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Perhaps no other story is as compelling, as universal, or conveys as much about a culture as does a legend. In this widely used reader, the second edition of Leyendas del mundo hispano offers 12 Hispanic legends from Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia¿ Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico, New Mexico (U.S.), Paraguay, Peru, Spain, and Uruguay. Abundant pre- and post-reading activities accompany each story and help students improve their reading, writing, and speaking skills. Highlights to the new edition
Since legends are an inherently aural medium, an audio CD has been created that contains a spoken version of each legend. Students can practice their listening comprehension, feel the rhythm of the language, and experience the intonation and inflection of the words. The Audio CD invites students to journey back in time and experience the legends just as they were initially experienced—in the telling for aural preservation from one generation to another. With each telling, the legends take on the particularcharacteristics of the time and the teller. One spoken version is offered for each legend.
Why legends? First, stories convey information and describe events and their consequences, which encourages us to react both intellectually and effectively. Second, stories stimulate our imagination, encouraging us to think about the possible, as well as the actual. Since the earliest times, stories have engaged us to imagine what it would be like to be someone else, thus we begin to treat others with as much respect as we would wish to be treated, as we learn more about others and ourselves. Finally, and for perhaps the most important reason, we offer these legends because everyone loves a good story. We only have to look at the success of such modern legends as Harry Potter to recognize that a fine story engages readers of all ages.
Although American students are aware of legends and myths that they have heard since childhood, they may not be aware of their purpose or may not easily associate the lessons with legends from the Spanish-speaking world. Therefore, in the second edition, we have included a preliminary chapter with a few examples to refresh a student's memory. These include Davy Crockett, Johnny Appleseed, Pocahontas, King Midas, and Gente nube, a moving story dating from the time of slavery in the U.S., and which is on the audio program. This preliminary chapter, in Spanish, sets the tone for those that follow.
The following 12 chapters present a panorama of legends from the Hispanic world. In developing these legends for learners of Spanish, we sought illustrations of the blending of cultures (Spanish, Indigenous, Mestizo, Jewish, African, Arab), the creation of new legends, and the retention of old traditions. For example, the legend of LaLlorona is known throughout the Spanish-speaking world, and the versions have a different message depending on the era and region in which they were popular. In many versions, a woman is driven to kill her children; the method may be by knife, drowning, or abandonment, but in all of them, the woman is either vilified or romanticized in her quest for revenge against men. The legend has been used to teach Christian values, to warn against crossing social classes, and/or to rearm the strength of the female figure. Her rebellion has made her the antithesis of the passive Virgin, yet most Spanish speakers will say they were warned to beware of La Llorona, who for many represents a female "bogeyman."
The themes of legends are universal, such as in La Casa de los Munecos where we see familiar questions of money, power, honor, and revenge. In the legend of Los volcanes we see the traits of fidelity and courage, which were important values in pre-Columbian culture and persist as such in modern Mexico. The story is complemented by Los Amantes de Teruel, the Spanish legend of star-crossed lovers. Los cadejos from El Salvador contrasts good and evil in a single familiar animal, the dog. An Argentine/Paraguayan legend explains the origin of yerba mate as a symbol of friendship and good will. The Paraguayan legend, El nanduti, underscores again the power of friendship while also highlighting the merit of indigenous talents. The Colombian legend, El Dorado, demonstrates the futility of the search for imagined treasure. The colonial version of La Llorona exemplifies the danger of falling in love with someone above one's station.
New to this edition is a creation myth, El mito de la creacion Inca, which offers a glimpse at the level of development of the peoples of the altaplanicie of South America before the arrival of the Spanish conquerors. We have also added three legends that represent the multicultural diversity of the Spanish-speaking world: El Abencerraje y la hermosa Jarifa is a Moorish tale that stresses the sense of honor (pundonor) so characteristic of the Spanish people. El ano que llovieron tortillas, set in New Mexico, is a Sephardic legend carried there from Spain and other Jewish communities throughout the world. Forced to flee Spain, many Jews found a safe haven in the remote areas of New Mexico and in the present-day American Southwest. Their religious practices were hidden from public eye, and often only the women in the family knew their true background and maintained the religious traditions of these Crypto Jews. Finally, La leyenda de la Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre illustrates the power of faith among the people of Cuba. We use this story as a touchstone for the rich African heritage in Cuban culture. All of these legends have an unequivocal potential for helping students develop their creativity, as well as to discover both universal and culturally unique values. Relationship to the Standards for Foreign Language Learning: Preparing for the 21st Century
The five standards proposed by the National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project (1996) are integrated into the philosophy of the text. The approach and activities develop the areas of "communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities."
In second-language instruction, legends provide a superb context to make information meaningful to learners (connections). For example, animal legends incorporate real and imaginary creatures, descriptions, and emotions; architectural legends expand descriptive vocabulary: colors, dimensions, and measurements; topographical legends help students make comparisons between their own environment and others. Legends are traditionally aural literature, the use of which encourages students to become good listeners (communication). The activities included in this text provide opportunities for students to practice the three modes of communication as outlined in the communication standard: interpersonal, interpretational and presentational. In legends we see daily routines, verbal and nonverbal communication, and ways of communicating beliefs (cultures). They embody the three "p's" of culture, perspectives, practices and products, making them perhaps the most complete example of cultural authenticity. The stories provide the context for instruction of vocabulary, syntax, and functions of language (comparisons). Finally, whenever possible, students are encouraged to go beyond the classroom to use the resources of their community and beyond to use Spanish for personal enjoyment and enrichment (communities). Each chapter has at least two activities in which students do related research through the Companion Website, http://www.prenhall.com/leyendas Audience
The Leyendas text is intended for intermediate students of Spanish. It may be used as a supplement to a grammar text or as a stand-alone text for Conversation and Composition classes. Although there is no explicit presentation of grammar, we believe that grammar is reinforced through the telling of the legends and the variety of activities. The text can also be used to provide a richer context for Hispanic civilization courses, and even Spanish Phonetics, through the use of the audio CD. Organization
Each chapter opens with the Contexto cultural, which contains information to help students situate the legend within its historical and cultural context. This section encourages students to recall their studies in other courses and to make connections to previous knowledge. Pre-reading activities refer to information in the Contexto cultural, introduce new vocabulary and concepts, and supply advance organizers and global questions for the reading. Because we believe that learners can understand much more than they can produce, we employ a variety of tenses along with preparation and redundancy to make the stories comprehensible. Low-frequency vocabulary is glossed when it is not transparent from the context of the legend and not included in the pre-reading activities.
Post-reading activities progress from convergent Comprension activities to divergent Expansion activities. Comprerision activities vary from chapter to chapter, including "Who might have said?" to "Order the events and retell the story." Expansion activities include further investigation, mini-drama, debate, and guided writing. The final chapter invites students to ask someone outside of class to relate a legend, which they must then retell to the class. Audio Program
Legends are inherently an aural medium; they are passed down from generation to generation, and with each telling take on the particular characteristics of the times and the teller. It is only logical that the users of this text should also hear the legend. We suggest that students first read the Contexto cultural and do the Preparacion activities. Then they may choose to read the legend before listening to it, or listen to the legend before reading it. Since reading and listening are very different activities, we discourage students from reading and listening simultaneously. In fact, the recorded version is more conversational, and therefore it is not identical to the written version. The Expansion activities should follow the listening. Summary of Changes in the Second Edition
We hope that you enjoy reading, hearing, and working with these legends as much as we do. May these stories pique your curiosity and spur you into investigating others of the thousands of legends connected to the Spanish-speaking world.
Capítulo preliminar: Leyendas de tu mundo (Davy Crockett, Johnny Appleseed, Pocahontas, El Rey Midas, The Cloud People).
1. El origen del Imperio Inca (Bolivia, Perú).
2. Yerba mate (Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay).
3. Los amantes de Teruel (España).
4. Los volcanes (México).
5. El Abencerraje y la hermosa Jarifa (Hispano-árabe).
6. El Dorado (Colombia).
7. La Llorona (México).
8. La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre (Cuba).
9. El ñandutí (Paraguay).
10. La casa de los muñecos (México).
11. El año que llovieron tortillas (Nuevo México: Sefardí).
12. Los cadejos (El Salvador).