Las Puertas Retorcidas
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  • Las Puertas Retorcidas
  • Kathie Dior
  • Published by: Dior Publishing
  • Level: Intermediate
  • First Published in: 2003

Las Puertas Retorcidas is a Spanish book that will appeal to those who want to learn the language in a more engaging way. If you consider yourself a book worm or if you enjoy following a good story, this book could be of some interest to you.

Review posted: 09/10/2013
Have you used this book?

When starting a language course most of us can expect to go about it in a very typical way. We can expect to look at grammar structures, memorize rules, and work with listening exercises. Most of us are fine with this method, but there are many language learners who prefer to take a different approach. Having some experience teaching Spanish I have always recommended this book to my more “educationally rebellious” students.

I have to say I admire the author for deciding to write such a unique book. Rather than explaining the language through a series of grammar and vocabulary activities which are usually put together into organized chapters, Las Puertas Retorcidas teaches Spanish through a story. The book is essentially a story that keeps readers in a constant state of suspense. The story line deals with a boy and a girl who are trapped in an old, Victorian style house and are trying to find their way out. The house has a number of slanted and twisted doors that many times can only be opened by figuring out specific grammar structures or properly conjugating certain verbs. As the children explore the old house a number of strange things occur, but grammar and vocabulary make their way into the chapters in a very creative way.

"Las Puertas Retorcidas (The Twisted Doors): The Scariest Way in the World to Learn Spanish! is an exciting book and audio CD that teaches Spanish by capturing and immersing students into an intriguing mystery. Spanish vocabulary, grammar, expressions, tests and answers are creatively integrated into each chapter"- Kathie Dior (Author)

The book begins with 12 short chapters that present basic yet important language structures, but as students continue reading, both the story and the language content start to become more difficult. It even gets to a point where the story uses vocabulary that the usual pre intermediate student would not be familiar with. Although the book doesn’t bother to tone down its creative language use, there are helpful side notes and translations that can help students better understand the content.

A CD also comes along with this book and the narrator's rhythm and pronunciation is actually really natural sounding. The way the person speaks isn’t too slow or too formal, but I personally believe that sometimes the woman’s voice can be a bit amusing to hear.The voice acting, although natural sounding, can become a bit exaggerated at certain points, especially when the narrator begins changing her voice to take on a different character. If you can get past this small detail and focus on what she is saying, then there won’t be any problems. I point this out because I have had former adult students have trouble taking the listening activities seriously. Teenagers and young adults on the other hand, use their sense of humor and work with this part very well.

The book also comes with a glossary of difficult words and idioms with English translations. If a student wants to review some of the grammar structures in the story, the book also provides a grammar quiz with an answer key for self-evaluation.

I would recommend this book to both teachers and students. The material in this book can even be used for Spanish speakers who want to learn English due to the “bilingual” aspect of this story. The book is perfect for someone who wants to study Spanish on their own, but if you are a teacher I would recommend using this book alongside other materials. For students interested in learning a third language there is also a French version of this book entitled Les Portues Tordues



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