Second language teachers sometimes complicate themselves with the topic of culture. We subject our students to heavy lessons where they must investigate historical, social and economic aspects of the regions we study hoping that this way they will acquire a better understanding of the culture connected to the language we teach. But in reality authentic culture is usually expressed through very simple acts and situations.

In El jersey, Jennifer Degenhardt is able to combine three things that are fundamental when we want our students to learn about the culture of the language we teach them. These three things are: a credible story in which students can see themselves, a situation in which two cultures merge without much artifice and third, the ability to empathize with those belonging to the target culture.

For Degenhardt, Guatemala is not just an interesting country that she has chosen for the setting for the story in El jersey. Guatemala is part of Jennifer Degenhardt’s heart so every place, every character and every situation described does not come from a few hours of research in the library, but instead is the result of her creativity and many days and nights spent at one of the places she beautifully portrays in this book.

What makes El Jersey a comprehensible reader is not the unique number of words, nor the number of cognates used. El jersey is a comprehensible reading because it comes from real experiences and from human emotions. El jersey is a compelling story.

Reading El jersey is like going for a walk. It is to forget our daily routine to immerse ourselves in vibrant colors, in beautiful landscapes, in local flavors and in the sounds of the beautiful Kaqchikel language . Jennifer Degenhardt is able to teach the true meaning and value of the Guatemalan culture through her story.

Please comment on this review and let me know if you have any questions.

I had the opportunity to read and record El jersey for Jennifer to offer free in her website so techers and students can benefit from it. You can find the FREE Audio version of El jersey HERE.

You can also read Chapter 1 of El jersey HERE

Jennifer is offering 35% off in all products in her store: just use the code *OJEDA* at checkout!

Valid now until end of January

@Copyright Diego Ojeda,  this material is intended for educational purposes and it’s free.  It is prohibited to profit from it in any way or form. For questions contact Diego Ojeda @


1 Comment

  1. I got this on your recommendation from your presentation in SLC, and I love it. I totally agree with you here.


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