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A CD-ROM for Exploring Culture in Spanish
Emmanuel Paris-Bouvret and Ana Pérez-Gironés
En una palabra is a unique interactive tool to help students learn about Spanish culture while increasing vocabulary and listening skills. Students experience the program through a series of video segments in which fifteen residents of Sevilla—of varying ages and sociocultural backgrounds—define the same ten concepts:
While these words are easily translatable into any language, the definitions offered by the speakers reveal the diverse nature of culture and how words convey individual and collective values, which are not always obvious.
This program is a resource flexible enough to fit into almost any curriculum, by setting appropriate tasks and expectations. Words like trabajo, familia, and amigos represent concepts that are an integral part of most first-year college textbooks, while individualismo, libertad, and ambicíon lend themselves to more abstract thinking more appropriate for second-year or more advanced courses. Especially for students at the intermediate level and beyond, En una palabra can assist them to understand how cultural values are reflected in a language.
The CD-ROM includes the following features to assist students' cultural comprehension:
• transcription of each video
• selective glossary
• information about Sevilla and its region
• web links for further exploration
• information about the local dialect
• easy navigation
• navigational and technical help on the CD-ROM
There is also a free, online instructor's manual that offers suggestions for using the CD-ROM in the classroom at different levels. The content is presented entirely in Spanish and plays on both PCs and Macs, using the free program QuickTime. Visit www.press.georgetown.edu to view sample screen shots and a demo.
Language labs that purchase a copy of En una palabra, Sevilla, España will automatically receive rights to (a) post an electronic copy of the CD-ROM on a secure (password protected) network for use by current students and faculty at their institution; and (b) loan the number of purchased copies to students. For other permissions, please contact the press.
Windows 98, Pentium II, 64 MB RAM
Windows 2000, Pentium III, 128 MB RAM
Windows XP, Pentium III, 128 MB RAM
Power Mac G3 with OS 10.1.5 or better, 128 MB RAM
"En una palabra is a welcome addition to any Spanish course. Obtaining real language, spoken by real people has always been a challenge for the language professor. It is this type of speech that our students need to hear more of, instead of the 'prepared' listening activities found in most textbooks."—Pilar Munday, coordinator for the Spanish Language Program, Sacred Heart University
Emmanuel Paris-Bouvret is the director of the Language Resource Center at Wesleyan University.
Ana Pérez-Gironés is an adjunct associate professor of Romance Languages & Literatures at Wesleyan University.