It starts with cultural challenges

ENCUENTROS moves students toward proficiency as they take on amazing “desafíos” or cultural challenges.

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What are desafíos?

Desafíos are cultural challenges that take place throughout the Spanish-speaking world! Start to finish, each unit and lesson moves students toward proficiency as they embark on meaningful cultural adventures.

What are desafíos?
La llegada

Let’s Explore a Unit

Students arrive at the country where they’ll take on cultural challenges

Each section of ENCUENTROS is concise and focused, leading students toward intercultural communicative competence.
  • Unit Opener: students learn the geographic and thematic focus of the unit
  • La llegada: students see the target language for the unit in a cultural context. The dialogues provide comprehensible input yet incorporate the unit’s target structures.
  • Enfoque lingüístico: students learn useful expressions, pronunciation, and orthography rules that are instantly useable, boosting their self-confidence applying the language.

Inside the Desafíos

Cultural challenges present key vocabulary and grammar around a communicative function

Each unit contains four Desafíos (mini-lessons), each focused on a particular communicative skill related to the unit theme. Each Desafío presents students with a challenge and is organized into four sections:

  • Section 1: Punto de partida
  • Section 2: Vocabulario
  • Section 3: Gramática
  • Section 4: Comunicación
Section 1: Punto de partida

Section 1: Punto de partida
Students first see the storyline characters as they take on their cultural challenge. Dialogue allows students to see the mini-lesson’s target vocabulary and grammar in a cultural context.

Section 2: Vocabulario

Section 2: Vocabulario
Students see a colorful presentation of the target vocabulary they will need for the communicative skill at hand. New words are presented in context and through visuals. Students reinforce new vocabulary through a progression of practice activities.

Section 3: Gramática

Section 3: Gramática
Students then see a concise presentation of the grammatical structure(s) necessary for the communicative skill in Gramática. Practice activities progress from closed-ended to open, personalized practice.

Section 4: Comunicación

Section 4: Comunicación
Students apply their new skills in Comunicación, an opportunity to synthesize vocabulary, grammar, and cultural understanding.

Wrapping Up

Students bring it all together after completing their cultural challenges

After the four Desafíos, students integrate the communicative and cultural skills learned in the mini-lessons.

Todo junto

Todo junto: Student bring it all together as they integrate the vocabulary, grammar, and communicative skills from the unit’s mini-lessons in new ways.

El encuentro

El encuentro: Students see the end of the storyline characters’ challenges.


VideoMundo: Students watch authentic TV clips and short films, allowing them to access information and diverse perspectives from around the Spanish-speaking world.

Deep dive into culture and language

Students explore the fascinating relationship between geography and culture

  • Mapa cultural: Students examine how the geography and culture of a country are inextricably linked and how a country’s geography affects its products and practices.
  • Lectura: Students are exposed to and interpret authentic and leveled texts in a variety of genres.
Mapa Cultural and Lectura

Review and Evaluation

Evaluating student progress through real-world activities

  • Repasos: Repaso de vocabulario and Repaso de gramática allow students to check their progress and review target words and structures.
  • Proyecto: Students use interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational communication skills in a project relating to the culture and theme of the unit.
  • IPA: Integrated Performance Assessment presents students with a real-world context, including interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational tasks.