Criterios de evaluación de materiales didácticos para la enseñanza y el aprendizaje del contraste pretérito/imperfecto en español como L2
This paper attempts to explain, taking into consideration theoretical proposals from Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition, the difficulty that native speakers of English encounter when learning the contrast between the Preterite and the Imperfect verbal tenses in Spanish as a second language (L2). This difficulty arises because, in English, the Simple Past tense can express the meanings conveyed by those two tenses in Spanish. The inflexional morphology encountered in the two tenses in Spanish does not only encode the concept of temporality, but also the internal constituency of an event as seen by the speaker. The Preterite morphology is used to express events considered completed within an absolute past. In contrast, the Imperfect is used to express actions and events within the same time frame as the Preterite but whose purpose, from a pragmatic and intentional point of view, is not to advance a narration, but serves to describe the background of the facts encoded by the Preterite. In this sense, it can be said that both the Preterite and the Imperfect interact with each other, serving two different communicative purposes in a narration of the past: the Preterite morphology is used to express the facts in foreground of the narration, whereas the Imperfect serves to describe the background. The acquisition of this contrast by learners of Spanish as a second language involves the correct mapping between meaning and form. Based on the main theories concerning Second Language Acquisition in general and the acquisition of the Preterite-Imperfect contrast in particular, a number of operating criteria are proposed in the form of a checklist, which can be used to facilitate the evaluation of the teaching materials used in universities in the U.S. In particular, in this thesis four textbooks are examined: VISTAS and Gente for the elementary level, and IMAGINA and Fuentes for the intermediate level. This checklist serves to identify significant gaps and errors in the manuals that are not obvious at first sight, if only considered under the scope of teaching methodology. It also helps to highlight some parts of these books that present important aspects of the Preterite-Imperfect contrast in a precise and clear manner, which can be incorporated into Spanish L2 classrooms. This study presents an innovative and interdisciplinary vision that combines studies from several disciplines, namely, Linguistics, Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Teaching; this connection between theories and practices is fundamental for the advancement and validation of the theoretical proposals in the mentioned disciplines.