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Conexiones: Communicatión Y Cultura is an exciting intermediate Spanish course that features high interest topics, an effective and uniquely sequenced review of selected grammatical points, and a thorough integration of language and culture. Chapter topics reflect issues of interest and of concern to today's college and university students, providing students with many opportunities to make connections with what they're discussing in other courses.
The second edition consists of a Lección preliminar, followed by twelve Lecciones. Each of the twelve Lecciones is divided into three parts: Primera Parte, Segunda Parte, and Así Lo Expresamos.
Each Lección of the student text synthesizes the development of language skills and cultural awareness through the active use of art, music, and literature from the Spanish-speaking world. Activities are designed to foster involvement, participation, and exchange in discussion and compositions. Active, personalized, and real communication about actual issues and experiences is at the heart of Conexiones.
All components of Conexiones: Communicatión Y Cultura were created specifically for this program, and contain a wide range of text and media resources.
We trust that you will enjoy the Second Edition of Conexiones: Comunicación y cultura. The first edition of Conexiones (1999) quickly became a popular intermediate Spanish program in colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada. As authors, we are delighted with the favorable reviews, e-mails, and comments received from colleagues and students. In the preparation of the Second Edition, we have made good use of this valuable feedback. Many suggestions have been incorporated into this new edition and we are delighted to share them with you.
Conexiones, Second Edition, continues to be an exciting Intermediate Spanish course that features high-interest topics, an effective and uniquely sequenced review of selected grammatical points, and a thorough integration of language and culture. Chapter topics reflect issues of interest and concern to today's college and university students, providing students with many opportunities to make connections with topics they're discussing in other courses. Each chapter of the student text synthesizes the development of language skills and cultural awareness through the active use of art, music, and literature from the Spanish-speaking world. Activities are designed to foster involvement, participation, and exchange in discussion and compositions. Active, personalized, and real communication about actual issues and experiences is at the heart of Conexiones.
The sequence and organization of the review and presentation of Spanish grammatical structures in Conexionesis motivated by concerns expressed by instructors from around the country. The concern we share is that the grammar sequence in most Intermediate Spanish programs places verbal moods and tenses presented in the second half of introductory courses also in the second half of intermediate texts. This repetition of a first-year sequence results in students progressing to advanced levels without a thorough understanding of the indicative and subjunctive moods and without a concrete grounding in the forms and usage of certain tenses. Even worse, students who do not study beyond the intermediate level leave their typical four-semester study of Spanish with little more than first-year competence.
Conexiones offers an alternative. It begins with a preliminary Lección that reacquaints students with the Spanish they have already learned and prepares them for the transition to a higher level. Students discuss their interests and goals, and how Spanish will fit into their future. Then, Lección 1 reviews the preterit and imperfect tenses, equipping students to shift back and forth naturally between the present and the past as they speak, read, and write throughout the course. The review of the present subjunctive begins in Lección 2; students are exposed to and use the subjunctive mood alongside the indicative all through the program, refining their understanding of both the concept and usage of mood—essential to Spanish and other languages—throughout the intermediate level of study. This approach results in a classroom language environment that reflects the way in which Spanish is spoken by millions of people around the world and in which students are increasingly likely to experience it at home in the United States and Canada.
Scope and sequence. With the idea of achieving a more functional and even distribution, the following additions and changes have been made:
Lección preliminar. A new warm-up chapter helps prepare students for intermediate-level Spanish. This chapter serves as a bridge between the elementary and the intermediate levels in terms of theme (¡Hagamos conexiones!), vocabulary, and grammar.
Lección 1. As suggested by our users, we have chosen a chapter theme of storytelling, a topic that will appeal to everyone and can be easily discussed.
¡Así es la vida! Several of the chapter-opening language samples have been updated to make them more relevant to today's students.
¡Así lo decimos! Vocabulary lists have been revised and shortened.
Aplicación. We have revised, changed, and updated activities, and sequenced them to ensure that students will have an opportunity to practice forms before using them creatively. For example, the new activity, En familia, gives students the opportunity to expand their vocabulary and use it creatively.
A escuchar. Each lección now has two A escuchar listening activities to increase balance among the four skills; the A escuchar activities appear at the end of each chapter part.
Ritmos. We have included six new songs, which are thematically and grammatically related to the chapter.
Páginas. Three new literary selections have been added, and others have been edited to make them more accessible to intermediate students.
Imágenes. Two new and exciting paintings have been added.
¡A explorar! Web activities have been added to each chapter to encourage Students to further explore the topics presented in each lesson. Each lesson has five A explorar activities. Weblinks to support the ¡A explorar! activities are provided on the Conexiones Website.
Conexiones Website. The Website has been updated to include new activities and weblinks. Students may practice the vocabulary and grammar of each chapter through activities that provide instant grading. Guided Web activities offer opportunities to further explore the chapter topic and the cultural materials presented in Ritmos, Imágenes, and Páginas.
Video program. The video program has been updated to include more engaging and authentic clips from Spain and Latin America. Each videoclip addresses the theme presented in each chapter, providing authentic listening practice and a basis for class discussion. Activities based on the videoclips, along with the video transcript are included in the Video Manual.
Written entirely in Spanish with the exception of grammar review explanations, the Second Edition of Conexiones consists of a Lección preliminar, followed by twelve lecciones. Each of the twelve lecciones is divided into three parts: Primera parte, Segunda parte, and ¡Así lo expresamos! Each parte maintains the following consistent structure:
¡Así es la vida! A variety of language models (newspaper and magazine articles, interviews, dialogues, letters, illustrations, advertisements, and other types of realia) set the stage for the assimilation of communicative functions, previewing vocabulary presented and grammatical structures reviewed in the lección, and providing relevant, interesting content and cultural information. Very rich in content, ¡Así es la vida! is not merely a language sample; it is a forum where students discover new things about the world around them from a Hispanic perspective.
¡Así lo decimos! A thematically organized presentation of words and expressions follows the chapter-opening language sample. First, Vocabulario primordial provides a list of review vocabulary related to the chapter theme. These cognates and words with which students should be familiar at the second-year level are presented without English translation. Vocabulario clave then presents new words and expressions relevant to the chapter's theme, drawing heavily on ¡Así es la vida! New items are organized by part of speech and presented with their English equivalents. Finally, Ampliación provides an opportunity to learn patterns of noun, verb, and adjective formation using familiar words and new items presented immediately before. Following many of the ¡Así lo decimos! vocabulary lists, a section called ¡Cuidado! presents tricky cognates, discusses differences in usage between Spanish and English, and alerts students to false cognates and groups of words such as salvar, guardar, and ahorrar that all have a single equivalent word in English. Aplicación activities that follow the vocabulary presentation provide a global orientation to the chapter topic and give students the opportunity to use the new vocabulary in meaningful and communicative contexts. These activities have been carefully designed so that they range from guided to communicative.
Estructuras. Grammar explanations are clear and concise with examples closely related to the chapter topic, reviewing and expanding upon explanations found in introductory texts. Important points are illustrated with art and realia, and abundant practice opportunities range from contextualized and meaningful form practice to a variety of personalized and communicative exercises and activities. A special section in the accompanying Workbook reviews very basic first-year material, allowing for appropriate coverage of more complex points in the main text. Students can use this special Workbook review section on their own, or instructors can suggest specific exercises for students who may need guided review.
Comparaciones. Each lección in Conexiones highlights and explores aspects of Hispanic culture in terms of customs and traditions, history, and daily life in brief topical discussions. Students compare what they learn about Hispanic culture and civilization with their own culture in the Vamos a comparar activity. This exploration of relevant and interesting topics in the Spanish- and English-speaking worlds leads students to find similarities, differences, and most importantly, understanding and appreciation. The Comparaciones sections are written entirely in Spanish and make use of art, photographs, and realia that can serve as a point of departure for class discussion beyond what is discussed in the brief essay and Vamos a comparar activity. Finally, in the new Vamos a conversar activity, students are given guidelines in order to discuss in groups other aspects of the target topic.
A escuchar. The in-text listening sections contain recordings of language samples without in-text scripts (scripts are printed in the Annotated Instructor's Edition). Students complete listening exercises in class, in the language lab, or at home before progressing to subsequent activities. Without the crutch of a printed script, students truly practice and hone their aural comprehension skills.
A explorar, a new feature in the Second Edition directs students to the Conexiones Website where they can explore and react to cultural topics related the theme of the lección. The new five A explorar activities for each chapter are completely integrated into the chapter, they are related to the different cultural sections (Ritmos, Páginas, Imágenes), and serve to expand cultural knowledge.
¡Así lo expresamos! Each lección concludes with the ¡Así lo expresamos! section, which encompasses Ritmos, Páginas, Iádgenes and further develops listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills by engaging students with traditional and popular songs, paintings, short stories, poems, and short plays from a variety of Spanish-speaking cultures—all within a cultural framework—distinguishing the Conexiones program from similar sections in other texts.
Ritmos. The lyrics of popular and traditional songs—appropriate to the chapter's theme, vocabulary, and structures—are printed in the text and recorded by original artists from Spain and the Americas. Students are certain to enjoy this feature of Conexiones as they get a feel for the kinds of music their Spanish and Latin American counterparts might listen to. The recordings are available on a CD for instructors to play in class.
Imágenes. Each chapter includes a painting or other graphic image by a Hispanic artist. Apart from exposing students to Hispanic art and enhancing their overall experience with Spanish, the images in Imágenes serve as springboards for class discussion and compositions. Each image is accompanied by discussion questions (Perspectivas e impresiones) that ask students to express their reactions to the paintings by making creative use of the Spanish they have learned.
Páginas. Literary selections are presented with pre- and post-reading information and activities, including biographical information about the selected writers. Pre-reading activities set the stage by getting students to think about issues raised in the selection, then Estrategias de la lectura discusses strategies to develop good reading skills. Post-reading activities are designed to generate an appreciation of Hispanic literature while introducing students to basic techniques of analysis and interpretation. All readings have been selected for their relevance to students' lives and experiences as well as their reflection of the themes and topics explored in the corresponding lección.
Taller. Students are guided through the writing process as they begin to compose paragraphs, short compositions, and essays on topics that stem from the wealth of information presented and ideas explored in the chapter. A mix of process writing techniques and traditional approaches to composition make Taller an effective tool for a variety of students and instructors alike.
Conexiones: Comunicación y cultura, Second Edition is a complete Intermediate Spanish program that includes the following components:
In addition to the components for student use or use in the classroom and lab, Conexiones offers the following components especially for instructors:
Conexiones is available for purchase with or without a student audio CD that contains recordings of the A escuchar listening activities contained in each chapter. A copy of the student audio CD is included in the complete audioprogram that is provided free of charge for departmental language labs.
The organization of the Workbook parallels that of the main text and it also provides a useful review for students at any time. The Workbook offers further practice of each chapter's vocabulary and grammatical structures through form-based exercises including sentence-building activities, completion exercises, fill-ins, and realia-based activities. Reading and writing 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. Additional activities encourage students to make connections and comparisons with the Hispanic world.
The Lab Manual activities are used in conjunction with the Audioprogram recordings of listening comprehension passages. Listening strands include recordings of authentic conversations, interviews, announcements, news reports, and so on. A variety of comprehension-check and information-processing activities follow each listening passage. Answers to these activities are found at the end of the Workbook/Lab Manual.
A separate Answer Key to the workbook activities is available for instructors who want students to check their own work.
The Conexiones E-Workbook and E-Lab Manual provides interactive, electronic versions of the print Lab Manual and print workbook. The online versions, similar in content to the print versions, offer students an engaging, interactive environment for completing the Conexiones Lab Manual and Workbook activities including true-false, matching, multiple choice, fill-in-the blank, and open ended questions. Students can access the audio for the E-Lab Manual exercises via the Internet. Discrete point exercises are self-graded while open-ended questions can be e-mailed to instructors.
The Conexiones Audioprogram consists of CDs or cassettes. These include listening cassettes to accompany the Lab Manual, and the student CD or cassette containing recordings of the in-text A escuchar activities.
The Conexiones Website contains a wealth of practice and expansion exercises for students as well as a resource section for instructors. Each chapter of the Website complements its corresponding chapter of the text, and contains automatically graded exercises that practice and reinforce the vocabulary, grammar, and cultural information in each chapter. Guided Web activities help students explore authentic Spanish language Websites and further explore the cultural materials presented in each chapter. A new section of the Website, A explorar! includes link-based activities from the textbook that take the student to a wealth of Spanish-language Websites for linguistic and cultural discovery.
The Conexiones Video presents authentic clips from Spain and Latin America. For each chapter, there are two or three interesting video segments that expand on the chapter themes, providing authentic listening practice and a basis for class discussion, while further engaging students with the peoples and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world.
The NEW Conexiones Student Video CD-ROM contains the entire Conexiones video and is designed to allow students to work with the video at their own pace and complete the pre- and post-viewing activities. The Student Video CDROM gives students unlimited access to the video and allows students to move through the video easily, playing the video with or without the video script, and setting bookmarks for reference within the video. The accompanying video activities are crafted to develop listening, comprehension, and pronunciation skills.
Marginal notations in the Annotated Instructor's Edition include responses to convergent activities, teaching tips, and hints on effective classroom techniques. Additional notations include tapescripts for the A escuchar sections and notes for expanding on in-class activities.
A CD containing recordings of the songs included in the Ritmos section of each chapter.
The Instructor's Resource Manual contains sample course syllabi, suggestions for lesson plans and assignment of supplements, and guidance on integrating the Website into the course. Further sections provide information on additional audio and video resources for the instructor.
The Testing Program consists of a series of quizzes, chapter tests, and midterm and final examinations, all of which are contextualized according to the textbook's themes. Each test employs a variety of techniques and formats to evaluate students' progress and assimilation of chapter material, and, using the Computerized Testing Program, instructors can mix, match, and modify testing materials according to their needs.