Destinos: An Introduction to Spanish
Contents of Destinos
Destinos is an innovative beginning Spanish program based on a a 26-week television series that premiered on PBS in the fall of 1992. The 52 half-hour shows of the series use the powerful appeal of a uniquely Hispanic genre - the telenovela (soap opera) - to make language and culture come alive. The situation and context of each episode introduce students to the basic structures, language functions and vocabulary groups of Spanish that are presented in most introductory - and intermediate-level Spanish courses.
Destinos teaches speaking, listening, and comprehension skills in Spanish. This telenovela, or Spanish soap opera, immerses students in everyday situations with native speakers and introduces the cultures, accents, and dialects of Mexico, Spain, Argentina, and Puerto Rico. Understanding of Spanish and appreciation of many Hispanic cultures increase as students become absorbed in the mysterious and entertaining story. Closed captioning in Spanish can be used as a teaching and literacy resource. The series is also appropriate for teacher professional development.
This complete one-year course is designed to help students develop communicative proficiency - listening, speaking, reading, and writing - as well as cultural awareness in Spanish. The plot of Destinos is designed to engage student viewers from the very beginning. A wealthy Mexican patriarch, nearing the end of his life, reveals a secret he has kept from his family for many years. His revelation leads to some important questions that must be answered before he dies. Raquel Rodriguez, a Mexican-American lawyer, embarks on a search for those answers, a search that takes her to Spain, Argentina, Puerto Rico, and back to Mexico. Students and viewers can join in the search - learning Spanish and about the rich and diversified cultural context in which it is spoken throughout the world.
"Destinos is an excellent introduction to the Spanish language...This is a great way to learn a language...It would be an invaluable resource in high school, college and large public library collections."
Video Rating Guide for Libraries, Spring 1992
"Viewers actually can learn Spanish while following the "Dallas"-like exploits of a Mexican industrialist and his family...The action and context of the story will enable them to follow along until the learning process kicks in."
Variety, August 1992
"Destinos provides viewers with intensive and enjoyable learning tools for...languages frequently used by travelers...Viewers learn Spanish by listening to the conversations and associating the dialogue with the locale, action, facial expressions, and body language."
Los Angeles Times, August 1993
"Destinos...transports viewers from the New World to the Old, while illustrating the many accents and nuances of Hispanic cultures. There are good opportunities to build vocabulary by listening to conversations."
Herald, September 1993
"The series used in schools and colleges around the country. Destinos utilizes entertaining storylines and stresses learning the languages as they are spoken in various locales."
Chicago Tribune, August 1993
"Two-and-a-half Stars...as a supplementary tool it would allow students to catch the rhythm of the language in actual usage, as well as introduce them to facets of the Spanish culture...Recommended for high school and college libraries."
Video Librarian, May 1992
"...the language is basic enough to allow viewers who don't speak Spanish to follow the plot without taking the course."
The Wall Street Journal, January 1993
Destinos is the recipient of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology Division of Instructional Development 1993 Outstanding Practice Award; the Columbus International Film and Video Festival 1993 Honorable Mention Award for "Un Viaje a Sevilla, España"; the Council on International Nontheatrical Events "Cine" 1992 Golden Eagle Award for "Un Viaje a Sevilla, España"; the International Association of Audio Visual Communicators 1994 Special Achievement "Cindy" in Writing for "Un Viaje a Puerto Rico"; and the National Education Film and Video Festival 1993 Silver Apple Award for "Un Viaje a Puerto Rico".