The introductory chapter addresses the reading process as related to literature and literary criticism to help students make the transition from reading for comprehension to reading for interpretation. It includes a description of local and global reading strategies, a discussion of the three genres, definitions of fundamental literary terms, and guidelines for analyzing each genre. The chapter concludes with a brief overview of trends in modern literary criticism and how they relate to the approaches to literature taken in PANORAMAS LITERARIOS.
Each section opens with a timeline, Cronología, of the historical and literary progress of the relevant time period. This provides students with the relevant social information and an excellent context for the reading selections covered.
To provide students with the necessary background information for their study of literature, each of the text's six sections begins with a general overview, Sinopsis histórico-literaria, describing important literary currents and the historical context for the period covered in that section.
A brief biographical sketch of the author, Nota biográfica, precedes each selection and includes titles of major works published and their dates. This section also explains the historical context and significance of the author's work.
The Guía y actividades de pre-lectura section serves as an advance organizer and prepares students to read. It supplies information on the specific work to be studied, highlights major themes, and discusses the author's writing techniques and style.
Each reading selection is followed by a series of comprehension questions and by two or three additional activities, Comprensión y expansión, that prepare students to advance to analytical and interpretive topics.
The Temas de discusión o análisis section provides a range of topics for class discussion or written analysis, emphasizing the cognitive dimension of reading and looking for consistent patterns of meaning.
Emphasizing the affective dimension of reading, the Temas de proyección personal section is concerned with an emotional reaction that allows the reader to make use of the reading experience in real life. Termed "reader-response criticism," this section aims to develop this type of response and an individual engagement with the text.
To facilitate comprehension, each selection has marginal glosses that define difficult words or phrases in English, or when possible, in simple Spanish. Footnotes explain literary allusions or other unfamiliar cultural and historical references in Spanish.
For students' reference, the Glosario de términos literarios y culturales defines key literary and cultural terms in English. Each term in the glossary is marked with an asterisk (*) the first time it appears in a text section.
An extensive Spanish-English vocabulary at the end of the book includes those words glossed in the text margins.
The Website for PANORAMAS LITERARIOS: ESPAÑA gives students access to supplemental questions from the Temas intertextuales section of the text, as well as links to other web sites dedicated to Peninsular and Spanish American literature, or to major authors featured in these volumes. The Temas intertextuales section features topics that relate to more than one work of literature presented in the section or to works in other sections. The Actividades section features automatically-graded activities related to the texts that give students immediate feedback on their understanding of the texts before and after in-class discussions.