Five useful tips to select a good reference book

When you decide to take the big leap to start learning Spanish or even refresh a few words or phrases, how do you go about selecting the right tools to do so? When selecting Spanish reference books, you may want to consider a few features.

Ask yourself, what is it that I want this book or software to help me with? Do I want easy on-the-go lessons to refresh my Spanish or do I want a reference to help me with more concrete basics like grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and literature.

1. Grammar explanations

Are the chapters easily explained to understand the grammar? When books or textbooks can present materials in simple terms, it is a great reference book to keep. Spanish grammar is different in many aspects. But it doesn’t have to be difficult to learn about basic concepts. Chapters, lessons, and examples need to be related to daily life and tasks to truly grasp the concepts.

2. Ample Exercises

But a good explanation needs to be followed by plenty of exercises. The examples need to relate to the concepts in the chapter to better understand the topic. There needs to be sufficient exercises to make a relation between what is being learned and the explanation. Workbooks are great educational tools to practice Spanish grammar.

Books and globe

 3. Phonetics

Pronunciation is key to beginning to understand Spanish. And dictionaries are great reference tools to understand the phonetics behind specific Spanish words. Some dictionaries can also include a special section on verb conjugation, useful when you need to transition from one verb tense to another.

4. Additional resources

When reference books make note to other great resources to further your learning Spanish, it amplifies your learning in numerous ways. Many books can present literature sources, which are great ways to see how stories have influenced Hispanic literature. It can also lead to other sources of how Spanish is used in other places like Spain, Central America, or Latin America.

5. Literature insights

Books are not the only way to learn about Spanish literature. Much of the Hispanic works are seen in magazines, short stories, and newspapers. Great contemporary and classic authors wrote for popular literary companies. And many of them described the political and social environment of the time.

Whether it is a paperback, hardcover, or electronic version of a book, it needs to explain Spanish grammar with simple concepts, plenty of exercises, vocabulary, and phonetics. But this is a basic structure to learning Spanish. Literature and more sources also emphasize the understanding of the Spanish language.

Barbara Mascareno

Barbara is an educational writer, teacher, and instructional designer. She loves to write K-12 education content, teaching strategies, bilingual education approaches, and foreign language.

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