With all of the expertly written and edited Spanish textbooks on the market (most of which are accompanied by beautiful interactive websites), many instructors enjoy and trust the quality, ready-made materials that large publishers offer. I know this because I was one of them.
However, over time I grew concerned about the cost of my traditional textbook. Even after “bundling” my book into three-chapter packets for each term, at approximately one hundred dollars per quarter, many of my students were unable to purchase the book when classes started, if at all. I witnessed the cost of my book impact student success in my courses time and time again.
With this in mind, I began to examine how much value the book and companion website were adding to my students’ educational experience. After polling my students and doing a lot of self-refection, the answer was this: my students were paying for a lot of features and materials that they weren’t using, and there was a general dislike for the book and its website. Having taught with several other books over the years, I felt confident these issues were not specific to our current text. It was time to look for a solution, and the answer was to adopt Open Educational Resources.
In my research, I found some great low-cost materials; however, my goal was to find something I could adapt to fit my teaching style that was editable, printable, and no-cost beyond printing. Coming up empty-handed, I decided to write this book and to publish it under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license so that others may use, adapt, and share this material.
I owe special thanks to the Librarians as Open Education Leaders (LOEL) grant, Spokane Community College, Linda Keys, Jessica Steinberg, Phyllis Andersen, Erika Gallegos, and Diamond Wilson for their roles in making this project possible. I want to recognize Tom Means for introducing me to his three-phase cycle for task-based activities at the 2018 Center for Integrated Language Communities forum, which inspired and informed the pre-chapter activities in this book. I also wish to thank photographers who make their images available with Creative Commons licenses; and finally, I must express my deepest gratitude to several very special groups of students. Not only did they put their trust in me as we transitioned away from our traditional textbook, but they have also authored practice activities with Creative Commons licenses, available through the Canvas Commons.
Erin Huebener, M.A.
Spokane Community College