topics under examination by relating them to current events. Instructors as well as students can enliven class discussion with magazines, newspaper clippings, and other realia related to the subjects of the day. Also, selected students can be asked to prepare one or more questions of opinion or interpretation about these related news events.
The conversation questions in this book can, of course, be modified or replaced with others that address related issues. For example, an examination of discrimination based on sex can be extended to the problem of discrimination based on religion, ethnicity or social class. The year-2000 edition of The Annual Freshman Survey of some 360,000 college stud" shows that they feel more stressed than ever before. This finding may be used as a point of departure for discussing the chapter on stress. Indeed, personal experience or special interest in or knowledge about the subjects covered in this textbook can generate questions and commentary that lead to lively discussion. Although the main objective of Hablando seriamente is to facilitate the improvement of conversational skills in Spanish, the text takes into account the need to create in college students an awareness of the social and political problems they will encounter in their personal and professional lives. Acknowledgments
To the names of those persons we thanked for their assistance in preparing the first two editions of this book—Professors Carlos Solé, University of Texas, Austin; Aurora Egido, University of Zaragoza; Matilde Castells, California State University; Adriana Bergero and Guillermo Hernández, UCLA; Dr. Antonio Morillo; and our late colleague Richard M. Reeve—we wish to add the names of two persons who made helpful suggestions for the revision of this third edition of Hablando seriamente: María Elena Francés of Los Angeles Valley College and Magdalena Sánchez-Blanco Smith. We would also like to thank the following reviewers: Theo Anne Byrnes, Community College of Southern Nevada; Richard Curry, Texas A&M University; Miguel Domínguez, California State University; Colleen Ebacher, Towson University; Vicki Ráman-Lagunas, Northeastern Illinois University; Martha Schaffer, University of San Francisco; and Dwight TenHuisen, Calvin College.
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