Por Mi Mism@
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  • Por Mi [email protected]
  • Mina Ogando Lavin
  • Published by: Kendall Hunt Publishing
  • Level: Intermediate
  • First Published in: 2010

Por Mi [email protected] is a Spanish course book ideally meant for University students who have taken at least 2 years of Spanish class. The book is heavy on grammar activities and it is perfect for both group and private lessons.

REVIEW BY Katie Collum Book EXPERT
Review posted: 31/10/2013
Have you used this book?

Spanish is a beautiful language, this is true, but it can also be an unfathomably frustrating experience if you’ve never studied a language similar to it. Suddenly, you’re thinking about what gender your dining room table is (when you were perfectly happy not wondering this in your pre-Spanish days), you spend hours memorizing irregular verbs (and swear they’ll be the death of you), and struggle to remember where those accents go on all that new vocabulary (and sometimes saying the word aloud seems to be of no help whatsoever). But, you’ve struggled through all that and can now proudly call yourself an advanced Spanish language student. Give yourself a quick celebratory pat on the back and put your nose back to the grindstone because it’s time to start hunting around for a good advanced textbook.

[email protected] is a Spanish coursebook which you may consider at some point. It’s meant for university students who have taken more than two years of intense Spanish course work, so you can be sure that the level of this book is quite high. Let’s look at a few pros and cons of using [email protected] to help you on your quest to higher language learning!

Pros

Each chapter is heavy on grammar because at this point in your language learning you are probably hoping to manage those complex grammar forms anyways. The lesson varies from chapter to chapter so for one lesson you might focus on accents and their proper placement while for another you’ll be managing the differences between using ser and estar. At the same time, these complicated lessons are presented in an easily digestible form so there’s no need to be intimidated before you even begin!

Something else really great about this book is how it’s put together. I love that it really seems to move from the easier concepts such as accents or words which are pronounced similarly but mean different things, and slowly builds up to more difficult ideas in the latter chapters. This way the learning process isn’t too confusing and you don’t waste a lot of time skipping around the book trying to find that grammar structure which you haven’t even learned yet.

This book also offers a lot of in-book activities. If you don’t mind marking up your textbook, it can easily serve as a workbook as well. I like that in each chapter the core grammar theme is reiterated over and over again through hands on activities. You may be asked to fill in charts, fill in the blanks in sample sentences, or match up words with phrases. All these activities are aimed at making sure that you have a firm grasp on the lesson’s theme before you move on to the next chapter.


"You will encounter typos and mistakes in how words are spelled or how sentences are put together. Thankfully, these mistakes are not frequent, but I still think they are detrimental for students attempting to get a clear grasp of a non-native language."


Cons

Although strong on grammar, I feel that this book isn’t particularly focused on vocabulary. It seems to be assumed that at this point in your Spanish language studies you won’t really need to continue memorizing lists of vocabulary, which is a bit disappointing. Students may also experience issues with vocabulary they don’t recognize being inserted randomly into sentences or grammar exercises. If not in the presence of a professor who can answer your vocab query, be sure to have a good Spanish/English dictionary on hand.

Something extremely irritating about this coursework is that the final editing on it seems to have been done in a rather shabby way. You will encounter typos and mistakes in how words are spelled or how sentences are put together. Thankfully, these mistakes are not frequent, but I still think they are detrimental for students attempting to get a clear grasp of a non-native language.

I’m not too fond of the pace of this book. I feel that it moves from topic to topic quite quickly without reiterating these grammar topics later in the book. This means that the student needs to be sure to fully grasp the grammar presented in each chapter before they continue or else it will be quite difficult to adequately pick up the lessons in later chapters. For some advanced students, this pace may seem perfect, but for others it can be daunting and frightening to feel the rushed pressure present in this textbook.

Should you buy it? Is the question you probably want to get answered as you carefully weigh the pros and cons. So I’ll leave you with one final word of advice which will hopefully help you make a more informed decision: do not buy this textbook if you are looking for an advanced self-study course that you can use at home. [email protected] was designed for use with a tutor or teacher and will not provide an optimal learning experience for studying on your own. That being said, I hope these pros and cons are helpful in your quest to find the perfect Spanish language coursebook. Happy searching!

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