- Peer Review: “La página del idioma español”
La página del idioma español
- Oct 14, 2003 by World Languages
- La Pagina del Idioma Espa?ol, which dates back to April 1996 on the web is a
pioneer among digital magazines to promote the Spanish language on the Internet.
Interestingly, it is supported by a Brazilian governmental entity, the
Asociacion Cultural Antonio de Nebrija. The site contains the Cervantes
discussion fora on the Spanish language and the "Word of the Day" daily e-mail
bulletin. Articles on linguistic norms, professional language, translation,
Language instruction, the print media and radio in Spanish are contributed by a
host of international writers. Their contributions fill a database that boasts
seven years longevity on the web.
The site's value lies in the excellent resources of major links to
language-related topics. As a gateway, the site includes individual pages for
virtual dictionaries, grammar sources, newspaper and radio links. It provides a
rich variety of external links to peninsular and non-peninsular literary sites.
The author includes a thorough description of the history of the Spanish
- Type of Material:
- Recommended Uses:
- This material is ideally suited for self-directed learning. Users can receive
the "Word of the Day" in their e-mail daily. It is also
possible to consult the Diccionario de la lengua espa?ola directly from the
site. Articles are good springboard for discussions about the Spanish language.
The discussion lists are a good place to enhance communicative and writing
- Identify Major Learning Goals:
- The author's primary purpose is to contribute to the preservation, unity and
purity of the Spanish language. Students can enhance cultural knowledge by
entering into discussions on the current role of the Spanish language on the web
and in the world. They can improve reading proficiency through reading the
articles on the site. They can increase vocabulary by subscribing to the "Word
of the Day".
- Target Student Population:
- The site is valuable primarily as a resource for teachers and students with
advanced or higher proficiency language skills. It is also an excellent source
for Spanish heritage speakers.
- Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
- The user should have a minimum level of advanced proficiency (ACTFL proficiency
scales) in reading, writing, and listening.
- The wealth of resources on this site cannot be overstated. The Diccionario de la
lengua espa?ola alone is a gem of a resource for all language learners with an
easy to use search mechanism, an attractive interface and even a built-in verb
conjugator for the verbs in the dictionary. In addition to this convenient
resource, external links are provided to a wealth of other dictionaries some
Spanish, others bilingual and some technical and of use to translators. In fact,
there is a whole section devoted to translation entitled "Rincon del
traductor" and featuring aticles, debates and publications on the topics.
Other resources to be found on the site include:
--Newspapers - There are extensive links to fourteen (Spanish, Latin American
and U.S.) newspaper sites.
--Grammar - There are explanations and links to the conventions of written
discourse. The strength of the site may lie in this section where the user can
refer to the rules of usage, e.g., capitalization and punctuation, spelling,
verb conjugations, and the uses of "que" and "se, " etc.
--Literature - There are major links to Peninsular and non-peninsular
literature and authors. Within this page, there are also links to Cervantine
The discourse level in the feature articles is refined and academic, good
material for Spanish for Heritage speakers classes where the objective is to
expose students to Spanish as it is used in professional and academic spheres.
Topics are often polemical and provocative, as in the whole page devoted to
Spanglish, with pros and cons presented by different experts in the field.
- The articles are best used with the truly advanced students who have the basic
language proficiency necessary to approach the articles. This does not mean that
all students could not benefit from exposure to the Dictionary and the Word of
This is also a resource of great value for professionals, such as teachers,
writers and translators. It is important to differentiate between the articles
that are intended for one audience and those that are meant for all.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
- A teacher can provide many levels of language teaching. The site can serve
primarily as a resource for grammar and writing. If used appropriately,
the varied essays about language can lead to interesting readings and classroom
discussions related to the Spanish language. In addition, much writing practice
can be produced from participation in the forums. Listening skills can also be
developed if making use of the links to radio broadcast throughout the world.
Activities can be created to contrast differing views on a topic according to
the source of information and the country.
Advanced students can organize debates around hot topics such as Spanglish or
word gender issues between list members before actually adding their own
- It is important to review Netiquette for students who enter an Internet
discussion list and to be sure that they choose appropriate lists. This site
contains six lists, some of which are specifically designed for teachers.
Students should be guided to appropriate discussion groups.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
- The overalll presentation is clear and readable with a consistent layout from
page to page. Each major page has beautiful graphics. The links are relevant to
the subject, easy to identify and logically grouped. The user can navigate
easily within each page, and from page to page and home. It is a nice
feature to be able to access the dictionary immediately as one reads an article
The page has received several awards and it is a recommended site in Microsofts'
Encarta en Espa?ol.
- A first-time user may need some initial guidance in navigating the site,
particularly FL students whose use might be different than that of native