In keeping with ACTFL’s Standards for Foreign Language Learning, Sueña “takes an interactive, communicative approach” to language learning, integrating the five goals of the ACTFL Standards: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons and Communities, focus[ing] on real communication in meaningful contexts to develop and consolidate students’ speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills” (Blanco and Tocaimaza-Hatch) through a variety of activity types in each chapter including independent short films (cortometrajes), cultural readings, structural practice, various readings, regular writing assignments and numerous open-ended conversation-starters and guided discussion points.
The successful Spanish 2030 student will spend 1-2 hours preparing for every hour of class time. Each chapter follows a similar format and students should prepare for each chapter segment accordingly.
- PARA EMPEZAR presents essential vocabulary for the chapter, grouped thematically. Before the class session in which this will be used, preview the vocabulary for words you already know and/or that are cognates. Study the new words, highlighting those that seem to be particularly difficult. You can work through the definiciones, identificar, analogías and completar sections ahead of class time.
- CORTOMETRAJE: This is a presentation of an independent short film (cortometraje) related to the chapter topic. These films have been produced by Hispanic filmmakers for film festivals and independent distribution, not for this textbook. Watch each film at least once before the relevant class session. You do not have to like a film or agree with the ideas it presents in order to discuss it (indeed, discussions will be more interesting if students do NOT agree with each other). These films are a stepping-off point for developing your abstract speaking skills in Spanish—expressing opinions, debating ideas, etc. To access the cortometrajes: login at vhlcentral.com, select the lección (chapter) in which you are working, scroll down to CORTOMETRAJE, select the film and select from the options that pop up there. There are also pre-viewing and post-viewing activities online.
- SUEÑA: This section contains brief readings of a cultural nature. Read through the materials at least once before the indicated class session. Your instructor may highlight one or two particular entries in the sueña section as particularly important. Also, the group that is presenting a given sueña section may wish to draw your attention to a particular section in advance of their presentation. The sub-section entitled En pantalla presents a short video clip (often a commercial or news clip) which you may be asked to watch ahead of time. You are invited to expand upon the recommendations in the course calendar via internet searches for related artists or musical styles.
- ESTRUCTURAS and MANUAL DE GRAMÁTICA: These sections review and/or present (depending upon your background) Spanish language structures. The Manual de gramática can be found at the end of the textbook and although we will not cover every entry of it during class time, students are encouraged to consult the manual for clarification as needed. Explanations are in English and should be read before the class in which the práctica and comunicación sections related to each estructura are utilized. Grammatical presentations and practice will be done in class in Spanish. The emphasis is on the ability to USE the language, not full understanding of every grammatical point.
- LECTURAS: Each chapter has two formal readings: a cultura and a literatura selection. The cultura selection is a magazine-like reading. The literatura selection features a poem or short story by a Hispanic author. We will often utilize only one of these two sections. You should read a given selection at least once before the day on which it will be discussed. You may need to read some selections more than once in order to be able to discuss them. Class time will be used for discussion and clarification of the ideas presented in a given reading.
Furthermore, Vista Higher Learning maintains a website for additional practice at vhlcentral.com. Instructions for making the most of this website for Tulane's program are available for PDF download here: Student Guide to Using WebSAM.