General Spanish Textbooks
Breaking Out Of Beginning Spanish

by Joseph J. Keenan

Many language books are boring - this one is not. Written by a native English speaker who learned Spanish the hard way - by trying to talk to Spanish-speaking people - it offers English speakers with a basic knowledge of Spanish hundreds of tips for using the language more fluently and colloquially, with fewer obvious "gringo" errors. Writing with humor, common sense, and a minimum of jargon, Joseph Keenan covers everything from pronunciation, verb usage, and common grammatical mistakes to the subtleties of addressing other people, "trickster" words that look alike in both languages, inadvertent obscenities, and intentional swearing. He guides readers through the set phrases and idiomatic expressions that pepper the native speaker's conversation and provides a valuable introduction to the most widely used Spanish slang. With this book, both students in school and adult learners who never want to see another classroom can rapidly improve their speaking ability. Breaking Out of Beginner's Spanish will be an essential aid in passing the supreme language test-communicating fluently with native speakers.

(Review from

Jim Larson
2 / 2005
best general book

The Nassi-Levy Spanish
by Stephen L. Levy, Robert J. Nassi (2002)

This is the most common general textbook at Guatemalan Spanish Schools. Former students often donated it to their teachers. It has plenty of exercises.
Carol Cohen
11 /2006
came across a great workbook by Nassi-Levy when I was in Guatemala, and 2 of the three schools gave it to me to do some exercises.
Learn Spanish Now 2
by Christopher Kendris (1986 Random House) 613 pages

This workbook for intermediate high school and college Spanish courses emphasizes conversational skills as well as grammar and writing basics. Verb tables, idioms, and definitions are included in a fill-in workbook appropriate for classroom assignment and self-study. Book Description
This effective and attractive worktext picks up where Spanish Now! Level 1 leaves off. An ideal worktext for classroom use in intermediate high school and college Spanish courses, Spanish Now! Level 2 emphasizes the development of students' conversational skills while also offering intensive instruction in reading, writing, and grammar.

(Review from

Robin Hutton
8 / 2005
I use a language program on my computer. It is voice interactive and I find it very much more effective than a grammar text. There seems to be unlimited learn Spanish manuals and pracitical texts and it is hard for my to distinguish one from the other. I would suggest looking at available computer programs for learning Spanish. I like the "Learn Spanish Now" program that I use.
Essential Repaso
by National Texbook Company (2001)

Sarah Emanuelson Cochran
23 / 7 / 2005
Regarding your question of textbooks--I actually found this one in the great bookstore (North & South) called Essential Repaso. For people like me who have a background with the language, I think this book is excellent--great examples & explanations, along with some good cultural information.
2001 Modismos Españoles e Ingleses
by Eugene Savaiano, Lynn W. Winget 
Jim Larson
2 / 2005
best idiom book

Dos Mundos

By Tracy David Terrell

This book teaches Spanish using only Spanish Language and comes recommended by the Proyecto Linguïstico Quetzalteco de Español.

Grammar and Exercise Books
Practical Spanish Grammar: A Self-Teaching Guide
by Marcial Prado

The fast, easy way to master the essentials of Spanish Now, learning Spanish can be as easy as uno, dos, tres! Combining the quick- reference virtues of a phrase book with the learning tools of a full-fledged language course, this popular guide gives you a solid start. Completely revised and updated for today's usage, Practical Spanish Grammar gives you:
* A proven interactive format that has been tested, rewritten, and retested to ensure you can teach yourself at your own pace
* Exercises to reinforce what you've learned
* Clear explanations of approximately 80 percent of Spanish grammatical structures
* Over 1,000 of the most frequently used Spanish words
* Sample dialogues with cultural notes and lists of terms.

(Review from

Sally Palmer
8 / 2005
This grammar book is more of a workbook and it helps someone who needs to write and read things in Spanish in order to learn the language. The book of verbs is great because it fully conjugates the most common verbs.


The Ultimate Spanish Review and Practice
by Ronni L Gordon , David M Stillman (1999)

A good grasp of grammar enables the foreign-language learner to build skill and confidence in communication. Here's the "ultimate," painless way for intermediate and advanced learners to brush up on the rules. Each grammatical concept is explained and then illustrated with lively sentence examples; extensive exercises offer practice at applying this knowledge in everyday conversation.

(Review from

Gary Chapman
7 / 2005
best Spanish text...

Practice Makes Perfect: Spanish Pronouns and Prepositions
by Dorothy Richmond (1998), 208 pages

This bestselling book in the Practice Makes Perfect series treats Spanish pronouns and prepositions systematically in a worktext format. Containing concise, user-friendly explanations with generous and varied practice, the book helps students develop their knowledge of how and why pronouns and prepositions are used. Plus it encourages students to use the pronouns and prepositions in real-life contexts.

(Review from

Gail Juppenlatz
2 / 2005
I have 2 books that are helpful. From a series of "Practice Makes Perfect" books by Dorothy Richmond. One is "Spanish Pronouns and Prepositions" and the better one is "Spanish Verbs". They are available at very reasonably.
Verb Books
501 Spanish Verbs

by Chistopher Kendis Ph. D, Theodore Kendris Ph. D.

Barron's is today and always has been the Number-One reference source for verb usage in virtually every major language. With more than 1.5 million copies in print, the all-time best selling 501 Spanish Verbs beats all less well-established rivals with its brand-new 6th edition. It's printed in two colors, it features tinted page edges for ease of reference, and it comes with extra help for Spanish language students in the form of a CD-ROM. The book presents the most important and most commonly used Spanish verbs arranged alphabetically with English translations in chart form, one verb per page, and conjugated in all persons and tenses, both active and passive. The accompanying CD-ROM gives students practice exercises in verb conjugation plus a concise grammar review. This combined book and software package is a comprehensive guide to Spanish verb usage with a wealth of reference material and language tips, including a bilingual list of more than 1,250 additional Spanish verbs, helpful expressions and idioms for travelers, and verb drills and short tests with all questions answered and explained.

(Review from

Jim Larson
2 / 2005
best verb book
Shauna Dahl
8 / 2006
We also took the 501 verbs, it is big but I liked having it for my homework.

Spanish Verbs (Barron's Foreign Language Verbs)

by Christopher Kendris (2001)

Approximately 300 most frequently used Spanish verbs are presented, one verb per page, arranged alphabetically, fully conjugated, and identified by the English infinitive form. Books in this series are smaller and shorter versions of Barron's 501 Verbs series. They make handy quick-reference sources for language students, teachers, and translators.

 (Review from

The Red Pocket Book Spanish Verbs

by Gordon, Ronni L and Stillman, David M (2003)

Based on the popular language "bibles," The Blue Pocket Book of French Verbs and The Red Pocket Book of Spanish Verbs are the most comprehensive, clearest, and easiest-to-use sources for beginning and intermediate learners. Now these books are even more convenient for school or home use thanks to their smaller trim size. But these pocket-sized guides are still mightier than all of the competition in this format. These portable guides offer smooth sailing through the turbulent seas of a new grammar with: * 333 fully conjugated verbs, listed alphabetically
* Current idioms and expressions for each verb
* Full facing page of usage examples for the top50 verbs
* One-stop, at-a-glance verb-tense profiles
* More than 2,200 verbs cross-referenced to models
* A handy guide to deciphering irregular verb forms
* English index to the model verbs  

(Review from

Sally Palmer
4 / 2006
The book of verbs is great because it fully conjugates the most common verbs.

Spanish Verb Tenses
by Dorothy M. Devney (1996) 305 pages

Mini LaRousse Dictionary

by Larousse Editorial (2006) ISBN: 2035421233

The Larousse Mini Dictionaries have been updated with revised cultural notes and reworked conversation guides as well as 40,000 translations. Available in Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Brazilian Portuguese, these dictionaries are light and fit easily into a pocket or backpack. The user-friendly layout features •up-to-date coverage of everyday language• special entries on culture •abbreviations and acronyms• extra help with frequently used words •conversation guides• practical supplements on weights, measures, currency, and much more

(Review from  

Shauna Dahl
8 / 2005
We took a few dictionaries but the one I liked the best was the mini LaRousse dictionary. It is small, has a vinyl cover and a few pages on verbs.
Web Sites
Español Spanish Traveling - Travel while studying

This young team of teachers takes you traveling while learning. One week Chichicastenango, Panajachel (lago Atitlán) y Quetzaltenango including 35 hrs of classes one-on-one and hotel but no food costs $500, a week Río Dulce Izabal y Livingston $390.

Give Antonio Zamora and his team a try!

If you would like to continue Spanish lessons after you come home, try Speak Shop. This site offers online Spanish classes with a webcam. You pay online and then receive classes you can schedule freely. The instructors are teachers of the Probigua School in Antigua. It costs about $8 per hour which seems reasonable. If you try this service, we would be very pleased of a report as we have no feedback yet. It is very worthwhile to study during an hour per week after you return to your home country. Many students have praised what they learned in Guatemala but told us: "unfortunately I already forgot half of the grammar I learnt".
This site provides free language learning tools like online conjugation exercises. For a moderate fee you can have your work revised or design individual lessons. I did a vocabulary test. The site asked me for a level of difficulty. It then presented me words the translation of which I had to type in. If I was mistaken, my score would decrease and the word would be repeated later in the lesson.