Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish: A Creative and Proven Approach
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  • Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish: A Creative and Proven Approach
  • Margarita Madrigal
  • Published by: Three Rivers Press
  • Level: Beginner
  • First Published in:

Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish tackles some of the most common obstacles English speakers encounter while learning Spanish. The book provides helpful rules and tips to help students with pronunciation, literal translation, difficult grammar and much more! Perfect for test preparation and intensive courses.

Review posted: 24/10/2013
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Spanish can be a difficult language to learn especially for native English speakers. The pronunciation, conjugation of verbs, and false cognates are just a few of the things that many students struggle with. Many Spanish books tackle all of the grammar structures equally, but Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish focuses extra attention on the things English speakers struggle with the most. If you are a beginner student focusing on some of the basic grammar structures and you find yourself stuck at a dead end, this book is definitely for you.

"Anyone can read, write, and speak Spanish in only a few short weeks with this unique and proven method, which completely eliminates rote memorization and boring drills." Margarita Madrigal (Author)

The book begins with a pronunciation key which does a great job at giving the student important tips to pronounce certain vowel, consonant, and letter combinations properly. This guide tackles some of the most common pronunciation mistakes English speakers make and it provides tips to pronounce the o, r, and QUI/QUE prefixes correctly. After this section the book follows through with 45 lessons that each focus on a specific grammar topic in great detail. The first few chapters provide rules or “codes” to help students automatically translate certain words in their heads. A list of commonly confused false cognates are provided, sentence structure is introduced, and then the book talks about how certain word endings in English (-ous,-iton, -ic) can be linked to Spanish endings. From the very beginning the book offers ways to help English speakers see the similarities between the two languages and how to easily convert common English verbs into Spanish. I found this to be a very helpful method because it saves students time and it allows them to form sentences and begin talking much quicker.

After the first eight chapters the book continues using these translation techniques while focusing on dialogues, verb tenses, asking questions in different tenses, giving commands and a number of basic grammar structures. After every 10 chapters the student will come across a comprehension test going over everything that was presented in the previous chapters. This helps the student review the material one final time and test out the knowledge they acquired.

This book does not have any listening exercises and it offers very few cultural notes, as many Spanish course books usually tend to provide. The book is simply a straight forward grammar book with several “short cuts” to learning some of the most important Spanish grammar points. This book is specifically aimed at the independent learner and there is no need to rely on a teacher or tutor since every chapter is extremely detailed and a number of examples are provided.

Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish is a great way to begin learning Spanish. The only thing that would make this book complete would be if it had some listening exercises to help students practice all four language skills. Despite this particular weak point, the book’s teaching method and “language shortcuts” are a creative and innovative way to learn the basics of Spanish.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn Spanish on their own or students who are currently enrolled in a class and are having issues understanding certain grammar points. The book will help clear up any doubts a student might have and allow them to move forward with the language much quicker. If you are serious about learning Spanish grammar, this book is definitely for you.



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