Yo soy asi
YO SOY ASI
The objective of this project is to develop a student-centered elementary Spanish textbook for English speaking students. The student is the constant variable; therefore the other factors must adjust and adapt to the learner. Given this approach, this textbook will assist the instructor in fulfilling his/her three primary teaching responsibilities: modeling providing examples, coordinating learning activities and evaluating progress.
Language acquisition requires that learning must take place at three different levels: cognitive, affective and psychomotive. Therefore the student must not merely pronounce well, but he must understand what he/she is saying and when and in what context to use it. This book proposes to provide the student with a variety of correct models, which he/she can imitate through a number of drills. The drills are designed for repetition, recognition, individual production and thoughtful reproduction or adaptation. Syntax and morphology will be acquired through especially designed exercises that will facilitate cognitive inductive learning through contrasts, comparisons, patterns, and analogies. Situational learning in an authentic cultural context will enable the learner to emote in the target language at the proper stimuli. Group work is an essential component of our student-centered approach. Therefore, YO SOY ASI provides numerous exercises and activities that facilitate a group-work approach.
Grammatical explanations presented deductively will serve only to reinforce that which had been previously adopted inductively through a variety of exercises.
The sequence of learning activities and exercises have been designed to allow the instructor for quick diagnostic evaluation of the learners’ progress and skills development: repeating, recalling, understanding the spoken word, understanding the written word, applying the rules, synthesizing previously learnt material, and creating his/her own sentences.
Without an understanding of the culture of the speakers of the target language, language learning is completely meaningless. It becomes a system of meaningless symbols and sounds. Research demonstrates that students who are interested in a given culture are more motivated to learn the language, and are more apt to succeed. This textbook will provide instructors with the elements necessary to interest students in the variety of cultures existing in the Spanish speaking world. A reliance on English or cognates will enable students to begin their journey exploring the many countries and people that comprise the Hispanic World.
Culture will be presented in such a way as to appeal to students, focusing on the positive rather than controversial or divisive issues.
For our purpose, culture refers to the artistic accomplishment of a people, as well as the intricate system of inter-personal and intra-personal relationships that govern group behavior. Therefore, we will provide samples of both at the end of every chapter. Additionally, students will be referred to exiting web sites, interesting movies, and absorbing readings that will familiarize them with the Spanish speaking countries.
The workbook was designed to allow the student to create his/her own scrapbook/portfolio in Spanish describing his/her world in the target language. The workbook will provide examples and patterns to help the student describe his/her environment, his/her life, his/her thoughts, his/her feelings to an imaginary speaker of the target language. It will serve as a consulting reference manual in Spanish for the student.
It will also aid instructors diagnosing difficulties the student might be encountering in the language, since students will be recording their own experiences. This will also enable the instructor to prescribe appropriate activities to improve performance.
The textbook is accompanied by a CD with the recording of all the dialogues. The dialogues were recorded using native speakers representing a diversity of accents in Spanish speaking countries. The CD allows students to repeat dialogue phrases imitating the actors. It also familiarizes students with different Spanish accents meeting the main objective of the “Yo soy así”, which is to enable students to communicate effectively in the target language understanding the cultural context in which communication is taking place. Yo soy así was designed to learn and to be enjoyed. It is fun to teach with “Yo soy así”, and it is fun to learn with this learning program. Therefore, “disfrútelo”, enjoy it!
Virgilio Blanco Lage PhD.