Dr. Laura Marqués-Pascual, Language Program Director and course supervisor for all Lower Division Courses in Spanish and Portuguese, has recently co-authored an Introductory Spanish textbook, ¡Pura Vida!, published with Wiley Publishing Company. Dr. Marqués-Pascual has been working on this ambitious project since December 2008. This textbook is unique in that the presentation and practice of grammar and vocabulary is implemented through task-based activities that promote cross-cultural understanding and highlight either a Spanish-speaking country or a cultural topic. This cross-cultural or hermeneutic approach (which represents the four perspectives: how we see ourselves, how we see them, how they see us, how they see themselves) has never been implemented in any other Spanish textbooks.
¡Pura Vida! Beginning Spanish (Norma López-Burton, Laura Marqués-Pascual, and Cristina Pardo-Ballester), 1st edition, Wiley & Sons. February 2014.
Interested in learning more about the book? Check out Pura Vida's sample chapter: http://www.wiley.com/college/sc/puravida/samplechapter.html