The number of Spanish speakers in the United States has increased markedly in recent years, and this is especially true of the college population. At the same time, interest has been growing among this latter group in the study of the Portuguese language. Com licena!, a textbook for the teaching of first-year Brazilian Portuguese to college students familiar with Spanish, thus appears at a propitious time.
Students with native or near-native proficiency in Spanish can learn Brazilian Portuguese much more rapidly than they would learn any other language. Antnio R. M. Simes has done extensive research on the pedagogy and theory of language, which he has linked directly to the planning and production of this textbook. The book combines such innovative and traditional approaches as constant comparison of both languages in all aspects from pronunciation to cultural components; exercises and gamelike activities to elucidate the differences between Portuguese and Spanish; and the use of Brazilian songs, popular sayings, and poems for their "sound value" as well as to illustrate Brazilian cultural values.
Com licena! can be used in either regularly paced or highly intensive programs. Fred Ellison, professor of Portuguese at the University of Texas, says, "The like of Simes' book, so fresh and inviting in its approaches, has not been seen before in our field."