In the first half of this year I worked with Alas Media, the collective of former students of Marco Torres in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, to produce a year-long podcast series to excite, entertain and educate learners of Spanish. We wanted to explore what it means to be a Latino in modern America, something most textbooks this side of the pond tend to ignore.
Learning and Teaching Scotland have recently started to release the weekly podcast in the iTunes storethrough RSS, as well as on the LTS site. These are some of the best video materials produced for any educational institution or department that I have ever seen, from a point of view of content, context and quality of storytelling.
The result is a series of 17 short movies, beautifully produced by Rosa, Miguel, Eli and Ernesto, which describe the struggles of migrating over two countries on foot to find the American dream, the subsequent problems of trying to integrate while maintaining one's culture, what it means to Hispanic in the States in the first decade of the millennium, what it's like to manage those relationships with your traditionalist family while trying to be an American teen.
The episodes see some progression throughout the year, and are designed for learners with some competence already, from intermediate through to advanced levels.
Have a look at one or two of them, or subscribe so that you never miss an episode. You might be a learner of Spanish or you might be keen to see how these digital stories are being told. Or, like me, you might just be fascinated by these personal stories of joy, sadness, struggle, identity and love