Camino al Español
Leave Us a Review
  • Camino al Español
  • Consuelo de Andres Martinez, Eugenia Ariza Bruce, Christine Cook, Isabel Diez-Bonet, and Anthony Trippett
  • Published by: Cambridge University Press
  • Level: Beginner
  • First Published in: 2004

Are you looking for a comprehensive Spanish course to take you quickly from Beginner to Advanced with no previous knowledge of the language? It sounds like an impossible request but Camino al Español claims to provide the answer. This book is aimed at Beginners who need a fast track to reaching the language level required for entry into college or university.

Review posted: 29/10/2013
Have you used this book?

Camino al Español is divided into three parts which provide a complete learning experience – throughout the book you develop skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Listening and speaking activities are provided by audio CDs that accompany the book – you do need the CDs to get the best from the course, although they are sold separately.

This text is designed primarily for use in the classroom. The content of the book makes use of techniques to ensure the learning process is stimulating and active, including plenty of pair and group work activities. There is also a section for teachers, which is designed to improve classes and offer practical application of the text. You can use the book on your own without a teacher but you need to be motivated and able to work well independently in order to make a success of the study.

The first part of Camino al Español contains 20 units and each unit concentrates on one topic or language function (for example De Viaje, or Tienes Hermanos?). Each unit sets out some learning aims that you should be able to master once you’ve reached the end of the unit. You then go from presentation of the new structures, vocabulary, and practice, to listening exercises, into a consolidation section that provides written revision exercises. At the end of each unit there is a grammar section listing relevant explanations and examples. The structure is logical and the learning seems to “flow” as you progress through the activities and examples. After the first five units the instructions and all the examples are in Spanish, although the grammar explanations are always in English.

Part two is a section of teachers’ guidelines which is an in-depth look at how to structure a lesson and how to successfully gain students’ understanding and participation. The section also includes the answers, and transcripts of the spoken examples.

Part three comprises reference materials and study aids including a grammar guide, vocabulary lists, and verb tables. You may also need a good Spanish-English dictionary as the reference sections are by no means comprehensive.

This course book contains a wide variety of exercises and activities such as reading newspaper articles, translating passages, answering questions, and completing word searches. The variety certainly keeps students interested as they move through the units, which is a good thing as the work gets progressively more difficult and the students’ motivation needs maintained when tackling tough grammatical structures and concepts.

"Camino al Espanol is a no-frills text – you don’t get fancy extras and a lot of cultural explanation – but it provides a thorough grounding in the language which is of utmost importance for use in schools and Spanish institutes."

Additional elements of note in Camino al Español include explanations that clearly differentiate style and usage between Peninsular Spanish and Latin American Spanish, and up-to-date website references providing further examples. The audio CDs are recorded by native speakers and the reading examples are taken from authentic sources. In my personal opinion I feel that students won’t feel they are being “taught” by a robotic teacher when they are working through this text.

I found the layout to be clear and easy to read. The illustrations, while a bit cliché, are lively and entertaining. Camino al Español is a no-frills text – you don’t get fancy extras and a lot of cultural explanation – but it provides a thorough grounding in the language which is of utmost importance for use in schools and Spanish institutes. At the end of the book you will be at an advanced level, so long as you complete all the units correctly. It is clearly more suitable for use in a classroom situation but you can still benefit from the text if you are an independent learner – just make sure you are prepared to put in some hard work.



Leave your review for 'Camino al Español'

Fields with * are required.