* Graduated approach to content-based learning. The program is designed in two volumes to transition students from the beginning to the intermediate. Book I includes a graduated approach that introduces students to content-based instruction. By the time they reach semester two, students are working with fully content-based materials.
* Effective integration of culture appreciation and language skills. Each chapter focuses on a broad cultural theme and a set of related ideas, effectively integrated with language skills.
* Constant recycling of communicative functions and grammar.
* Mini-lectures offer creative listening comprehension techniques. These features teach students how to listen to the lecturing discourse, which predominates in upper-division courses.
* Emphasis on reading comprehension. Students are encouraged to reflect before reading, while reading, and after reading. The text also features a variety of reading genres while emphasizing expository texts. The emphasis on reading is greater in Book 2 than in Book 1. However book 1 presents a gradual reading difficulty that matches the gradual complexity of the topics presented in successive units.
* Strong connection between reading and writing and an emphasis on expository writing. For example, see Ponlo por escrito sections.
* Integration of grammar and content. Whenever possible, the examples used in grammar explanations and the grammar exercises are linked to the content of the unit.
* Opportunities to discuss current issues pertaining to different Hispanic cultures. These opportunities include pre- and post-reading activities and pre-and post-mini-lecture activities.
* Opportunities to discuss art in an interactive format. For example, see Color y forma sections.
* Attention to vocabulary building. Mas alla includes glosses and vocabulary activities before and after each reading or mini-lecture. In activities designed to focus on a specific speaking function, students are assisted with limited lists of expressions. Book 1 dedicates a specific section (?Como lo dices) to the practice of functions.
* Motivational approach to reading literature. Understanding literature is essential to understanding different cultures, and Mas alla integrates the sustained reading of Laura Freixas's Final absurdo throughout the 5 chapters in Book I, and the literary sections in Book II are also thematically integrated within the chapters. Readings are followed by accompanying activities.
* Light material and humor. While most intermediate texts can be overwhelmingly serious, Mas alla includes humor through cartoons and activities. See Curiosidades.
* Easy-to-follow organization. Each book consists of 5 units, with each unit being broken down further into 4 Temas in Book II.
* Grammar appendices. These are connected to the grammar presented within the chapters either to review first-year grammatical topics or to add more detailed information about some topics.
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