Using Spanish Vocabulary

Using Spanish Vocabulary

Using Spanish Vocabulary

Using Spanish Vocabulary

Synopsis

Providing a comprehensive reference for all levels of undergraduate Spanish courses, this text offers broad coverage of vocabulary relating to social, commercial and political environments, as well as exposure to commonly encountered technical vocabulary. Accompanying exercises are designed to promote precision and awareness of nuance and register; develop good dictionary usage and encourage effective learning. The book includes Iberian as well as Latin American vocabulary, clearly identifying differences between the two.

Excerpt

How does a second-language learner acquire vocabulary? How does (s)he penetrate the complex web of differing meanings associated with a single item of vocabulary? How does (s)he organize around this single item synonyms, antonyms, metaphoric allusions, register levels and cultural references which come naturally in the native tongue? How do the multilayered meanings of a single word lodge themselves permanently in the learner’s mind, or how do we remember terms of a second language so that they may be picked out from the memory as easily and automatically as if we had learnt them from our earliest childhood? Numerous volumes have been devoted to the topic, just as a welter of books have appeared which claim to increase our word power in a second language. Clearly, the real problem that presents itself to the learner of a second language is centered on the passage from first-time recognition of a term or expression to its firm retention in the memory so that it may be exploited meaningfully at a later date. In other words, the second-language learner must be encouraged to move from initial acquisition to a fixed and lasting grasp of words, and to their active and repeated use, in both oral and written discourse.

The present volume addresses these questions for those students who have already embarked on the study of Spanish since it offers a finely structured university course founded on the exploitation of semantic fields. This course contains more than enough material for at least three years of advanced study for students who have already progressed beyond a simple working knowledge of Spanish, both syntactically and lexically, although the vocabulary of a few units at level 1 includes some basic words. It places a strong, emphatic accent on the active use of vocabulary by relating it to exercises designed to foster the exploitation of words in a given semantic context. Work in the target language is the principal method chosen to direct the student towards a constant exploration and extra resourcefulness, carrying her/him beyond the passive and limp recognition of words.

The course consists of twenty units offering study of twenty semantic fields. Each unit is divided into three graded levels, so that there are sixty sections in all. These levels are broken down into subdivisions. The contents of the units and subdivisions are to be found before this introduction. With respect to the grading of the levels, the first one is, broadly speaking, less demanding than the second which, in turn, is less demanding than the third. It should be . . .

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