Materials

Center for International Programs

Our Spanish professors at Universidad VERITAS at Center of International Programs have developed and written our own materials for Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Spanish courses. They have also created workbooks for Basic and Intermediate levels for Spanish for Health Professions. All of these workbooks are used in the classroom and students can take it back home after completing it in their Spanish course.

Cultural Heritage Book

This book is a compendium of reflections on policy making, historic, social and cultural events on the American continent, understood as North America, Central America and South America or, as they are commonly referred to, North America or Anglo-Saxon America, and Latina America, as names calling to mind their cultural traditions.

The aim of these reflections is to deal with themes relating to Latin American and Costa Rican cultures. The cultural theme is endless, enormous in scope and difficult to capture; the aim of this compendium is thus to introduce students to the cultural heritage of Latin American people, arouse their interest in culture-related themes and ensure they learn to live together, value and respect different customs and the distinct ways of viewing life of each people, so as to understand their idiosyncrasies as well as political and social histories.

Spanish Survival Book

This book provides general information about the culture and basic communication structures, vocabulary and expressions in Spanish in order to help English-speakers who have no knowledge of the language to survive in the Costa Rican environment. Through each scenario, visitors will easily understand and acquire the skills to communicate in everyday situations during their visit.

The book is divided into four sections: AN OVERVIEW OF COSTA RICA, BASIC SPANISH GRAMMAR, USEFUL PHRASES FOR BASIC COMMUNICATION, (including seven different, every-day scenarios), and TRY OUT YOUR SPANISH (where one can test what he/she has learned).

Nivel Básico I (Basic I)

The process of teaching and learning a second language should be a process whereby students acquire the second language in an experiential way, through an active process of experiences with the language and culture to learn. Therefore the facilitators should seek and create materials and learning strategies that give the opportunity to students to experience the language in a useful and functional way, so they can implement it into their everyday lives.

This text seeks to become a useful tool in the acquisition of Spanish as a second language, and it is intended for the student with basic Spanish without any previous knowledge of the language. The text is divided into ten units of subject matter. Each one of them is structured in such a way that the units and the topics are interconnected with the purpose that the student can relate to the knowledge of a gradual, step-by-step basis, but above all in a meaningful way. This is achieved by linking newly learned skills with previously-known knowledge and then applying them in a functional way in real life.

Nivel Basico II (Basic II)

“Conversemos en Español” is a text designed for students with a basic knowledge of Spanish as a second language. Its purpose is to promote the development of the language skills necessary, so that students can communicate in an effective and efficient manner in the contexts of the familiar and known. In addition, you find that the student, through the activities and exercises, can reach a greater communicative competence in the target language.

The methodological approach of this text is communicative, and the activities to be undertaken are focused so that the students interact between them with the people in their environment. It is intended that the student be in constant contact with the target language, through exercises and activities that follow the criteria of simple and easy first, until they reach progressively a greater complexity and thus provided linguistic and communicative resources of level Basic II.

This book is divided into four chapters. The first is an introductory chapter or review of the knowledge acquired by students in previous communicative competence level. It serves as a refresher of the studied linguistic content and is a link to start new topics. At the beginning of each chapter it describes the functions that the student should reach at the end of the chapter, and also, it specifies the grammar content that will be discussed in the lessons.

Chapters have eight sections.

Intermedio I (Intermediate I)

“Enlace Intercultural” helps students develop the skills necessary to advance to an intermediate competence in Spanish.

Based on the communicative approach, this book emphasizes the use of the language in diverse contexts, and puts into practice specific communicative functions such as discovering and understanding the similarities and differences between people and places.  Narrating and understanding common actions in the past-tense, and giving and receiving orders, recommendations and instructions.

Most of the activities included aim to create a communicative exchange between the students and their new cultural environment. For example, students must work as a team, conduct interviews with native Spanish speakers, seek solutions to communicative tasks, play games, participate in simulations of real-life scenarios, etc. Activities generally combine various skills.

The book is divided into an introduction that links back to the level of previous Spanish understanding, and six chapters that help students acquire new communicative resources for the intermediate level.

The text is designed for 80-90 hour course.

Avanzado I (Advance I)

This book is intended to induce the learner of Spanish as a second language in a creative and motivating way, to create a linguistic journey in an advanced proficiency level. This book consists of four lessons that encourage the practice of the four skills, which encourage the student to deepen their structural vocabulary. In addition, it provides abundant “extras” to enrich their knowledge of the culture and language.

Nivel Basico para Profesiones de Salud (Basic Health)

The text is organized into ten thematic lessons. Each lesson is designed in a way that the student will acquire the structures and vocabulary you need to ask questions and respond appropriately. The lessons range from simple to complex and are divided into four sections: Reading, consisting of dialogs that introduce grammatical structures, and cultural aspects of the interaction between doctor-patient; Let’s talk about the language, a section designed to emphasize the grammatical structures; Activities, is a section where the students will apply the context learned in the previous sections by means of oral and written exercises, activities and communicative exercises with simulated patients speaking; Vocabulary tool, this section provides the student with more vocab that allows him/her to communicate with Spanish speakers in contexts specific to their work. The book includes an appendix with a section of exercises of listening comprehension, where it is required that the student listens to specific information, responds to questions or perform activities that help to improve this communicative skill.

Nivel Intermedio para Profesiones de Salud (Intermediate Health)

Intermediate Spanish for Health Professions is a text in Spanish for specific purposes, aimed at health staffs who wish to expand their knowledge of Spanish as a second language and get the linguistic competence that allows them to communicate with Spanish-speakers in specific contexts of their work. The primary aim of the text is to give the student the necessary linguistic tools to carry out a medical consultation with a Spanish-speaking simulated patient.

The text is organized into ten thematic lessons, each lesson includes quarter sections: Readings of dialogues between patient-physician, where are presented the grammatical structures and cultural aspects of the interaction between patient-physician; Let’s talk about the language, enter the grammatical aspects necessary to obtain a better communicative competence; Activities, a series of oral and written exercises that allow the apprentice to improve the grammatical structures and communicative competence; Useful vocabulary, this section of exercises of listening which requires students to hear specific information, answer questions or do activities that help to improve this communicative skill.

With the study of this text, students can complete a medical record, take vital signs, inquire about symptoms and diseases, interview patients, describe diseases, research the family history of the patient, order lab tests, and give recommendations and suggestions.

Nivel Avanzado para Profesiones de Salud (Advanced Health)

Advanced Spanish for Health Professions is a text of Spanish for specific purposes, directed to health personnel within broad knowledge of the Spanish language, and who need to improve their communicative competence to interact with Spanish-speaking patients and their respective families. The main aim of the text is to ensure that the student acquires, the vocabulary and linguistic competence necessary to be able to interview, give lectures and talks, recommendations and suggestions to Spanish-speaking patients effectively.

The text is organized into eleven thematic lessons. Each lesson is introduced with a reading on a specific topic for health personnel and a series of activities in which students must investigate and develop oral presentations, give talks and lectures to Spanish-speaking patients and people interested in health issues. Also, each lesson contains a section of vocabulary that helps to improve and expand the vocabulary.

With the study of this text, the student will complete a medical record, take vital signs, inquire about symptoms and diseases, give recommendations, describe diseases, and give advice on treatments and surgeries. They will also be able to recommend about post-operative care and give suggestions to patients with terminal diseases on how to improve their quality of life.

If you would like to buy these for personal, students or classroom use please contact Alejandra Barahona abarahona@veritas.cr.