Ritmos is based on a curricular project begun in 1998 to create innovative technology based materials for college German instruction. Supported by a generous grant from the US Department of Education, that project was published in 2005 as Auf geht’s! Beginning German Language and Culture. A second year companion work, Weiter geht’s! followed two years later.
Both of these texts successfully remodeled lower division language instruction in German towards a more technologically supported and interculturally relevant stance. It thus seemed a logical next step to extend this approach to Spanish. The need for better intercultural understanding between the English and Spanish speaking communities in the US is a key to our future as a nation, and a logical locus for improving this relationship is the Spanish language classroom.
Thus Ritmos was born—with the goal of teaching Spanish and the rhythms of life in the Spanish speaking cultures. We’re excited to be working on this project and to provide a real alternative for instructors who feel cultural learning is crucial. Ritmos will fill this void and provide a learning experience that is solidly connected to life outside the classroom, teaching students important intercultural communication skills that they can apply to their entire lives.