9780131101418: Gente

For Beginning Spanish courses. Gente is the North American adaptation of the most successful text in Europe. Gente takes a task-based approach where students learn by doing. The tasks are activities that have contexts, non-linguistic and linguistic goals, and non-linguistic and linguistic outcomes. By performing the various tasks required of them, students learn Spanish in a fast and pragmatic way and are able to express themselves in real-world contexts and solve real-world problems.

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From the Back Cover:

Exciting • New • Task-based • Fresh • Real-world • Proven

GENTE's meaningful, interesting, task-based activities motivate students to initiate and participate in communication as they learn to speak Spanish in an efficient, proven, and pragmatic way. Based on a widely-used text from Spain, this version of GENTS makes some very successful European language-learning methods available to North American classrooms.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Adapted from a highly successful, Spanish-as-a-foreign-language series produced in Spain, Gente is a truly task-based, communicative program for students in first-year Spanish courses at colleges and universities in North America. With Gente, students learn Spanish in an efficient and pragmatic way, developing an ability to express themselves in real contexts and solve real problems. To a degree unmatched by other textbook programs available in North America, Gente provides a rich set of resources through which students can learn by doing!

The North American version of Gente is based solidly on the Spanish edition, respecting its approach, following its teaching philosophy, and sharing its content and many of its activities. The changes and additions made for this version are intended to reflect the unique language-learning expectations of North American students and instructors. Much cultural material has been added, so that the text now provides a wide-ranging perspective on Hispanic culture throughout the world. The grammar sequence has been altered slightly, and additional grammar explanations and practice are provided on an interactive tutorial CD-ROM that is available as a supplement to the text. Finally, the North American version of Gente provides more explicit guidance on reading, writing, and Internet-based research than its Spanish counterpart.

Learnmg by Doing—The Task-Based Approach

Gente is defined by its unique, task-based approach. In language teaching, a task is defined as a real-world, communicative act that has non-linguistic goals and outcomes as well as linguistic ones. In a well-designed task, students are placed in a real-world context and required to focus on reaching a specified non-linguistic goal—planning a party, selecting a gift, creating the marketing and advertising campaign for a new company, or interviewing a famous singer. While a given task will naturally lead students to use certain predictable words and phrases, a genuine task does not have a restrictive focus on a single grammatical structure. Instead, students are encouraged to use those structures that they find useful in completing the task—a reflection of the fact that real-world communication normally involves multiple linguistic skills. Students work cooperatively to complete each task, generally creating an oral or written text that reflects the decisions, actions, and learning of the group.

What are the benefits of the task-based approach to language teaching? First, students are motivated and engaged. Tasks are designed so that students will want to make active use of Spanish in the language classroom. Second, tasks closely simulate the real-world use of language. Students grasp linguistic structures as they negotiate meaning in visual, social, and linguistic contexts that resemble those they will encounter when they speak Spanish outside the language classroom. Finally, students gain confidence as they successfully complete the tasks assigned. By achieving the specified non-linguistic goal, they acquire a sense of accomplishment at having actually done something with the language they are learning.

Features of the program

Consistent learning sequence. In Gente, the learning sequence—from input to guided output to tasks—is consistent throughout all chapters. The chapter-opening, two-page spread activates the learners' previous knowledge and is followed by a series of input-oriented activities (Contextos). The next section focuses on grammatical structures and conversational resources, providing learners with the tools they need to express themselves (Formas y recursos). Learners then bring it all together as they work on the tasks—the culminating activity for each chapter (Tareas). While culture infuses all aspects of the learning sequence, it is the main focus of the sections that round out each chapter (Contactos and Mi gente).

Classroom manual. The Gente student textbook has been designed around a single overarching goal: to provide resources for use in a dynamic, communicatively oriented classroom. It is a classroom manual built entirely around a series of activities and tasks that require student collaboration and communication. Its relative brevity is a reflection of the fact that materials designed for use outside the classroom are delivered in other components of the Gente program.

Short chapters. Gente has 22 short chapters, a unique structure which serves to motivate students and give them a sense of accomplishment. Each chapter contains ample activities for instructors to select from and for students to practice different and varied communicative functions, grammatical structures, and vocabulary.

Meaningful activities. In addition to the tasks that are the focal point of each chapter, Gente also offers many additional activities that practice specific vocabulary items and linguistic structures. All of these activities are designed to focus students' attention on meaning rather than form. Interesting, motivating topics and situations related to the theme of each chapter frame the tasks and keep students focused.

Three points of grammar support. Gente's unique approach to grammar allows students to master essential structures while ensuring that valuable class time is devoted to meaningful, communicative use of the target language. The Student Grammar CD-ROM, a tutorial resource designed for use prior to class, allows students to watch an instructor explain the grammar, then to practice the forms and pronunciation of the chapter—and get immediate feedback on their work. In-text grammar boxes remind students of what they studied prior to class and serve as a quick in-class reference while they do activities and tasks. Finally, the Activities Manual contains a "consultorio lingüístico," a grammar guide written from a notional-functional, discourse point of view, which provides students with a deeper understanding of the structures they have learned and practiced before and during class.

Flexible treatment of culture. Cultural topics are featured in two different sections of each chapter. The Contactos section provides students an opportunity for in-depth exploration of a cultural topic related to the chapter theme, while the Mi gente section offers practice in reading, writing, and Internet-based research, all focused on one or more is regions or countries.

Process approach to skill-building. All of the reading, writing, and research activities in each Mi gente section feature a process approach, giving the student guidance before, during, and after each assigned activity.

Unique art. The unique art and layout of Gente are designed to motivate student learning while conveying a fresh sense of manic visual culture. The artists Ángel Viola and Pere Virgili are well-known in Spain for their avant-garde style and their ability to represent and create engaging situations.

Detailed Teacher's Notes. The Annotated Instructor's Edition contains detailed background information and suggestions on teaching with the Gente program. Because Gente is somewhat different in its approach, unusually thorough explanations have been provided to help instructors understand and implement r the task-based approach and facilitate successful classroom experiences. All annotations are in Spanish, so that the instructor has the actual language needed to give directions or examples.

Program components

FOR THE STUDENT

Gente Student Text

Student Grammar CD-ROM. This unique tutorial component of the Gente program offers students a chance to learn and practice grammar interactively, outside of class. An instructional video on the CD-ROM delivers detailed grammar explanations and examples for over 50 grammatical structures. Practice activities follow each explanation. The Student Grammar CD-ROM provides students with the linguistic tools that are needed for the next day of class.

Activities Manual. The Gente Activities Manual offers further practice of each chapter's vocabulary, culture, and grammatical structures through form-based exercises including sentence-building activities, completion exercises, fill-ins, and realia-based activities. All four skills are developed in a series of interesting and personalized activities that ask students to draw on each chapter's vocabulary, grammatical structures, and theme. The Consultorio lingüístico gives students yet another pedagogical support as they do their homework. Finally, additional activities encourage students to make connections and comparisons with the Hispanic world.

Activities Manual Answer Key. A separate Answer Key to the manual activities is available for instructors who want students to check their own work.

In-Text Audio. The In-text Audio component consists of the recordings that accompany activities in the student text. This audio material is available both on CD and on the Gente Companion Website.

Activities Manual Audio Program. The Activities Manual Audio Program contains recordings needed to complete the listening comprehension activities in the Activities Manual. A variety of comprehension-check and information-processing activities follow each listening passage. This audio material is available both on CD and on the Gente Companion Website.

Student Video CD-ROM. The Gente de la calle video is available to students in CD-ROM format. Each video clip is accompanied by a series of self-correcting comprehension activities.

Gente que lee. This accessible supplemental reader is half novel, half comic strip. It was designed so that beginning students could un...

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