This webpage is a companion of the Ortografia site. This page includes useful spelling and language usage for: Abreviaturas, Siglas y acrónimos, Onomatopeyas, Vicios del lenguaje, Expresiones incorrectas, Expresiones dificiles, Doble acentuación, Juntas o separadas, Gentilicios, Barbarismos, Números romanos, and Números.
Type of Material:
These materials can be accessed for use during face-to-face instruction or for use as an online reference.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The purpose of the site is to provide useful spelling and language usage for use among native and near-native speakers, and advance Spanish-language students.
Target Student Population:
Language educators, advance students, graduate students, and native speakers of the target language.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
One of the main prerequisites is a high proficiency of language with native or near-native proficiency in speaking and writing. A visitor to this site must understand the aural drills, and be able to distinguish between specific sounds of Spanish. Basic computer skills are also necessary.
The materials were designed for native speakers. These can be used to an advantage when instructing advanced Spanish speakers in speaking and writing courses. The site has several pages that teach spelling with the fundamental understanding of agudas, llanas, and esdrújulas words. Several concepts are addressed for using diphthongs, numbers, capitalization, and certain word usage.
This site has many strengths, expecially, the linguistic explanations for the rules in orthography. Its main focus is orthography, the way letters and diacritic symbols represent the sound of language in a spelling system. For example, the user will find correct language usage for spelling, accentuation, punctuation, and uses for the confusing sounds like g j, r/rr, and c,z,and s.
The authors's detailed and authentic explanations benefit instructors needing to provide classroom face-to-face instruction.
When using these materials with heritage learners, the examples throughout exemplify correct usage to be understood by speakers throughout the Spanish-speaking world. This does not imply that certain forms are incorrect when communicating informally and using dialectal variations among speakers using similar language patterns. Instructors need to emphasize these differences in spoken and written forms.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Language educators need to be familiar with this site and direct Spanish majors and graduate students and native speakers to the portal. Educators can assign a page for homework especially for punctuation and the usages of interrogation marks and dieresis. The aural part in Dictado helps students in making accurate sound/symbol connections with troublesome letters like R,
RR, D, C, H, B, V, G, J, LL, X, Y, C, Z, S.
This site also contrasts an array of right and wrong ways of using expressions in spoken and written forms.
The user needs to be aware that at the bottom of each page, there are two or three boxes. The INICIO link directs the user to the beginning of the practice lesson, and the other link directs back to the content. The user must navigage closely so as not to miss anything.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The user can navigate easily throughout the site.
The user can become confused when clicking on the home link, which returns to the "Ortografía" index. The user needs to click on "Otras." A concern is that a user can miss the section that has the practice drills. When clicking in one of the boxes, the user may not think about going back to the beginning to click in the "ÍNDICE" box.
Other Issues and Comments:
This portal has several pages of wonderful and practical uses of orthography. As an instructor, I will keep my own skills updated. I highly recommend it to educators that teach literature and writing. It serves as a fantastic resource without always having to refer to the dictionary. Nevertheless, as the author indicates, when there is a small colored sign on the word, one must consult the dictionary for more clarification.
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