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E-Z Spanish

Book Review

 

Title:

E-Z Spanish

Author:

Dr. Margarita Gorrisen et al

Publisher:

Barron's Educational Series, Hauppauge, NY

ISBN:

0-7641-7428-2

Reviewed By:

Frank Fogg

Review Date:

April, 2003

Rating:

E-Z Spanish is a self-paced language tutorial for beginning students of Spanish. The program consists of four 74 minute audio CD disks and a 328 page listener guide. It is packaged in a bookshelf style case.

Get more information about E-Z Spanish at amazon.comE-Z  Spanish uses a conversational approach to teach Spanish. A series of dialogs  about a company in Spain and its employees are scattered throughout this course. The student can simply listen or follow along with the conversation in the listener  guide. Each conversation builds upon the foundation of the previous lessons  and introduces new material for the unit.

A variety of activities are included in the listener guide between each dialog.  Written explanations of the chapter contents fill the pages, with important  concepts set apart in colored boxes. Filling in the blanks is a common activity included with this program. Matching, writing exercises, and listening activities  are also used to improve retention of the material. Answers to every exercise are included in one of the appendices.

The course and audio material cover Spanish as it is spoken in Spain. Differences  between the vocabulary and pronunciations compared to Latin American Spanish are shown in the listening guide as they occur, but most of the material is  not focused on these differences, Appendices highlight essential grammar and  also contain a complete transcript of the audio portion of the lessons.

The programmed instruction style of this course is different than many other home study language courses. Short listening periods are common as the student jumps back and forth from the text to the CD. The audio portion complements  the written portion of the lessons, instead of vice versa. One advantage of this method of instruction is that the student learns to read, write, listen and speak Spanish at the same time as they advance through the lessons.

Another major difference with the presentation of the lessons is the order that  the vocabulary is introduced. Basic vocabulary such as numbers and colors that is usually included at the start of other courses is learned in the middle of  this course, while more generalized vocabulary is used first. The course jumps right into developing an immediate working knowledge of the structure of the Spanish language. Every conversation is presented at or near normal conversational speed as well, preparing the listener for Spanish as it is actually spoken.

E-Z Spanish provides the student a working knowledge of Spanish both written and oral at an intermediate level of proficiency. The conversational approach gets the listener immediately and intimately involved with normal Spanish dialogs  and the large amount of material covered assures the student will have a broad  base of both vocabulary and grammar concepts upon completion of the lessons.



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