First Spanish Reader: A Beginner's Dual-Language Book
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  • First Spanish Reader: A Beginner's Dual-Language Book
  • Angel Flores
  • Published by: Dover Publications
  • Level: Beginner
  • First Published in: 1988

This is the perfect Spanish book for the absolute beginner: This book has 41 engaging stories and proverbs written by well known Spanish speaking writers. Each story is presented in both English and Spanish and a number of comprehension exercises are also provided for students to work on.

Review posted: 11/10/2013
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Whenever I come across books that take creative approaches to teaching a certain language, my interest is immediately caught. There are times when both teachers and students want to take more alternative paths to learning a language and the book First Spanish Reader does just that.

"...this affordable anthology is filled with 41 delightful stories and proverbs based on works of Don Juan Manuel, Luis Taboada, Ricardo Palma, and other noted writers." - Angel Flores (Author)

First Spanish Reader is the type of coursebook that helps beginner to pre intermediate students become familiar with the Spanish language through proverbs, folk tales, short stories and comprehension exercises. The book does not organize its information into chapters or units but it instead provides 41 Spanish stories (which are all translated into English) and at the end of the book a number of vocabulary and grammar exercises are provided for students to work on. Students and teachers can choose to work on these exercises as they read the stories or work on them once they’ve finished with the entire book. The book begins with easy-to-read stories which only use simple language, one or two tenses, and very few informal words or idioms. As the stories continue the content becomes more difficult and the vocabulary and structure of each story becomes a bit more challenging to understand.

Something that I found to be very appealing about this book is that along with learning the language, students will get a taste of Spanish and Latin American culture by reading the stories. Many of the proverbs and folk tales are directly taken from early works of literature and the stories are written by well-known Spanish-speaking authors. For students who consider themselves bookworms, this book might also spark an interest in Spanish literature and inspire them to study the language even further.

The only downside to this book is that it is somewhat short in comparison to most language books; with about 115 pages one could even label it a pocket book. Nevertheless this book still has very useful information and content. In my personal opinion I think this book is perfect to use alongside a typical grammar book or a Spanish-English dictionary; that way readers get the most benefit out of the book. If the book is used on its own, readers might not get enough grammar practice and they may miss out on completely understanding each story.

Even though First Spanish Reader is somewhat short, it is still a must-have for serious Spanish students and teachers. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to get started on learning Spanish or anyone who already has knowledge of the language but wants to improve their skills.



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