Somos Vecinos / Edition 1

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Overview

Exploring Latino culture in the U.S., this book will enable learners to acquire not only a knowledge of the linguistic features of Spanish language, but also an understanding and appreciation of the people who speak it. Nine chapters give readers the opportunity to learn about and listen to Latinos—through interviews, short stories, cultural selections, and DVD video, acquire the vocabulary needed to discuss cultural themes, and communicate with Latinos—via actual or simulated interviews and e-mail—about the topics presented in a particular chapter. For individuals and Spanish speakers interested in the Latino culture throughout the United States.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130179265
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 7.71 (w) x 9.84 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven Halter is a Staff Software Engineer for IBM Software Systems Division in Rochester, MN, and was a member of the SanFrancisco Performance Group. He was worked extensively in the areas of object persistence and object infrastructures. Steven Jay Munroe is a Senior Software Engineer for IBM Software Systems Division in Rochester, MN, and was a member of the SanFrancisco Performance Group. He holds seven patents.

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Read an Excerpt

Somos vecinos is based on a "new" concept: that to function in the 21 st century you will need the language skills and the cultural know-how to interact with Latinos* in your daily life. Although many Latinos are second generation and speak English as their native language, others are more recently arrived from Spanish-speaking countries. In either case, they share a cultural heritage that is becoming a significant part of the United States. The image of the "melting pot" has been replaced by that of the "salad bowl" where ingredients are part of a mixture but still bear their distinguishing characteristics.

As intermediate students of Spanish, you have studied the language and cultures of Hispanic countries and begun to feel comfortable in communicating your interests, needs, and observations. As members of the world community, you have no doubt witnessed the rise in population of Hispanic Americans in the United States. Like most Americans, you probably enjoy eating tacos, enchiladas, and flan, and are familiar with the merengues of Mark Anthony, the acting of Salma Hayek, and the batting average of Sammy Sosa. Nevertheless, no matter how visible these stars are in the media, it is highly unlikely that you will be speaking with any of them personally. What is inevitable, however, is that you will have direct contact with members of the growing Latino population not only in your school but in your career as well. We invite you to learn more about these individuals (and yourself, too) as you meet them in Somos uecinos.

The core of the text is a series of interviews with Latinos from different parts of the United States like those who can be found in your own community. Although these people are not famous individuals, we found that they have interesting stories to tell. They speak about their reasons for coming to the United States, how being bilingual has affected them, what their goals are for the future, and how they're happy to be part of the United States.

You will read cultural selections that reflect such timely topics as Spanglish, recertification of Latino professionals, celebrating a bicultural Thanksgiving, and preventing school dropouts. There are also literary readings by a new crop of Latino authors who speak about growing up in a bicultural environment. We hope to dispel some of the stereotypes that people in the United States hold toward Latinos and their culture.

You will find that Somos vecinos displays a unique approach toward vocabulary and grammar since both are based on the biographical sketches and commentary of the individuals interviewed in each chapter. In both sections, there is a view toward practicality. Lists of vocabulary relate to the theme of the chapter but also furnish you with the "tools" needed to discuss the topics at hand. Activities for the vocabulary section range from those in which you fill in one or two words to those that are more open-ended. The vocabulary will help you understand the reading sections, and hopefully enjoy them, and will give you the tools that you need to express yourself in discussions, writing, and role play activities.

For your convenience, there are concise grammar explanations in English in every chapter along with examples that illustrate each of the primary grammar structures presented. They are followed by exercises that will help you to assess your mastery of the structures. If you need more detailed explanations and additional practice of the primary grammar structures, you will find them in the workbook. A review of several secondary grammar structures is also included in the workbook along with practice exercises. In chapter two, for example, the main grammar structure in the textbook provides an overview of narrating in the past using the preterite and imperfect tenses, while the workbook introduces additional practice exercises with a more detailed explanation of the tenses including how to form regular and irregular preterites and imperfects.

One of the most exciting features of Somos vecinos is the auditory comprehension sections and the virtual interview that offer you an opportunity to see and hear Latinos talking about themselves, their lives, their jobs, hobbies, interests and opinions. The CDROM contains these two components for each of the text's six chapters: 1) the auditory comprehension activity meant for use and discussion in class; and 2) a "virtual interview," which is offered to you as an alternative to a live interview. Like those interviewed in the text, the Latinos on the videos are not famous people, but represent a wide variety of ages and experiences in the United States as well as a broad range of national origins. These people are not reading scripts, but speaking spontaneously. Although they often address you directly and generally speak at a deliberate pace, you should expect them to occasionally pause and repeat phrases as we all do in normal conversation. This may come as a bit of a surprise to you if you are not used to hearing authentic speech, but you will soon become accustomed to it and find that it is helping you understand native speakers in your face-to-face conversations. To offer you further help in using the Entrevistas Virtuales, we have included a guide to each in the corresponding chapter of the workbook. These include comprehension check questions and a directed writing activity.

Among the Latinos you meet on the CD-ROM are: a Cuban-American grandmother who came to the United States over thirty years ago and recalls for us the excitement she felt the first time she saw snow; two young Guatemalan-American construction workers who speak with great pride and eloquence about their work here and their arduous journey through Mexico; and, a four year old Cuban-American girl who talks about playing with her toys and speaking Spanish.

To help you in working with Somos vecinos, the following is a list of the sections of the text and a brief explanation of their content.

Chapter Outline

Primer encuentro consists of a reading intended to introduce you to the theme of the chapter. The selection is followed by check questions, small group discussion questions, and a process writing assignment.

Vocabulario esencial begins with a list of important words and phrases related to the theme of the chapter. Vocabulary lists are followed by activities (Practica), intended for both oral and written practice, that will help you to process the vocabulary found in the reading and to use these words in the discussion, writing, and role play sections. Activities range from highly structured to open-ended and communicative practice.

Cultura will acquaint you with some important issues in the bicultural world. Selections are taken from newspapers articles found on the Internet. Each section begins with a reading strategy to help you understand an actual article intended to be read by native speakers of Spanish. After the cultural reading are content questions (Comprension) and questions for further discussion (Discusion).

A conocer consists of readings based on individual interviews of 3-4 Latinos. These provide the content for both the grammar and the communicative activities of the chapter. A presentar provides some background about the individuals presented in the chapter. As a prereading activity you will be asked to make predictions about what you will read. A conocer contains the actual reading passages or interviews. Each interview is followed by Comprension, post-reading questions that serve to check content. Discusion allows leads you to develop listening/speaking skills while exploring your feelings and opinions of what you have read. A repasar occurs at the end of the set of interviews and invites you to synthesize the information found in the chapter and engage in discussion of general themes. Whenever possible, you will be asked to consider your own experiences/feelings and to make inferences about how it would feel to be a Latino in the North American culture. For some questions in this section you will search the Internet to gather information needed to complete a task.

Estructura includes grammar explanations and examples illustrate each of the primary grammar structures presented. They are followed by exercises (Practica). If you need more detailed explanations and additional practice of the primary grammar structures, you can find these in the workbook. A review of several secondary grammar structures is also included in the workbook along with practice exercises. In chapter three, for example, the main grammar structure in the textbook provides an overview of the subjunctive mood, while the workbook provides a more detailed explanation of the subjunctive as well as a review of future/ conditional.

A escribir is designed as the main process writing activities. You will begin by brainstorming, filling in charts or making lists and then use the information gathered in these activities to answer questions that lead them to a coherent writing sample.

Que haria Ud is designed to give you an opportunity to place yourself in a situation similar to one experienced by Hispanics interviewed in the text. This part of the chapter features oral exercises. You will be able to recycle familiar vocabulary and apply it in a new role-play context.

Comprension auditiva offers you a chance to improve your listening skills.

Antes de ver el video is similar to the pre-reading section and gives you an opportunity to discuss the topic to be presented in the video and to relate that topic to your own life. Primera proyeccion—Comprension is a set of multiple choice comprehension check questions. Segunda proyeccion—Comprension is a second set of slightly more ambitious comprehension check questions. Consideraciones is a communicative activity in which students discuss the video and related themes.

Lectura includes an authentic literary reading that reflects the chapter's theme. Prior to reading the chapter, you will read a brief sketch that describes the author and his/her works. This section begins with Antes de leer, which provides you with some knowledge of what will follow and as a tool. New or difficult words from the readings that are not considered active vocabulary are glossed as footnotes on the page where they occur in the text. The literary text is followed by Comprension, Discusion, and Composicion.

Entrevista encourages you to engage one of the members of the Hispanic community in an actual interview. Where this type of interview is not possible or practical, you should use the Entrevista virtual included on the CD-ROM that accompanies the text. In the preliminary section of the text, you will be instructed on how to conduct an interview so that you can gain the maximum amount of information. There is also a guide to each of the Entrevistas virtuales in the corresponding chapter of the workbook.

We hope that you will enjoy this new look at Hispanic culture; that the text will provide you with the skills that you need to interact both at work and at home in the community; that you will finish your Spanish class with the knowledge that si, somos vecinos.

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Table of Contents

1. Los académicos.

2. Los de la tercera edad.

3. Los jóvenes.

4. Los artistas.

5. Los empleados.

6. Los profesionales.

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Preface

Somos vecinos is based on a "new" concept: that to function in the 21 st century you will need the language skills and the cultural know-how to interact with Latinos* in your daily life. Although many Latinos are second generation and speak English as their native language, others are more recently arrived from Spanish-speaking countries. In either case, they share a cultural heritage that is becoming a significant part of the United States. The image of the "melting pot" has been replaced by that of the "salad bowl" where ingredients are part of a mixture but still bear their distinguishing characteristics.

As intermediate students of Spanish, you have studied the language and cultures of Hispanic countries and begun to feel comfortable in communicating your interests, needs, and observations. As members of the world community, you have no doubt witnessed the rise in population of Hispanic Americans in the United States. Like most Americans, you probably enjoy eating tacos, enchiladas, and flan, and are familiar with the merengues of Mark Anthony, the acting of Salma Hayek, and the batting average of Sammy Sosa. Nevertheless, no matter how visible these stars are in the media, it is highly unlikely that you will be speaking with any of them personally. What is inevitable, however, is that you will have direct contact with members of the growing Latino population not only in your school but in your career as well. We invite you to learn more about these individuals (and yourself, too) as you meet them in Somos uecinos.

The core of the text is a series of interviews with Latinos from different parts of the United States like those who can be found in your own community. Although these people are not famous individuals, we found that they have interesting stories to tell. They speak about their reasons for coming to the United States, how being bilingual has affected them, what their goals are for the future, and how they're happy to be part of the United States.

You will read cultural selections that reflect such timely topics as Spanglish, recertification of Latino professionals, celebrating a bicultural Thanksgiving, and preventing school dropouts. There are also literary readings by a new crop of Latino authors who speak about growing up in a bicultural environment. We hope to dispel some of the stereotypes that people in the United States hold toward Latinos and their culture.

You will find that Somos vecinos displays a unique approach toward vocabulary and grammar since both are based on the biographical sketches and commentary of the individuals interviewed in each chapter. In both sections, there is a view toward practicality. Lists of vocabulary relate to the theme of the chapter but also furnish you with the "tools" needed to discuss the topics at hand. Activities for the vocabulary section range from those in which you fill in one or two words to those that are more open-ended. The vocabulary will help you understand the reading sections, and hopefully enjoy them, and will give you the tools that you need to express yourself in discussions, writing, and role play activities.

For your convenience, there are concise grammar explanations in English in every chapter along with examples that illustrate each of the primary grammar structures presented. They are followed by exercises that will help you to assess your mastery of the structures. If you need more detailed explanations and additional practice of the primary grammar structures, you will find them in the workbook. A review of several secondary grammar structures is also included in the workbook along with practice exercises. In chapter two, for example, the main grammar structure in the textbook provides an overview of narrating in the past using the preterite and imperfect tenses, while the workbook introduces additional practice exercises with a more detailed explanation of the tenses including how to form regular and irregular preterites and imperfects.

One of the most exciting features of Somos vecinos is the auditory comprehension sections and the virtual interview that offer you an opportunity to see and hear Latinos talking about themselves, their lives, their jobs, hobbies, interests and opinions. The CDROM contains these two components for each of the text's six chapters: 1) the auditory comprehension activity meant for use and discussion in class; and 2) a "virtual interview," which is offered to you as an alternative to a live interview. Like those interviewed in the text, the Latinos on the videos are not famous people, but represent a wide variety of ages and experiences in the United States as well as a broad range of national origins. These people are not reading scripts, but speaking spontaneously. Although they often address you directly and generally speak at a deliberate pace, you should expect them to occasionally pause and repeat phrases as we all do in normal conversation. This may come as a bit of a surprise to you if you are not used to hearing authentic speech, but you will soon become accustomed to it and find that it is helping you understand native speakers in your face-to-face conversations. To offer you further help in using the Entrevistas Virtuales, we have included a guide to each in the corresponding chapter of the workbook. These include comprehension check questions and a directed writing activity.

Among the Latinos you meet on the CD-ROM are: a Cuban-American grandmother who came to the United States over thirty years ago and recalls for us the excitement she felt the first time she saw snow; two young Guatemalan-American construction workers who speak with great pride and eloquence about their work here and their arduous journey through Mexico; and, a four year old Cuban-American girl who talks about playing with her toys and speaking Spanish.

To help you in working with Somos vecinos, the following is a list of the sections of the text and a brief explanation of their content.

Chapter Outline

Primer encuentro consists of a reading intended to introduce you to the theme of the chapter. The selection is followed by check questions, small group discussion questions, and a process writing assignment.

Vocabulario esencial begins with a list of important words and phrases related to the theme of the chapter. Vocabulary lists are followed by activities ( Practica ), intended for both oral and written practice, that will help you to process the vocabulary found in the reading and to use these words in the discussion, writing, and role play sections. Activities range from highly structured to open-ended and communicative practice.

Cultura will acquaint you with some important issues in the bicultural world. Selections are taken from newspapers articles found on the Internet. Each section begins with a reading strategy to help you understand an actual article intended to be read by native speakers of Spanish. After the cultural reading are content questions ( Comprension ) and questions for further discussion ( Discusion ).

A conocer consists of readings based on individual interviews of 3-4 Latinos. These provide the content for both the grammar and the communicative activities of the chapter. A presentar provides some background about the individuals presented in the chapter. As a prereading activity you will be asked to make predictions about what you will read. A conocer contains the actual reading passages or interviews. Each interview is followed by Comprension, post-reading questions that serve to check content. Discusion allows leads you to develop listening/speaking skills while exploring your feelings and opinions of what you have read. A repasar occurs at the end of the set of interviews and invites you to synthesize the information found in the chapter and engage in discussion of general themes. Whenever possible, you will be asked to consider your own experiences/feelings and to make inferences about how it would feel to be a Latino in the North American culture. For some questions in this section you will search the Internet to gather information needed to complete a task.

Estructura includes grammar explanations and examples illustrate each of the primary grammar structures presented. They are followed by exercises ( Practica ). If you need more detailed explanations and additional practice of the primary grammar structures, you can find these in the workbook. A review of several secondary grammar structures is also included in the workbook along with practice exercises. In chapter three, for example, the main grammar structure in the textbook provides an overview of the subjunctive mood, while the workbook provides a more detailed explanation of the subjunctive as well as a review of future/ conditional.

A escribir is designed as the main process writing activities. You will begin by brainstorming, filling in charts or making lists and then use the information gathered in these activities to answer questions that lead them to a coherent writing sample.

Que haria Ud is designed to give you an opportunity to place yourself in a situation similar to one experienced by Hispanics interviewed in the text. This part of the chapter features oral exercises. You will be able to recycle familiar vocabulary and apply it in a new role-play context.

Comprension auditiva offers you a chance to improve your listening skills.

Antes de ver el video is similar to the pre-reading section and gives you an opportunity to discuss the topic to be presented in the video and to relate that topic to your own life. Primera proyeccion—Comprension is a set of multiple choice comprehension check questions. Segunda proyeccion—Comprension is a second set of slightly more ambitious comprehension check questions. Consideraciones is a communicative activity in which students discuss the video and related themes.

Lectura includes an authentic literary reading that reflects the chapter's theme. Prior to reading the chapter, you will read a brief sketch that describes the author and his/her works. This section begins with Antes de leer, which provides you with some knowledge of what will follow and as a tool. New or difficult words from the readings that are not considered active vocabulary are glossed as footnotes on the page where they occur in the text. The literary text is followed by Comprension, Discusion, and Composicion.

Entrevista encourages you to engage one of the members of the Hispanic community in an actual interview. Where this type of interview is not possible or practical, you should use the Entrevista virtual included on the CD-ROM that accompanies the text. In the preliminary section of the text, you will be instructed on how to conduct an interview so that you can gain the maximum amount of information. There is also a guide to each of the Entrevistas virtuales in the corresponding chapter of the workbook.

We hope that you will enjoy this new look at Hispanic culture; that the text will provide you with the skills that you need to interact both at work and at home in the community; that you will finish your Spanish class with the knowledge that si, somos vecinos.

Read More Show Less

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