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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • A series of Spanish television programmes that are currently being aired on TVJ’s ‘Smile Jamaica’
  • A total of 13 six to eight-minute television programmes
  • The dialogue focuses on interactions such as basic greetings and everyday vocabulary and activities

Ministry of Education has partnered with the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation (SJF) and Television Jamaica (TVJ) to strengthen the teaching and learning of Spanish in Jamaica.

This is being done through a series of Spanish television programmes that are currently being aired on TVJ’s ‘Smile Jamaica’.

A total of 13 six to eight-minute television programmes, that should benefit teachers, students and Spanish aficionados, have been developed for broadcast on Tuesdays at 6: 45 am. The first episode was aired on August 20.

Themed: Vamos Hablar Español (Let’s Speak Spanish), the programmes showcase both native speakers of Spanish and Jamaicans, who speak the language, sharing basic dialogue tips with viewers.

This is done through conversation between one of the ‘Smile Jamaica’ hosts, and a guest presenter from the Ministry of Education or a Spanish Teacher from the primary, secondary, or tertiary level.

The dialogue focuses on interactions such as basic greetings and everyday vocabulary and activities. “The purpose is to reach out, engage, teach, share, laugh, and pay attention those words and phrases,” said General Manager of the SJF, Dr. Rebecca Tortello.

She noted that television is a great medium “as we look for different avenues to build and spread interest in the speaking of Spanish as a foreign language.”

Dr. Tortello told JIS News that over the past three years, the Foundation, along with the Embassy of Spain in Kingston, has opened new avenues to support the efforts of the Ministry of Education to promote the study of Spanish.

“Thanks to these kinds of partnerships, many students and teachers will benefit from these short, informative educational spaces,” she stated.

Other efforts undertaken by the Spanish Jamaica Foundation and the Embassy of Spain to strengthen the teaching and learning of Spanish include: sponsorship of scholarships for Spanish students in six teachers colleges offering Primary Spanish Diploma; participating in ‘Read Across Jamaica’ during Education Week in May each year; and the organising of a one-day Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) camp at the Tom Redcam Parish Library, St. Andrew.