Deke Castleman and David Morrill describe their new book, Expats in Ecuador: Learning Spanish, as “a book for expats, written by expats.”
“There are literally hundreds of books that teach you Spanish,” says Castleman. “What we did is write a book specifically for expats or soon-to-be-expats, based on our own experience. Our approach is to provide information and resources that will allow a native English-speaker to communicate in Spanish as quickly as possible.”
According to Castleman, the language needs of an expat are immediate and specific. “You have to communicate with the taxi driver, the shop clerk and the guy who cuts your hair,” he says. “You don’t have time for the traditional classroom learning routine. And you’re not a tourist who will need a handful of basic Spanish phrases for a couple of weeks. We concentrate on the skills that matter most for people starting a new life in a Spanish speaking country.”
According to Castleman and Morrill, Expats in Ecuador: Learning Spanish is presented in three parts.
The first part is a general discussion of learning Spanish from the expat perspective, then moves into studying at home. This section of the book is organized from the least to the most expensive learning programs and provides in-depth reviews of free Web content and the enormous amount of user-friendly visual and audio features found free on the Internet. It discusses popular books that cost, on average, $10, including shipping. Part One ends with a review of computer language programs that can run into the hundreds of dollars.
The second part discusses continuing Spanish studies in Ecuador, or elsewhere in the Spanish speaking world: attending a language school, employing a tutor, joining a chat group, personal practrice, and taking the “no-English pledge.”
The third part of the book is a 40-page lesson plan covering the most fundamental aspect of Spanish: pronunciation, the foundation of any language. Without pronunciation, the authors say, you can never be sure of what you’re saying or hearing, and neither can the person you’re talking to.
Learning Spanish features include:
• how Spanish is similar to and differs from English
• learning a second language at an older age
• how many expats learn Spanish (and why they do or don’t)
• detailed reviews of the top-nine learn-Spanish websites
• the best Spanish textbooks and how to use them (without your head exploding)
• frank discussions of the top-five computer programs
• the variety of language schools/resources in Ecuador
• language-learning tips from scores of expats
• a 25-page lesson plan on pronunciation: alphabet, vowel combinations, natural stress, and accent marks, with 100 common example words transcribed phonetically and translated
• 86 pages, fully searchable
According to the authors, speaking the native language is the number-one predictor of success at living in a foreign country. The Spanish needs of Ecuador expatriates are immediate, specific, and long-lasting. Expats in Ecuador: Learning Spanish will take you far, fast, they say.
Expats in Ecuador: Learning Spanish is available through Amazon Kindle. It can also be purchased as a pdf file directly from the Cuenca Highlife Bookstore. Click here