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We often encourage students to start reading in their new language with children’s books. As the whole Janet and John thing can get pretty tedious for older learners, books like the Harry Potter series can be a godsend (I started my Spanish reading with them, and in fact only changed over to English when I discovered the translations were lacking a lot of detail).

What’s the impact of one of these books being turned into a movie though; does it help or hinder students to see it in the target language? Will learners of English find any value in seeing the penultimate Harry Potter movie (the Deathly Hallows Part 1)? Maybe. I did find it helpful watching and then reading Como agua para Chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate), a famous Mexican book. The Deathly Hallows has received mixed reviews, so it’ll be interesting to see what people think. Personally, I dislike watching the movie if I’ve already read the book, as I already have a visual image of what’s going on, but then again, I didn’t really like the final book, so maybe that’s no bad thing.

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Sharon Creese

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