Puntos 8e Preface

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  • xvi Preface

    The only reason to revise an existing textbook is to help the professionevolve in meaningful ways and to make the tasks of language acquisition anddaily classroom interaction easier, more enjoyable, and more meaningful forstudents, experienced instructors, and teaching assistants. How many in-structors and students does it take to help authors achieve those goals in a revi-sion? So far, more than 900! Thats how many instructors and students haveprovided us with the necessary feedback to keep Puntos de partida (or Puntos,as the series has come to be called) in step with changes in the classroom andin the profession. Over the years, the authors and editors of Puntos haveturned to you to help us formulate a plan that responds to your needs. In orderto do this, youve helped us by reviewing the various components of the pro-gram, by participating in market research, by doing in-depth analyses of chap-ter content, by giving us your honest and open opinions in focus groups andsymposia, and by talking to us when we visit you on campus. For the EighthEdition in particular, we reached out to more than 275 students and instruc-tors, and the result is a thoroughly revised edition that we are confident willaddress new needs and preferences while continuing to provide the solidfoundation in communicative language development that is the hallmark ofPuntos de partida.

    How has your feedback enriched and improved Puntos while maintainingits hallmark characteristics? Students will find the text more accessible and student-friendly overall, and instructors will find that the text and its instruc-tional package support their efforts better, in meaningful ways that will impactdaily classroom instruction. Here are some of the specific changes that youll findin the Eighth Edition.

    N E W I L L U S T R AT I O N S , P H OTO S , A N D R E A L I A

    More than 200 new color illustrations, photographs, and pieces of realiabring an exciting new visual appeal to the program and enhance the peda-gogy of the text.

    New illustrations have been created for all Vocabulario: Preparacinpresentations to ensure that select theme vocabulary items are presented

    preface

    . . . to help students develop proficiency in the four languageskills essential to truly communicative language teaching . . .

    from the Preface to Puntos de partida, first edition, 1981

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  • Preface xvii

    more clearly. Some items are both illustratedand presented in bilingual lists for absoluteclarity.

    Many of the new photographs appear in thenew chapter openers (three photos each), inthe new Perspectivas culturales spreads (upto five photos each), and in the six newIntroduccin cultural pages (up to fourphotos each).

    More realia-based activities have been addedto help students connect with the targetculture.

    D I V E R S E C U LT U R A L C O N T E N T

    The sequence of country foci across the eigh-teen main chapters has been revised so thatthey are now grouped into six main regionsof the Spanish-speaking world.

    1. Los Estados Unidos2. Mxico y Centroamrica3. El Caribe4. Los pases andinos5. El Cono Sur6. Espaa y la comunidad hispana global

    Each of the six regions is presented in a newIntroduccin cultural page that offers up to fourphotos of the region and explanations of variouscultural features that help give each region itscultural identity. (Note: The sixth region discussesthe global Hispanic community and some immi-gration patterns, and the corresponding Perspec-tivas Culturales section at the end of Captulo18 includes information about Equatorial Guineaand the Philippines.)

    New chapter opening spreads now offer threephotos with questions meant to spark in-classdiscussion, get students thinking about thechapter themes, and help them relate thosethemes to their own culture and lifeexperience. Thus students will start makingconnections between their own country andthe country or countries highlighted in eachchapter.

    The new Perspectivas culturales section (for-merly Conozca... ) in each chapter highlights

    the country or countries of focus throughdemographic information, a map, and up tofive photos with extended captions. A newMsica de... feature presents a brief introduc-tion to the unique musical style of eachcountry. In most chapters, Msica de... isaugmented by a new music CD, Ritmos ysonidos, described in the SupplementaryMaterials section of this preface.

    More culture-based activities have beenadded throughout.

    SKILL FOCUS

    Conversacin activities have been restructuredthroughout Puntos. They are now organizedinto a series of pasos that encourage studentsto prepare themselves for conversation, thenconverse with a partner or group, and finallyshare information with the whole class ortheir instructor.

    There are at least three new optional writingactivities per chapter (in the Instructors Edi-tion) that instructors can assign as part of asemester-long writing portfolio project or asindividual assignments to be completed athome and shared with a partner or with theclass.

    S T U D E N T - F R I E N D LY F E AT U R E S

    A new Vocabulario personal box has beenadded to the end-of-chapter vocabulary lists.Here students can jot down new vocabularyitems related to the chapter themes that comeup as they complete activities throughouteach chapter but which are not included inthe chapters active vocabulary list.

    A new system for identifying the irregularitiesof verbs in vocabulary lists and grammar pre-sentations will hopefully be more obvious anduseful to both students and instructors. (Seethe first page of the Spanish-English Vocabu-lary [p. V-1]. for a complete explanation ofthis new verb system.)

    More Recuerda Ud.? features have beenadded so that previously taught grammar is

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  • xviii Preface

    an emphasis on the meaningful use ofSpanish

    a positive portrayal of contemporary Hispaniccultures

    print and media supplementary materialsthat are carefully coordinated with the coretext

    The pages that follow provide a more detailedoverview of changes to this edition in a sectioncalled Whats New to the Eighth Edition? Thenext section, A Guided Tour, explains andshows the organization and features of Puntosuseful to both instructors and students. A com-prehensive discussion of supplementary mate-rials follows a brief explanation of how to usePuntos de partida in the classroom. The Prefacecloses with the acknowledgment of the manyinstructors and students who helped shape thisnew edition.

    now consistently reviewed before newgrammar on which it is based is presented.

    A number of grammar explanations havebeen rewritten, reorganized, or made morevisual so that they are simpler and easier forstudents to grasp.

    Short grammar summaries appear at the end ofsome grammar explanations to help students graspthe essence of the material.

    While much is new to this edition of Puntos,you will continue to find the many hallmarks thatmake it the book of choice for hundreds ofinstructors across the country. These hallmarkfeatures include: an abundance of classroom-tested practice

    material, ranging from form-focused exercisesto communicative activities that promote realconversation

    vocabulary, grammar, and culture that worktogether as interactive units, unifying thisimportant aspect of language learning

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  • Whats New to the Eighth Edition? xix

    C H A P T E R O P E N I N G PAG E S

    The chapter opening pages have been redesigned to be more visually enga-ging, provide a better thematic and cultural springboard into the chapter,and function more effectively as an advance organizer for the upcomingchapters content.

    VO CA B U L A R Y : C L E A R , C U R R E N T , A N D P E R S O N A L

    All presentations and activities have been thoroughly reviewed by the au-thors and revised as needed, with special attention paid to updating vocabu-lary and ensuring that personalized activities reflect the interests of todaysstudents.

    The all-new vocabulary art reflects instructor requests for greater visual cla-rity in the vocabulary presentations, to better help students prepare for classand study for testing. To further help students, any terms difficult to discernvisually have also been added to the textual presentation.

    The new As se dice feature introduces regional variations on themevocabulary from around the Spanish-speaking world.

    To further personalize students learning of Spanish, a new Vocabulariopersonal feature in the En resumen section of the chapter invites studentsto record new words that they may have used in class or while doinghomework, and that are of personal interest to them.

    Instructors will find a new feature, called Word Families, in theinstructors annotations for En resumen. This feature lists active vocabularywords for a given chapter that are related to each other (En este captulo)or to previously learned vocabulary (Entre captulos). The Ojo! sectionnotes words that are false cognates or otherwise potentially confusing mat-ches. These lists can be shared with students to help them make connectionsbetween words and relate new words to previously learned ones.

    A F R E S H A P P R OAC H TO G R A M M A R

    Puntos de partida has long been praised for its clear and user-friendly grammarexplanations, and instructors will find that the Eighth Edition retains this hall-mark feature. But instructors will also find that many grammar presentationshave been significantly refreshed and updated for todays students.

    At least one grammar point per chapter continues to be introduced with ashort dialogue that shows the gr