JIS News

Jamaicans will soon be able to learn Spanish and explore the customs of Spanish speaking countries by tuning in to their local cable channel.
A television-based Spanish language educational programme to be called “Vamos a Hablar Espanol,” is being prepared by the Creative Production and Training Centre Limited (CPTC) in collaboration with the Media Services Unit of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture.
The programme, expected to begin by September, will be carried by CPTC’s cable channel, Creative Television (CTV), which is currently carried by 20 local cable providers islandwide.
The new programme was announced by Dr. Hopeton Dunn, Chief Executive Officer of CPTC and Senior Lecturer at the University of the West Indies, at a one-day workshop for Spanish teachers, including Cubans, held on March 9 at the Caenwood Centre on Arnold Road. It was held to share information on educational projects and activities being developed by the Ministry of Education and to explore avenues for collaboration in the teaching of Spanish in schools.
Dr. Dunn said that the programme content would be close to the schools’ curriculum and would be directed to viewers at the beginner and intermediate levels of the school system. “We are in dialogue with the Ministry of Education. We have had meetings with the junior minister and he is very much in support of it,” he added.
He said the CPTC was working to have the programme aired on 50 cable channels.
According to the CEO, the length of the programme would be 30 minutes and it would be aired during the mornings and afternoons. He stated that details of the programme were not complete and CPTC was presently doing auditions for a Spanish-speaking presenter to host the programme.
Dr. Dunn said that “Vamos a hablar Espanol” would enable the viewer to learn Spanish in a fun and exciting way. “What we are concerned about is that it will not be boring or onerous. People should learn the language as far as possible in a fun way,” he said, adding that the presenter would introduce the basics of grammar, vocabulary and idiom in an interactive and lively style.
He said that materials for the programme would be drawn from footage obtained from Spanish language embassies, local sources and the CPTC’s archives.Also attending the workshop were Martha Corbett-Baugh, Education Officer for modern languages; Dr. Helloise Lewis, Former Senior Lecturer at the UWI; and Everton Hannam, International Affairs Officer in the Education Ministry, who spoke about efforts by the Ministry to arrange exchange programmes and scholarships for students in Spanish-speaking countries.

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