Miss Marple and Poirot to help people learn English
AGATHA Christie is about to try to solve a new mystery -- the riddle of how to teach immigrants to learn English.
Twenty of her most famous novels are being rewritten in simplified versions so they can be used in UK classrooms to teach non-native English speakers how to read and speak the language.
They will also be accompanied by notes aimed at helping the students gain a greater historical and cultural perspective about England and CDs with a reading of the story.
It will, of course, mean that for thousands of people their first taste of English life will be centred on duplicitous murder.
Christie's grandson, Mathew Prichard, said the idea would have pleased the famous writer. "My grandmother would have quite liked her books being used for the teaching of English, she would have thought it a very good idea," he said.
The first batch of novels includes Christie's debut novel and Poirot's first case, The Mysterious Affair At Styles, and Miss Marple's first mystery, The Murder At The Vicarage.
Readers will learn that even quaint and quiet early 20th-century vicarages can become the scene for murder most foul.
Collins, the publisher which retains the rights to Christie's novels, believes the new versions of the books could be used in schools and colleges to help non-native speakers master the language.
It also believes they offer an attractive package to anyone wanting to learn the language.