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LIBROS: Review de la Semana

“Las Puertas Retorcidas”

Who says that a Spanish textbook has to be boring? This book isn’t. It teaches through the use of a bilingual story about a boy and a girl who enter a mysterious house. Students will be anxious to read what happens next.

Pros : Engaging story is fun to read for teens and adults. Lessons are well integrated into story. Includes audio CD

Cons : None worth mentioning. Bilingual mystery story that incorporates lessons in Spanish grammar and vocabulary. Story likely to interest older preteens through adults. Story on audio CD is spoken slowly enough for students to distinguish the words. With adaptation, book also could be used for teaching Spanish-speaking students learning English.

Companion book available for students learning French

Story is written in the narrative present tense with some use of other tenses

Grammar covered includes verb conjugation, gender, negation, pronoun usage and usage of ‘hay’

Rich, varied vocabulary includes numbers, colors and body parts

Students strongly encouraged to learn each lesson thoroughly before going on

Numerous idioms and everyday expressions are taught

Guide Review – ‘Las puertas retorcidas (The Twisted Doors)’

Dealing with students who want to read ahead in their textbooks isn’t a problem that most teachers face. But they probably will if they adopt “Las puertas retorcidas (The Twisted Doors)” as a textbook for students learning Spanish.

“Las puertas retorcidas” is a textbook unlike most: students will actually be looking forward the next lesson. Unlike most texts, “Las puertas retorcidas” doesn’t deal with grammar and vocabulary issues in neat chapters based on topic. Instead, “Las Puertas Retorcidas” at its heart is a story, and a mighty good story at that. The story is of two children, a boy and a girl, trapped in a mysterious, scary house. In order to get out, they need to demonstrate knowledge of Spanish, and the reader is required to demonstrate that same knowledge.

The Spanish lessons are incorporated well into the story. Each chapter (there are 46) of the story takes only a page or two, and the accompanying lessons are written in a whimsical yet serious fashion that should be appealing to teenagers and adults alike. The book is probably best suited to intermediate students and first-year students who have some comfort with using a foreign language.