The second film from The Learning English Video Project is set for release tomorrow (May 21st 2009). The film is part of the 7-part documentary series that looks at learning English as a foreign language across the globe.
As with every other film in the series, Lessons From Romania will be free to watch and download. It will be available with and without subtitles and will come free with quizzes, lesson plans and an audience comments page! (more…)
We landed in Poland after a difficult journey involving two nights in Spain, a connecting flight in London and a loopy panic attack on my part. My first novel, Walking On The Left, was to be published in Poland the following morning and the plan was to spend a few hours signing books during the release ceremony at the Krakow book fair. We arrived at the fair twenty minutes late and I found myself sitting at a table, surrounded by copies of my book and a small gathering of eager teens, waiting for me to sign their new purchases… it was a surreal experience to say the least and I decided to make it even more so by tying a pink silk scarf to my neck… goodness knows why.
I found it an interesting situation to be in as the majority of ESL students and experts we had spoken to at that point on the trip, saw reading books outside the classroom as an excellent way to learn a new language. My book is in Polish, which gave my experience a peculiar twist, but it still forced me to reflect on the impact of what reading a book in a foreign language can bring about. The Polish title of the book is Ktoredy. It is sponsored by TEFL.net and Outloud Productions and is available here - http://www.empik.com/ktoredy-ksiazka,prod5200181,p
After three flights, a thirty two hour train journey and a four hour wait in Budapest, we made it from Morocco to Romania. We have been here since Sunday and have been lucky enough to interview, photograph and socialise with some incredible people who have far exceeded our expectations. What we are witnessing in Romania at the moment is going to change the face of this documentary project and bring a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘icing on the cake’. It is 17:30 p.m just now and we still have four more interviews to conduct at different areas around the city. Tomorrow we are hoping to spend the day at International House Bucharest and we head back to the editing studio in Poland upon completion. Sure, that means another thirty something hours on the train this coming weekend but it is worth every second. Bucharest, like the people we have met here so far, is exceptional.
Keep checking the blog for more updates - more Morocco photos and video blog online next week as well as a write up on our Romanian adventure!
Best Wishes To All!
Daniel and Joel.
American Academy Casablanca.
I would like to thank the American Academy Casablanca for their incredible assistance with the documentary project. Not only did the school allow us to spend three full days filming on location with them, but they also provided us with a wonderful selection of enthusiastic ESL students with some fascinating ideas about learning English.
Although Morocco is only a short distance away from the southern coast of Spain, the change in culture and climate is truly breathtaking. Upon arriving in the busy city of Casablanca, we were ripped off tremendously by our taxi driver and taken straight to the Medina (a vast labyrinth of market stalls, booths, flats and washing lines). We were immediately swarmed by reckless hands and fake Rolex watches, beaming faces and bootleg DVDs, a real maze of Moroccan craftsmanship. We started to walk down one of the twirling isles and we were pounced upon by a tall burly fellow with glasses ¨hello my English friends¨ he said with a berserk sense of confidence, ¨let me give you a private tour…¨
This was our introduction to Morocco and the shape of things to come. Desperately friendly people with a lot to share, but at a somewhat questionable price. It was not until we reached the haven of the American Academy that we felt we could let our guard down somewhat and give the project our full attention. (more…)