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Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish

 Language Learning Forum : Language Programs, Books & Tapes Post Reply
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United States
Joined 5285 days ago

28 posts - 41 votes
Studies: French, English

 Message 1 of 12
02 June 2010 at 6:33pm | IP Logged 
Hello Everyone,

I just picked up "Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish", it looks interesting: one of the exercises in each chapter has you combine words or phrases from 3 different columns to form sentences (quite a few if you do all combinations). So I have two questions:

Has anyone found this helpful? And, are the formed sentences "natural" sounding to a Spanish speaker?

Thanks in advance.
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
United States
Joined 5018 days ago

292 posts - 818 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Italian, Spanish, Latin, Uzbek

 Message 2 of 12
02 June 2010 at 9:33pm | IP Logged 
I love Madrigal's book. There are a lot of places where it reminds me of Michel Thomas on paper. That said, I found the exercises to be pretty mindless. But I think that may be the point. Knowing your verb tables is useless; being able to come up with the form that goes with ella without first thinking of the forms that go with yo and tu is priceless.

I did not learn Spanish from Madrigal; I skimmed bits of it to review my verbs, especially the preterite forms. As such, I can't speak to its value for a beginner. However, with respect to the exercises, there is value in them. Especially if you're finding them difficult, they're worth working through to make sure you can put together the language pieces correctly and get used to doing so more quickly. If they're easy but boring, on the other hand, I'd use the book more for its memory tricks and tips than as an exercise book.
3 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
United States
Joined 5156 days ago

1014 posts - 1533 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: German, Russian, Dutch, French

 Message 3 of 12
02 June 2010 at 11:04pm | IP Logged 
I've read several places that Madrigal's book has some of the highest reviews possible. Personally, I haven't used it, but I've heard MANY great reviews.

After you're done with it, I would pick up "Breaking out of Beginner's Spanish" which is a fantastic follow up resource.

-Best of luck to you!
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Senior Member
Joined 6792 days ago

563 posts - 757 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish

 Message 4 of 12
03 June 2010 at 4:13am | IP Logged 

Personally, I find the method of the book absolutely brilliant. Especially the relation to English and using the concept of transferring patterns. Example a lot of words in English end in -phy and in Spanish -fía. This made it easier to converse with such ideas. I even suggested it to Spanish students at a University. I said it will be more helpful in a shorter amount of time in comparison to the first year Spanish textbook.

Unfortunately, maybe only one person out of fifteen students that I talked to looked for it and was not disappointed.
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Senior Member
United States
Joined 5162 days ago

469 posts - 882 votes 
Studies: Spanish*, Japanese, Latin, French

 Message 5 of 12
03 June 2010 at 4:26am | IP Logged 
I have used it and found it to be a great resource. It has a lot of useful information,can really help increase your vocabulary, and has plenty of simple substitution exercises or drills. The only possible drawback is a relatively minor one:it focuses on the formal or polite "you" and not the familiar. Otherwise, well worth the price.
1 person has voted this message useful


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