Textbooks are still one of the most used medium to teach a language. Though technology has become an important tool for the second language instructor, the textbooks continue to be the main academic guide in the second language classroom. Therefore a textbook should contain the proper material to teach a language for the students to be able to communicate outside the classroom. Taking this in consideration I’m going to attempt to make a brief analysis of the textbook Ven conmigo! by Holt, Rinehart and Winston. This is a level 1 Spanish book. This will include an analysis of all aspects of acquiring a second language: listening, speaking, writing, reading and culture.
At the end of each chapter the book includes a reading section. It teaches the students reading strategies using cognates and using context. It also incites them to use their back ground knowledge and to scan for specific information including pictures, titles, and subtitles for reading comprehension. It also has the students pay attention to the outline of the articles to understand the main idea
The textbook introduces grammar in a dialogue context. After introducing two or three grammatical items, the textbook incorporates activities in pairs or groups to increase both the input and the output opportunities for the students. These activities include real life situation dialogues. The grammatical material covered in the textbook includes gender, plural, and singular of nouns, definite and indefinite articles, pronouns, adjectives, affirmative and negative expressions, comparatives, regular verbs, verb with irregular forms, the verbs gustar, present progressive, stem-changing verbs and the preterit of regular verbs.
In spite of being a book for beginners, the textbook incorporates writing activities. In the first chapters students are asked to write at the level sentence towards the end of the book students are asked to produce paragraphs.
The textbook also incorporates listening activities with an audio cassette. For these activities various aids are provided to increase comprehension from the students. These aids include many things, from pictures following a sequence of events to listening to the dialogues of a fotonovela. The listening activities also include real life situations events.
Each chapter is introduced with brief information of a Spanish speaking country. The information includes ethnicity, customs, and historical artifacts. Though this information is limited, it serves as a guide for the instructor to incorporate the cultural aspect of the language to the class.
I think this book covers all the aspects of the language acquisition.