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El cine documental is an innovative intermediate/advanced textbook that provides students with the tools needed to communicate accurately and appropriately in Spanish. Learning is centered on cultural themes related to thought-provoking documentaries from around the Spanish-speaking world. Through the culturally rich and linguistically authentic medium of documentary film, El cine documental provides the experience of listening to many varieties of authentic speech in context, and stimulates conversation and critical thinking by immersing students in the target cultures. Organized to provide scaffolding for students as they develop their skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, each chapter includes five sections: Ver, Leer, Escuchar, Escribir, and Expandir. Course instructors: click here for information about the instructor resources and textbook/workbook samples.
- Authentic, engaging, culturally rich materials that develop students’ translingual and transcultural competence and prepare them for participation in a global society. Authentic input related to each chapter theme is provided in the form of:
- a documentary film depicting contemporary and historical topics from a variety of Spanish-speaking countries. Themes include the environment; sports; globalization; poverty, hopes, and dreams; immigration; human rights; war and peace; and feminism.
- a reading from a variety of genres: blog posts, newspaper articles, poetry, and short stories.
- video interviews that students conduct with native Spanish speakers from the local community and a contemporary song related to the chapter theme.
- Pre-, during, and post-viewing/reading/listening activities that guide and scaffold students’ interaction with multimedia input (films, readings, and songs) and develop their language skills. All activities are contextualized, meaningful, and directly related to the chapter themes.
- End-of-chapter, learner-driven activities that require students to demonstrate their ability to integrate and put into practice their linguistic skills and cultural knowledge and understanding via oral presentations, debates, and a process-oriented writing assignment with a real-world purpose and audience.
- An online workbook, available for $25.00 on the Focus online courseware website, with detailed grammatical explanations for each grammar topic (four per chapter) and auto-correcting practice activities that provide additional vocabulary exposure. Click here for more information about the online workbook.
"This is a very compact but effective text that powerfully supports language learning via activities and exercises based on authentic documentaries. . . . The book does total justice to what it sets out to do by treating cutting edge topics such as the environment, globalization, war and peace, immigration, human rights, feminism, sports, and poverty and hope. . . . The material is designed to ensure the rapid development of students' Spanish vocabulary and communicative abilities. The contents, design and approach prepare them to be not just more effective communicators but also more aware global citizens. The method is eminently suitable for any passionate instructor of Spanish. The price is very affordable for students."
—Dr. Shonu Nagia, Professor of Foreign Languages, Louisana State University at Alexandria
"El cine documental is one of the most engaging textbooks to teach about contemporary issues in Latin America. My students are able to learn the material assigned and, by means of powerful documentaries, connect with real people and tangible challenges. Moreover, the vocabulary and grammar section allow them to continue improving their Spanish proficiency."
—Osvaldo Di Paolo Harrison, Austin Peay State University
- América Latina y el Caribe: Riqueza viva
- Rumbo a las grandes ligas / Road to the Big Leagues
- ¿Por qué quebró McDonald’s en Bolivia? / Fast Food off the Shelf
- La mina del diablo / The Devil’s Miner
- ¿Cuál es el camino a casa? / Which Way Home?
- Nuestros desaparecidos / Our Disappeared
- La Sierra
- Nosotras, centroamericanas
Sources for purchase, rental, or other means of accessing the films are available on the El cine documental title support film page here.
- Electronic instructor's manual (includes answers to the exercises, annotations, and a sample syllabus): The electronic instructor's manual (PDF format only) is available to qualified instructors who have adopted El cine documental as a required text for their class. Click here to request the instructor's manual. PDF instructor's manuals are emailed to course instructors upon request approval.
- List of additional films related to the theme of each chapter (PDF), click here to download.
- Textbook sample chapter (PDF): Chapter 1 of the textbook is available to download as a PDF sample, click here to download the textbook chapter sample.
- Online workbook sample: Chapter 1 of the online student workbook for El cine documental is available for preview to qualified course instructors. To request access please complete the online request form at the bottom of the workbook information page.
About the Authors:
Tammy Jandrey Hertel is a Professor of Spanish and Linguistics at Lynchburg College.
Stasie Harrington is a Faculty Associate and the Coordinator of Spanish 226 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.