Spanish I is part of a two-semester course sequence (Spanish I & II). Each course is composed by twelve thematic lessons, giving the student the opportunity for reentry and review. Each lesson contains short video components shot on-site in Guadalajara, Mexico to contextualize the material which cover a variety of topics including Introductions and Greetings, Physical and Personality Descriptions, Popular Hobbies, School and Studies, Food and Restaurants, and Home and Family. The beginning of each lesson is a set sequence, from recognition of language, through explicit learning of grammar and pronunciation, to written and spoken production. In order to help students work with the interactive activities, each segment of the video are replayed. In the activities the language learned is used in understanding new texts, sounds or videos, or in creative production. Activities also deliver feedback as students are working, so that they can quickly see what they do and do not understand and integrate that knowledge into their practice. Lesson tests and exams are available to students enrolled in instructor-led courses. A culture section called “Esbozos Culturales” provide an extensive reading, videos and information about the topic displayed, also it has external links with supplementary information. Spanish I can be adapted for a hybrid delivery system or solely distance delivery. Versions are available for low-cost use by instructor-led classes of enrolled students.
An additional feature is the Learning Dashboard which allows for at-a-glance evaluation by instructors of student progress based on each lesson’s learning objectives. Data from student activities and assessments is displayed in the Learning Dashboard. Graded assessments appear in both the dashboard and the gradebook. Also, the use of this site has two modes: signing up or entering without an account. In the first case, your work can be saved, whereas in the second it cannot for the sample unit.
Type of Material:
Open interactive textbook containing grammatical explanations, practice activities, vocabulary, articles on culture in the Spanish-speaking world, and tests.
This online course includes full lessons and resources that could be used in class as well. Also, each lesson can be used as homework assignments, as a group project or as supplementary material to expand on a theme in the school curriculum. A sample of a lesson is provided as a free trial before signing up for the full course.
To have access this material, the system must satisfy certain requirements:
•PC: Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
•Macintosh: OS X 10.4+
•Linux: Ubuntu Linux supported, but no official support is available for other distributions.
•PC: Internet Explorer 7 and up, Firefox 3.6 and up, and Chrome 14 and up
•Macintosh: Safari 2 or newer, or Firefox 3 and up
•Linux: Firefox 3 and up
A minimum screen resolution of 1024x768 pixels is recommended for this course.
•Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0 or newer
•Adobe Flash Player version 10.2 or newer
•Quicktime version 6 or newer (Linux users: QuickTime media might not play unless they have the right software install. Check the documentation for your Linux distribution for instructions on installing software which can play the movies.)
Identify Major Learning Goals:
This website would be most beneficial for reinforcing reading, writing, listening, and introducing students to culture in the Spanish-speaking world.The author does specifically state the learning goals for each lesson: •The student will learn extensive vocabulary in Spanish according to the different themes suggested in each lesson •The student will be able to expand his/her knowledge on grammar structure and tenses •The student will improve their reading, listening and writing skills according to the student’s learning style and techniques •The students will be able to improve their pronunciation and practice conversation by sending a recording of his/ her own practice. •The student will explore, analyze and compare information •The student will be able to write a short paragraph to answer questions which evaluate their comprehension and analysis of the reading section. •The student will be able to write a short paragraph using all the verbs and vocabulary learned in each lesson in the writing practice section.
Target Student Population:
•College General Ed
•College Lower Division
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Proficient web navigation and proficient computer skills, knowledge of the chartroom use, as well as the cross-platform audio recording and editing program.
The material provided is correct. Audio clips are provided so that students can hear vocabulary words pronounced, and links to video clips on YouTube are provided that relate to the cultural reading selection.
•The information provides practice exercises for language acquisition and development of cultural aspects. •The references at this site could easily supplement a Spanish course. •The design of the material is clear and easy to navigate. •All the external links are relevant and connected to the topics discussed. •Most of the resources provide authentic materials.
The course is available in an instructor-led format for institutions or without an instructor. For students participating in the course without an instructor, valuable feedback will not be provided.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The material will engage students because it provides audio clips which enable students to hear native pronunciation of vocabulary words, as well as video clips which allow students to hear target vocabulary and grammar in conversation. Video clips relating to reading selections are also provided. In the sample lesson, students read about popular music genres in music. The YouTube links took students to music videos to several popular Mexican bands.
Online students taking the course alone would also benefit from a conversation partner to allow them to practice the language.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
•The variety of link choices makes this site useful to a broad audience.
Many of the exercises provide practice for using vocabulary and applying language acquisition concepts.
•The presentation is clearly designed.
•The content area is always somehow connected.
•The labels, buttons, menus, texts, and general layout are consistent and visually distinct.
•The user can easily navigate in this site.
•The site does not require a lot of technical support or instructions for students to successfully use it.
Other Issues and Comments:
This course provides only a Sample Lesson (Lección 3) for free. To have full access to the material/course, the user has to create an account and has to pay a maintenance fee: (per student) $35 for 4-year institutions, $25 for 2-year institutions and secondary school.
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