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on 13 March 2005
I've been studying Spanish for 2 years in my own time and am intermediate level.
The book is split into 3 parts. Part 1 is a story about 2 students at school. Part 2 is the history of Mexico and part 3 is a simplified version of a novel.
Each part is split into chapters. Each chapter conists of 1 pate of Spanish and around 10 questions based on the text, all in Spanish. Answers are in the back of the book. Some new/difficult words have translations on the page.
Part 1 is easy to read for me - would be good for a beginner.
Part 2 is more difficult (and interesting), part 3 is more challenging.
I enjoy reading the book - so this is a pleasent way to learn. Of course, you don't need to do the questions, but I find this helps me construct sentances correctly. What I would like is a whole series like this so that I know what to read next.
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on 3 March 2006
Easy Spanish reader.
To make it clear I think that you should be learning Spanish in a classroom environment, before you start to read this book, otherwise you won't have a clue of what is going on.
It doesn't give word for word translations or even give explainations of the grammatical structures or verb tenses that are being used. What it does give, is the occasional word translation for trickier words, so you don't have to keep referring to a dictionary and at the end of each chapter, some questions for you to answer in Spanish.
The book is split into 3 sections, each one progressively more advanced, the first one is very Peter and Janeish, ie not very interesting but essential revision of basic Spanish (by the end of which you'll have read every verb tense), the second section is a fascinating and quite comprehensive history of Mexico and the third an abridged adaptation of Lazarillo de Tormes.
One thing to note is that this is an American book, so the language is therefore American Spanish, however I can't remember seeing any major differences through the book.
If you have a basic understanding of Spanish, and are hoping to further yourself I recommend this book.
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on 26 March 2005
I am really enjoying using this book. It provides useful reading practice, which has been particularly welcome as I have been learning Spanish via a series of audio courses.
The 3 parts are interesting, although Part 1 is aimed more at school children than adult learners. Parts 2 is more interesting. providing a potted history of Mexico, while Part 3 is an abridged version of a classic of Spanish literature.
It is exceptionally well laid out, with new vocabulary meanings provided as margin notes meaning that you don't have to flick to the (extensive) glossary at the back of the book too often.
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on 20 July 2006
This book (though American - sorry) is an excellent way to encourage even a total learner to progress through varying levels of Spanish knowledge and grammar at a nice steady and easily asorbable rate.

The first part of the book deals with two American college students and their activities at college, home and with friends.
The activities at the end of each short readinig section reinforce knowledge imparted by the simple method of written repetition - without being boring.

The 2nd part of the book goes on to give a simplistic outline of the Spanish-associated histories of South Amercian/Mexico whilst improving the knowledge of the reader.
again the actitivies depend on repetition or additional perusal of any specific test to ensure that progress continues to be achieved.

The third part of the book - the most charming and comical - is loosely based on the Life of Lazarillo de Tormes - the 14th century story of a low born, (lovable) rogue and his trials and tributations in life working (or not) for a wide range of odd masters. Lazarillo finally achieves importance as a towncrier and conssiders himself an 'honorable man' by the end of the book. This section not only teaches word and verb usage but also different sentence structures and, in addition, also gives a very gentle introduction to Spanish Literature (where the original story of Lazarillo means the keen student will spend much time investigating interesting archaic Spanish usage.
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Very pleased with the quality and content. Helping a Spanish learner reinforce learning well. One word of caution is that the CD does not work on a CD player but needs playing on a PC or converting to use on MP 3 player which the recipient did easily enogh
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on 14 June 2014
Perfect book to start reading Spanish.Each short piece of writing is followed by some questions that are helpful to test your understanding. The answers are at the back of the book to check. New words are listed at the side of each piece of writing and a full vocabulary list is at the back of the book. It starts by using just the present tense and introduces simple past tense/s about half way through section 1. I can't comment on sections 2 and 3 as I haven't got there yet.
Take advantage of the 'look inside' feature as it gives a really good feel for the book.
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on 25 May 2015
A good book to aid your study as it eases from present to past tense. The storyline of 2 college students was easy to follow with familiar vocabulary but the historical text I personally found uninteresting as my priority is to learn the language much more than the history of the country.
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on 21 March 2014
I am no natural when it comes to learning Spanish, but this book combined with the CD has helped me more than anything else. It introduces new language bit by bit so you don't get lost and your confidence grows. The CD is an absolute must. Just learning vocabulary is not enough, you need to know how these words are pronounced otherwise no one will understand you.
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on 27 March 2008
I'm half-way through this book, really enjoying using it and already wishing there was a follow up that I could move onto. I'm using it alongside the Michelle Thomas audio tapes and they are working really well together. I could read this book and understand the first few pages straight away and as I progress with the tapes they help me to understand the different verb tenses that appear later in the book. I think I would struggle with tenses if I was just reading the book by itself. I can't always be bothered to listen to the tapes or speak Spanish or write something down or any of the other things I know I should be doing to learn the language but I pick this book up and read a bit pretty much everyday and it always feels like something I want to do rather than should do.
I don't think it's that the stories are particularly interesting. It just feels great to be able to understand a foreign language for the first time in my life.
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on 8 December 2012
Good old fasioned learning. No bells and whistles - I love it. Uses text and questions to increase understand and introduces new vocab periodically. If you are already learning the language and want more practise - this reader is great. Answers are in the back. We use it to supplement home school Spanish curriculum.
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