Día a día
©2015 | Pearson
This item has been replaced by Día a día, 2nd Edition
Developed by experienced language program coordinators at The Ohio State University and The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Día a día offers a fresh approach to fourth-semester Spanish by engaging learners in purpose-driven activities about both their personal lives and professional ambitions. Learners envision how Spanish can become part of their own día a día today and tomorrow!
We know that the fourth-semester Spanish course can be especially challenging for students, instructors, and departments alike. It typically concludes a two-year period of basic language instruction; thus, it must meet learners at their current level of second language proficiency and prepare them for the next level of specialized courses, armed with more sophisticated vocabulary, increased grammatical accuracy, sentence- to paragraph-level discourse, and a deeper understanding of Spanish-speaking cultures. The course also needs to sustain or increase students’ motivation and interest in continuing their second language studies and departmental enrollment as majors or minors. With its rich array of resources that include engaging video, Día a día helps instructors break through these challenges and many others.
A practical, dual focus on both the personal and professional realms of life in every chapter
Día a día demonstrates the relevance and importance of second-language studies to learners, helps them envision future career possibilities, and motivates them to continue their studies of Spanish beyond the second-year level. The professional realm centers on professions in the U.S. where Spanish is commonly used and deemed an asset in the workplace (e.g., tourism, health care, business, social services, and education). Furthermore, it includes professions that go beyond the usual fare of the languages for specific purposes curricula (e.g., media, arts and entertainment, humanitarian aid, and politics).
Communicative functions serve as a point of departure for fresh, multi-faceted chapter themes and content
Meaningful, communicative functions form the basis of real-life human interaction and help ensure chapter relevance and cohesion. Learners communicate to inform and be informed, express themselves, form connections with others, influence others, imagine and create, and analyze and evaluate. Chapter themes are fresh and have been selected because they are current and interesting for our targeted group of learners– university students. Their multi-faceted nature allows for rich content and diverse perspectives.
Purpose-driven, culture-infused, and process-oriented activities are appropriate for hybrid and fully online course settings.
A strategy-driven approach to skills acquisition and transcultural competence.
In addition to adopting a process approach to the development of the four skills (i.e., reading, writing, listening, and speaking) that includes activities at the “pre-”, “during”, and “post-” stages, each chapter incorporates skills-acquisition strategies– tips and explicit guidelines that learners immediately put into practice to guide and enhance their skills acquisition. Consequently, learners are supported in their progressive language development, and the assumption that linguistic skills are developed easily or without explicit support is thus precluded.
This process approach involves first recognizing one’s own culture, second, recognizing and validating the practices, perspectives, and products (the 3 Ps) of the target culture(s), and third, implementing strategies to negotiate cultural differences and operate between languages (the learner’s L1 and L2). This approach represents a practical response to the 2007 MLA report calling for foreign language education in the U.S. to foment learners’ translingual and transcultural competence.
Chapter-ending culminating activities utilize the information and linguistic knowledge and skills presented and accumulated over the course of the chapter
The culminating activities involve critical thinking and learner-driven initiatives: learners engage in Internet- and community-based activities that take them beyond the content of the textbook and the classroom. These activities recycle the lexical, grammatical, and cultural content presented and practiced earlier in both the personal and professional parts of each chapter.
A true process-approach to writing
The section La expresión escrita includes a brief writing activity, followed by a longer related writing assignment. The longer assignment begins with a template for creating an outline as a first step in the writing process. This template suggests elements to incorporate into the writing piece and explains their overall purpose for the piece.
Explicit practice with interpersonal and presentational speaking interpersonal speaking
In keeping with ACTFL's Standards for Communication (the first of the Five C's), the section La expresión oralincludes Intercambios, where learners carry out interpersonal role-plays according to an assigned identity, followed by an assignment to prepare and give a brief formal presentation on a topic related to the chapter theme.
A dedicated section on service learning
In keeping with ACTFL's Standards for Communities (the fifth of the Five C's), each chapter includes a service learning project. We include virtual volunteering projects for those without easy access to local Spanish-speaking communities. Following best practices for service learning, each project ends with structured reflection using the model of “What?, So what?, Now what?”
Día a día consists of six chapters based on major communicative functions and related themes. All chapters have the same organizational structure, with an opening reading titled Explorando el tema that introduces the chapter theme and subsequent content, which is presented in three major sections: El ámbito personal, El ámbito profesional, and Actividades culminantes. The first two sections are mainly parallel in structure. They include vocabulary, grammar, a reading (literary or other genre), a section on cultural competence, and listening (a cultural video or podcast), as follows:
• Vocabulario. In the personal section of each chapter, students learn and use vocabulary in activities that relate the chapter theme to their personal lives. In the professional section, students learn vocabulary and engage in activities about professional skills and specific career paths tied to the chapter theme. In both sections, Ponerse de acuerdo activities encourage students to discuss their opinions and reach a consensus, while Hablemos claro activities foster free-form discussions.
• Gramática. The integrated grammar sections in Chapters 1-3 offer a comprehensive review of structures known to require extensive input and focus for their eventual acquisition by learners– ser and estar, gustar,object pronouns, the preterit and the imperfect, and others. Chapters 4-6 treat the subjunctive, commands, and the perfect tenses iteratively, by recycling these challenging concepts and forms across three chapters. Activities progress from recognition (structured input) to production (from guided to more open-ended output) and encourage expression within both the written and aural/oral modes. The activities’ topics continue in the realms of the personal and the professional, offering further opportunities for personalization and an increased awareness of opportunities to use Spanish in the workplace.
• Lectura de género variado (in El ámbito personal only). From magazine articles to interviews, a variety of genres are provided to expand learners’ exposure to various forms of writing in Spanish. Furthermore, these readings feature real Latinos from various backgrounds and in wide-ranging careers (e.g., science, non-profit work, mental health, creative writing, and more). The activities foster students’ reading skills and expand on their cultural knowledge.
• Lectura literaria (in El ámbito profesional only). Literary selections capture both the historical importance of Hispanic literature and the vibrancy of the contemporary literary scene. Before reading each text, students learn about the author and complete activities to prepare them for the text. Comprehension questions guide the learners’ first reading, while subsequent activities ask learners to analyze literary elements. Closing activities connect the text’s central themes to the learners’ personal lives.
• Competencia cultural. In keeping with the 2007 MLA report, these sections foment learners’ translingual and transcultural competence and their ability to “operate between languages.” These sections go beyond the presentation of physical objects, historical figures, and facts about the target culture. Instead, the activities require students to recognize their own cultural filter, acknowledge alternative perspectives, and then harness that new understanding forreal communication and interactions in the target language.
•Video cultural (in El ámbito personal only). An informal cultural documentary filmed in six episodes– one per chapter– reflects chapter themes and unscripted, authentic dialog of real people from various Spanish-speaking countries. The video content is linked to other chapter components to highlight linguistic variations in pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar.
• Podcast (in El ámbito profesional only). Each podcast contextualizes a global topic (e.g., urban renewal, consumerism, etc.) within a particular cultural context (e.g., Mexico City, modern-day culture in Madrid, etc.). Various listening strategies and activities help students better understand native speech and introduce them to the rich world of audio resources available online in Spanish.
•Actividades culminantes, the third major section of Día a día, recycles lexical, grammatical, and cultural content and fosters critical thinking, learner-driven initiatives, and the production of extended text and discourse by learners
•La investigación por Internet invites students to make connections between the course content and additional information gathered from websites in Spanish. La expresión escrita guides learners in a brief writing task, followed by a longer task grounded in the communicative goal for the chapter. The writing tasks then function as a springboard for La expresión oral, where learners first carry out interpersonal role-plays in the section Intercambios and then work on their presentational skills through a formal presentation assignment. Finally, El servicio comunitario takes learning beyond the classroom by connecting students to Spanish-speakers in their local community or through online communities. Service learning creates mutually beneficial relationships and enriches the students’ learning by asking them to use the target language while helping to address a community-identified need. Through guided reflection, students expand their knowledge of Spanish, the community, and themselves.
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Annie R. Abbott is Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese at The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.¿ Her work focuses on student learning outcomes in, as well as critical analysis of foreign language community service learning, social entrepreneurship, social media and languages for specific purposes. She also creates curricular materials that reflect current research in order to engage with language educators and learners worldwide.
Holly J. Nibert is Associate Professor of Spanish and the Spanish Language Program Director at The Ohio State University.¿ A specialist in Spanish linguistics with particular interests in phonology and phonetics, dialectology, second language acquisition and second language teaching methodology, she has published various articles on Spanish intonation, including its description with autosegmentalmetrical theory and its acquisition by second language learners.¿In addition to Día a día, Holly is co-author of the Sixth Edition of¿¡Arriba! Comunicación y cultura, one of the leading beginning Spanish language programs in North America.¿
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