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Oxford Picture Dictionary, Second Edition: English-Spanish Paperback – Jul 19 2008
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About the Author
Jayme Adelson-Goldstein is an ESL teacher-trainer, consultant, and author living in Northridge, California. Norma Shapiro has been involved with language teaching since 1982. She has conducted many workshops on vocabulary development, communicative activities, and using visuals in the classroom.
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The heart of this book is a set of vocabulary in both English and Spanish on each page, illustrated by pictures. This feature is equally useful for people learning Spanish or English.
Then at the bottom or side of each page there are points for further practice, questions for discussion, and the like. There are also occasional stories followed by questions on comprehension. These are all in English, and are really useful only for Spanish speakers learning English.
I'm a lot more interested in the vocabulary than the exercises anyway. The exercises may be useful in a classroom setting, and I'm sure they do add some value for English learners. But my personal finger-in-the-wind estimate is that I can still enjoy about 75-80% of the functionality of the book.
I'm sure this book will help me learn a ton of new Spanish vocabulary in a relatively easy and painless way. I'd say I'm going to get more than my 15 dollars' worth out of this book.
Though the product description does flag the fact that the dictionary's purpose is to "meet the needs of today's English language learners," the layout of the dictionary gives the impression that it is for English speakers learning Spanish as the initial entries are given in English. However, many examples -- most notably the practice exercises -- are given in English only. This could prove frustrating for those wanting learn or expand their Spanish with it or vice versa.
Overall, I am happy I purchased this book and I highly recommended it. You do want to keep two issues in mind, though. First, being a visual guide, this book teaches you very little about grammar. Second, this book is ideal if you are a Spanish-speaking person trying to learn English, while it is not designed for folks like me who are learning Spanish. Mind you, it's still a great resource, but while all words in the pictures are listed in English and Spanish, all the extra material is in English and about English (e.g. suggested conversations, the little grammar there is, useful sentences). Also, at the end of the book there is one index of the Spanish words, and one index for the English words, but only the latter indicates the pronunciation.
So, if you are looking for something to learn new words in Spanish and you speak English, this book is great, but if you are looking for a book that will teach you how to form sentences in Spanish you may want to look (also or exclusively) for something else.
Anna, presently in Texas
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