Local textbook goes national

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Spanish professors followed national standards for foreign language education.

By Benjamin Enriquez


If one were to check their textbook they might recognize the authors’ names. They might even be in one of their classes.

Some classes offer required texts written by course instructors while others do not.

However, there is one book in particular that has expanded beyond this college: “Para Siempre: Introducción al Español, Second Edition.”

De León

De León

Spanish Professors Marino De León and Marta G. Montemayor wrote the content.

Montemayor has 33 years of teaching experience with 12 at this college, and De Leon has 48 cumulative years with 44 being at this college.

The textbook is used at almost all Alamo Colleges, and has branched out onto the national level at Miami Dade College and Houston Community College District, providing recognition for the college and its professors.

Publisher Cengage Learning picked up the text for production because of its mix of basic grammar and vocabulary with useful dialogue, and beefed it up with highgrade online technology offered in the e-book package.

The methodology in the book is different than others and stands out. De León said, “We wanted to make the objective of the class the real communication and real culture of it.”

Writing a book to get picked up for national publication is not a simple process.

Montemayor and De León spent four years of collaboration to compile the content, including text, a lab manual, exams, study guides, chapter questions and more.

“This book was designed and created with the national standards for foreign language education by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages,” Montemayor said.

The council’s guidelines are composed of the five C’s: Communication, Culture, Comparison, Communities and Connections.

In the textbook, the authors fully integrated art, music, literature, and architecture into the subject and vocabulary context of every chapter.

Montemayor said, “We were trying to represent a good balance of the 21 Spanish-speaking countries.”

The text is written so that students will acquire the skill and oral production of the Spanish language, added Montemayor. “Teaching language is like building a wall. If the basics are not solid, there will be holes,” she said.

“Para Siempre” has more than 1,000 pages for two semesters of Spanish classes, Spanish 1300 and Spanish 1310.

De León and Montemayor took time out of their holidays, weekends and after class hours, while continuing to teach full-time.

De León, an avid marathon runner, said he stopped running so he could focus on the textbook. He said, “All sales of the book at the SAC bookstore are going to a scholarship fund that will benefit students from the foreign language department.”

The title “Para Siempre” means “Forever.”

De León and Montemayor chose this name because they did not want students to simply learn the language just to pass their classes.

Instead, they wanted them to learn Spanish “forever” so they could take it with them for the rest of their lives.


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