Puentes Study Guide

Puentes is designed specifically for high-beginner students who have had some exposure to Spanish but who have not yet developed the skills to use the language actively. It is a communicative textbook designed to help students use the language in line with the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning.

The following is a guide for preparing for successful study in this course, but each student is encouraged to develop a preparation method that suits his or her learning style and needs.

The program consists of a textbook and an on-line program, both of which should be consulted regularly. For the on-line portion of the program, the student is directed to where s/he can quickly set up an account using the book key available for purchase in the bookstore or on-line.

In the textbook, each chapter follows a similar format, and the following features should be noted:

Objectivos outlines chapter objectives, including communicative goals and culture and grammar points to be addressed.

A primera vista includes excerpts from brief interviews with Spanish speakers related to the topic being focused on in a given chapter, contextualizing the chapter theme through real world language use.

Each Paso then includes the following sections:

  • Vocabulario temático presents thematically related vocabulary including ready-to-use terms and expressions.
  • Gramática sections provide concise explanations of major grammatical structures. Each grammar explanation is preceded by a model conversational exchange (also recorded), which models the structure being presented.
  • Ponerlo a prueba activities follow each vocabulary and grammar presentation and present students with opportunities for self-expression and open-ended response in both paired and small-group contexts.

Un paso más activities serve to wrap up the chapter of study and include:

  • íVamos a ... ! , documentary-style videos available for viewing online tied to short cultural readings focused on a particular country or region, designed to stimulate student discussion about cultural products of the Spanish-speaking world.
  • íVamos a hablar! is an information-gap activity, designed for pairs of students to complete for additional speaking practice.
  • íVamos a ver! features a reality-based video that follows the lives of five strangers brought together to live and learn in a Spanish-speaking culture. Video segments are available on the  iLrn™: Heinle Learning Center for students wishing additional listening comprehension practice.
  • íVamos a repasar! activities review the chapter's communicative and structural goals. This section includes short readings, project prompts that will be used in this class as the basis of writing and presentation assignments over the course of the semester, role play activities and a game-based chapter review.


Tulane University, Spanish & Portuguese Dept., 304 Newcomb Hall, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5518