Avancemos Level 1
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  • Avancemos Level 1
  • McDougal Littel
  • Published by: McDougal Littel
  • Level: Beginner
  • First Published in: 2006

Avancemos Level 1 is a beginner level coursebook that teaches the basics of the Spanish language. Grammar, vocabulary and speaking activities are creatively presented through a story that students will follow in each unit. A perfect course book for Spanish students in middle and high school.

Review posted: 20/10/2013
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Growing up in a bilingual household I never fully realized how valuable it was to know two languages without ever having to step into a classroom to learn them. To this day I still have many friends who struggle to learn Spanish and come to me for help whenever they need some extra clarification. Recently one of my closest friends had some doubts about a few exercises from a course book called Avancemos

My friend was working with a few books and he wasn't very convinced about whether he should use this one or not. Since my friend had an exam coming up I decided to look over the book and the chapters he was working on in order to see how I could help him out. Out of curiosity, I also took a look at the teacher’s edition book online. Avancemos consists of eight units with two lessons in each unit; every lesson focuses on a specific topic while tying the information together with a story, referred to by book as “la telehistoria” to help students learn basic grammar structures in a more engaging way. In each unit students get to work on activities dealing with simple Spanish phrases, verb conjugation, question making, telling time, and a few other topics.

The book is engaging and fun to work with, but as I analyzed each lesson I began to notice a number of things which were incorrect or lacking in information. First of all I noticed that in a few chapters there was a bit of confusion with the use of the verbs “ser” and “estar.” There was also a lot of mixing of Latin American and Peninsular Spanish without marking the difference between the two. It also felt like the pace of the book was somewhat slow. There were even times when it felt like one topic was being worked on for too long when the book could have moved on to the next lesson. Most importantly what really grabbed my attention was that verb conjugation exercises weren't worked on from the very beginning, but much later on. Personally, I feel that this is a very important topic that many native English speakers struggle with and the book could have focused a bit more attention on conjugations.

"The book is engaging and fun to work with, but as I analyzed each lesson I began to notice a number of things which were incorrect or lacking in information."

One last thing I noticed about the book was that the teacher’s workbook had many exercises that did not match up with the student’s edition. My friend and I also noticed that the content in the book seemed more suitable for young adults in middle school or high school. He also agreed and mentioned that his former language institute was using this course book with all of their adult students. Needless to say, I gave him some book recommendations that would be more useful and would help him prepare for his future exam.

Despite many of the book’s negative points I feel that certain activities could be used as print outs in a Beginner level course, but not the book as a whole. This book could be of some use to High school Spanish teachers, but I would not recommend this book to adults or students who want to start learning Spanish on their own.



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