Conversations in Spain
The latest film in The Learning English Video Project series is set to be released later this month! ‘Conversations in Spain’ is a 17-minute documentary style film that explores English learning techniques and methods in Madrid and Granada, two very different cities in Spain.
The finished production will be available to watch for free on EnglishClub.com both with and without subtitles. Versions will also be available for direct download and will be accompanied by free teaching materials, also provided by EnglishClub.com. ‘Conversations in Spain’ is due to be released towards the end of November so keep checking this website for more details.
I began working on the film with my assistant director Joel Carr back in September 2008, when we shot most of the footage. This particular chapter of the project has a very unique feel in that it has been constructed to suit learners who may have problems with listening in particular. As the title suggests, the film focuses on three central conversations that detail various questions and answers about learning English on the European continent. I have been working with Josef Essberger, founder of EnglishClub.com, and Matt Errey, producer of ESL board-game ‘Word Up’, in crafting a film that offers learners the chance to absorb entire conversations with a learner of English, a teacher of English and the director of a language school.
Each of the films from The Learning English Project has its own style and design. ‘Conversations in Spain’ is an attempt at allowing learners to gain an insight into conversational flow that they might not have otherwise had access to. The conversations have been very carefully selected in that they not only provide a chance for learners to practice their listening, but they may also offer new ideas, tips and information about learning English in different parts of the world. As always, the film is stitched together with footage from the location settings, which are very beautiful places indeed. ‘Conversations in Spain’ also features music by electronic composer Tom Carr, who also wrote pieces for ‘Stories from Morocco’ and ‘Lessons from Romania’.
The Learning English Video Project is is proving to be popular all over the world, with ‘Stories from Morocco’, ‘Lessons from Romania’ and ‘Tales from America’ accumulating over 30,000 online views and an average of one hundred downloads a day since the films were released earlier this year. Throughout August and September 2009, Joel and I worked on two more films for the series; one in China and one in Brazil. I am currently editing the Chinese chapter that was filmed in both Shanghai and Xiamen. This film looks at how English is being used for a specific purpose on the Asian continent. I also hope to have more information on this film later on in the month. To see regular blog updates from the film production, simply click on the ‘China’ link on the ‘Director’s Blog’ section of the site.
I would personally like to thank everybody who regularly contributes to EnglishClub.com for all your support and advice throughout the project and I hope that you will continue to express your interest with what we have in store for you over the next few months.
Daniel Emmerson (Director - The Learning English Video Project)
For the last few days I have been working hard in editing several rough drafts of the Cambridge and New York sections of the film. I would once again like to extend my thanks to Antony and Marcus for their help in Cambridge and Joel for his patience and dedication to the project.
The initial sequence to the Spanish Video Blog was shot in a cave in Granada - hence Joel walking into a strange entrance. The rest of the footage was shot in and around Madrid and Granada, which are both equally wonderful places!
I have the remainder of the day at my editing station in Katowice, Poland before heading back to England, ready to meet Joel again for the rest of our ESL adventure. Please keep your comments coming! This is turning out to be a fantastic collaboration of culture and learning - lets keep it going!
One of the questions that we are asking the students we meet is:
What do you think is the most difficult aspect of learning English?
As it would be impossible to meet everybody reading this on englishclub.com, perhaps you could answer that question here!? I would love to see your responses!
The jet lag hit me like a bag of hammers as soon as I returned to England from New York. Within hours of landing I found myself in the centre of town buying a suit for my sister’s wedding. There was a huge party after the ceremony and little time to sift through our footage for the New York blog before flying out to Madrid. It wasn’t before long that we were on the move again; the flight from London to Madrid took just under two hours. The belting sunshine and warm reception at the airport was a fine introduction to the Spanish section of our journey, but what were we expecting to find here? Was Spain really going to be that different to New York or Cambridge? There was a noticeable absence of English in the air and my Spanish needs a lot of work… We booked ourselves into a small hostel just outside Sol Plaza and set to work at once. The hostel in which we were staying provided the perfect backdrop for an international introduction. Within an hour and a half of arriving, we met several students from Italy, Belgium, Pakistan and Poland who were keen to help us with our project. Everybody we spoke to had interesting stories to tell about their ESL experiences, they also spilled the beans on some of their lesser preferred English language teachers from back home!
The following day we met with Bea, one of our central focuses for this portion of the project. Bea has been studying English for the last thirteen years and was kind enough to spend the entire day with Joel and I. We interviewed her in Madrid’s largest park about her use of English at work and elsewhere in the capital city.
An interview with Bea.
Me, Bea and Joel in Madrid.
Just a quick message from Spain!
After spending several days in the Spanish capital, we have decided to try and film in a smaller city. We are now in Granada, where we have been filming for the last few hours. The trip down south was unplanned and risky but we have strong contacts with a wonderful language school in this smaller community and we want to try and make some comparisons between here and Madrid. We head back to the capital on Sunday.
Sorry this message is so short, we have a lot to do and very little time to do it in!
Stand by for the New York and Spain video blogs, more photos and project details, all online next week!