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Victor's Adventures in Spain: A Parallel Text and Audio Workbook Paperback – November 30, 2014
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Frequently bought together
- Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1st edition (November 30, 2014)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 264 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1502985918
- ISBN-13 : 978-1502985910
- Item Weight : 1.39 pounds
- Dimensions : 8.5 x 0.6 x 11.69 inches
Best Sellers Rank:
#493,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #2,004 in Foreign Dictionaries & Thesauruses
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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If I were to make a suggestion to someone starting out in Spanish it would be to have another book with other exercises and examples handy. No one book does it all. In my own case sometimes I will refer to two or three books, and then maybe even to a lesson on YouTube to make sure I understand the concept (and even then sometimes I don't quite get it!). The strength in Victor's Adventures is the audio and the story. You get to hear how Spanish is used in real life situations and that is invaluable. And there's a short grammar exercise. I'd suggest a companion book to perhaps flesh out the grammar a little more, maybe Dorothy Richmond's "Basic Spanish" in the Practice Makes Perfect Series of Spanish books. And I'm sure there are others as well. No audio with these books, but more explanations on the grammar and more exercises. So maybe, depending on where you are in your pursuit of Spanish, listen to a chapter in Victor's Adventure, read the grammar, do the exercise, and then go to that same lesson in Basic Spanish or another book and repeat. Then finally listen to the explanation of the same subject on LightSpeed Spanish on YouTube (or Professor Jason has some excellent lessons as well). Listening to the concept explained in various ways has the effect of better fixing the idea in one's memory (or so I would argue).
None of this is meant to be a criticism of Victor's Adventures in Spain. I am throughly enjoying the book. I've gone through half of it in about six days (I also get to babysit grandchildren and have a life to lead). I'm an intermediate Spanish student, but have still learned a few new grammar facts, and the listening is a great exercise as well as being engaging and entertaining. Buy the book, it is well worth the money just to listen to the dialogue and learn from that. Also, on a technical point. It was easy to download the lessons. There are also chapters devoted to Spanish idioms. I have them on my iPad and iPhone. It is easy to listen to them while walking or doing other things that don't involve full concentration (don't cross busy streets while focusing on Spanish!).
The above was written about five or six months ago. I finished the book, the audio, the lessons. Now, today, months later I decide to go for a brisk walk (I do everyday), and relisten to Victor's Adventures. Of course I know the storyline, but I understood virtually every word of the dialogue. I have many books that teach Spanish. My wife might say it is an obcession, I prefer to think I am a passionate learner. But if you know some basics, Victor's Adventures can move you to a different level.
For teachers, there's romance, some fighting, but this book and the learning dialogues belong in your classroom. I would think this is written in a way your students could relate to.
I am a middle-aged absolute beginner (never too old, my friends) who discovered Lightspeed Spanish AFTER buying a different program that I am pleased to have because you do need more than one source...but everything about Cynthia and Gordon's teaching style in general is hilarious and lighthearted and about dogs and kids and bike rides and you end up feeling like you know them. Victor's Adventures In Spain is no exception. You will adore Victor and you will adore the people in his world. You will find yourself immersed in his adventures while you learn, and in fact you will forget you're in it to learn it (seriously). As someone who teaches young kids, I know how valuable that can be.
As an absolute beginner, I am going slowly through each chapter three times because I want to pick up on tricky grammar now, lest I wallow in frustration down the road. But a person really can approach this book in countless ways, which is part of its charm. You can try different techniques. You can go back and reread the whole thing with fresh understanding once you've gained a little confidence. You can listen to the whole thing, then read. Or vice versa. You can read it in English and then Spanish. If you're up for a fun challenge, you can read the English and translate it into Spanish. It's not in the least bit regimented, which is handy for those of us who prefer a free-formed angle to our learning.
Bite sized chapters, bite sized lessons, and a giant supply of useful audio, including a couple of catchy tunes to help with those pesky "to be" verbs. It's got everything. Really.
Do I expect this book to make me the most fluent kid on the block? No, I do not. But I am planning a visit to Spain next year and the confidence I glean from these brilliant books will help make my visit more full and enjoyable. THAT'S what I'm after, and I'm grateful to Cynthia and Gordon for their help.
Top reviews from other countries
I've successfully managed to incorporate using this book into my morning routine. Over a cup of tea I read aloud (yep, read aloud) a chapter of the story; it only takes 5 minutes. Then, in the car to work, I listen to Cynthia reading the same chapter paying attention to the words I struggle to pronounce. Repeat for a couple of days, and then move on to the next chapter. Cynthia has a clear, lovely accent; I would be happy to listen to her reading out a shopping list.
With a few minutes each (workday) morning, after a month or so, the improvement in my pronunciation was obvious. Because the story is repeating common words and phrases, my own basic conversation has become more assured. And I have greater confidence to talk in class, and that's good as well.
There was one issue. Cynthia starts the book speaking very slow, and speeds up to near normal day-to-day speech by the end of the book at chapter 32; around chapter 18 the speed was becoming too fast for me to follow. No problem; I used some audio software that I have which has a clever feature of being able to slow down the mp3 without changing the frequency nor distortion. So I slowed the speech by 10%, and at chapter 26, another 10%. This is good for me now, and sometime in the future I have the full speed versions to try.
Overall a great book and perfect for my needs, thank you Gordon and Cynthia.