Theme-Based Chapters: Each chapter begins with a cultural topic, which is discussed in more broad terms with the support of an "Enfoque cultural" reading to provide historical background. The theme is then explored from different angles and in more focus through short film and literature. Photos and graphics provide additional visual reinforcement, as well as the cultural and aesthetic support needed for comprehension.
Project-Based Learning: Each chapter ends with a culturally rich "Exploración" section, which invites students to try their own personalized in-depth exploration and expression. The section culminates with a "Proyecto," in which students brainstorm and research in preparation for a technology-based project, such as a mashup, panel discussion, compare-contrast essay, comic strip, interview, brochure, PowerPoint®, written proposal, or oral presentation. The project is explained step-by-step and is often modeled in the actual reading. Collaborating on a meaningful project allows students to move from the more "enclosed" and guided space of grammar and vocabulary to a broader, more personalized space the students create on their own.
Skill-Building Strategies: Learning strategies in vocabulary, reading, and viewing/listening allow students to go beyond prescribed skills and lists of vocabulary by giving students the tools to understand and use new words, and build their own vocabulary.
Cross-Cultural Approach: The diverse selection of "Espacio literario" readings and "Corto de cine" short films featured in every chapter enables students to experience each theme from a pan-Hispanic perspective and fosters sensitivity to the many cultures of the Spanish-speaking world.
Relevant Vocabulary: Vocabulary items are tightly woven into the chapter themes, so students know at all times how to say what they mean about the topics. Students learn the vocabulary based on a rich cultural presentation related to the chapter theme, as well as in relation to authentic readings, making the chapters more modular and allowing students to more easily build on what they have just learned.