WORKING WITH SPANISH LEVEL 1 (New Edition) By Juan Katt n-Ibarra and Tim Connell Coursebook Pounds 8.99. 085950 374 7 Casette Pounds 14.50. 085950 156 6. Stanley Thornes
This coursebook is intended for a practical, vocational approach to learning Spanish. It has a heavy commercial bias making it suitable for students studying business-oriented courses at school or in further or higher education, as well as people in business.
The emphasis is on a structural grammatical progression and a practical approach to language acquisition. One of the major selling points of the course has always been its focus on different areas of the Spanish-speaking world: students listen to native Mexicans as well as Spaniards from the outset. Similarly, there is a balance in the reading material between background information on Spain and Latin American countries. Of course, this makes sense both commercially and linguistically.
The coursebook was badly in need of an update given its reliance on facts and figures and it is gratifying that the authors have eradicated the anachronisms and included some new material.
Working with Spanish Level 1 is commendable for its unequivocal, unpretentious presentation. Students are exposed to an abundance of relevant listening material and a variety of reading material and exercises to enhance other language skills. Grammar points are clearly explained although I would question the omission of the preterite tense in favour of the perfect tense in Level 1. The consolidation after every four chapters is a welcome addition and the final grammar summary is useful.