¡Dime! Uno
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  • ¡Dime! Uno
  • Fabián A. Samaniego and Patricia Hamilton Carlin
  • Published by: McDougal Littel
  • Level: Beginner
  • First Published in:

A beginner level Spanish course book perfect for middle and high school students. This book offers a number of grammar and reading exercises as well as listening activities with voice actors from different parts of Latin America.

Review posted: 23/10/2013
Have you used this book?

At first glance one might take a look at the cover of Dime! Uno and possibly get the impression that the book has directly jumped out of the 90’s. If the picture of the two students wearing brightly colored clothing isn’t a dead giveaway, the cheesy comics and neon colored chapter headings inside the book will surely send you back to that specific era.

Although the book is somewhat outdated this shouldn’t discourage teachers or students from working with the material it has to offer. Dime, which means “tell me,” is a book that is specifically directed at an American audience who want to learn the Spanish spoken by their Latin American neighbors. Each chapter focuses on a specific country or culture while working on engaging grammar, writing, and listening activities. To give you an idea of the cultural variety this book has, Unit 1 makes references to the state of California, Unit 2 talks about Puerto Rico, Unit 3 Mexico and the list goes on. Every unit focuses on a specific region, dialect, and vocabulary used by the different Latin American countries. There are even Units which talk about the different states in the US (Texas, Florida, New York) with concentrated numbers of Latin American immigrants.

Each chapter goes over important beginner level grammar structures such as question making, ser/estar verbs, making commands, describing people and places, etc. - but there is a very strong focus on proper verb conjugation in each lesson. Students will actually get more than enough practice conjugating verbs in each chapter and there might come a point where the conjugation exercises will seem a bit unnecessary. A good thing about the exercises is that although this is a Latin American Spanish book, many of the chapters give examples using vosotros, sois, and os which are only used in Spain.

The only thing I would consider to be a downside are the audio activities. Adult students might find it difficult to take these exercises seriously; although the pronunciation is clear and easy to understand, the voice acting can sound a bit overanimated or silly. You could even say that the voice acting is directed at a younger audience. Personally I feel that the way the voice actors talk resembles actors in children’s television shows. If you are an adult learner just keep this in mind and try to focus on the pronunciation and less on the context and voice acting.

"This is a wonderful book for a beginning student of Spanish to rapidly increase their understanding of the Spanish language as used in everyday situations"- Fabian Samaniego (Author)

If I had to recommend this book to anyone in particular it would be teachers. This book has plenty of useful material to use in class and there’s no need to use complementary material. This book is not meant for independent learners, but if you are a Spanish student, make sure to use it with the assistance of a teacher or tutor.



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