Tag Archives: Spanish

Review: The Illiterate (Las Analfabetas) (2013)



The Spanish Film Festival recently wrapped up all over the country and Kathie has two more reviews to share with you.

Check out her other reviews from the festival here: Family United (La gran familia española), Three Many Weddings (Tres bodas de más) and Living is Easy with Eyes Closed (Vivir es fácil con los ojos cerrados).

Reviewed by Kathie.

With overtones of ‘Educating Rita’ which also began as a play dealing with the limitations of traditional education and the nature of personal growth,the Chilean film, ‘The Illiterate’, provides another great role for Paulina Garcia who shone in ‘Gloria’ last year winning herself a big following around the world. This time Garcia plays Ximena, prickly, defensive, complex and extremely wary of anyone who attempts an assault on her illiteracy, of which she is deeply ashamed, though in denial. Buried deep within and covered with emotional callouses is the germ of a very potent motivator which Jackeline, the recently-graduated, passionate young teacher, stumbles on quite accidentally.

As with ‘Educating Rita’, ‘The Illiterate’ has at its core the theme of empowerment through education based on the equality and honesty of both parties to the teaching/learning contract. We are left in no doubt about the size of the learning impediment suffered by a person who arrives at adulthood without the skill of literacy. It is only Jackeline’s passion for her profession that enables her to survive the challenges thrown up by Ximena’s intractable resistance.   Forced finally to abandon her preconceived ideas about teaching someone to read and write, Jackeline reaps the rewards of a more authentic engagement with the teaching/learning process.

Languagenut and Spanish

Investigating Languagenut for Spanish

This month we asked Melbourne language teacher Kathie Farn to take a close look at Languagenut.

Having played around, mostly with Unit 6, but also with a sampling of the other units and unit groups, my reaction to Languagenut for Spanish is positive.  I found it fun, engaging and easy to navigate.

Is it engaging and age appropriate?

I was looking at Languagenut from the point of view of an adult language learner.  I found myself irresistibly drawn into the activities and perfectly happy to immerse myself in games designed around the interests of children.  I found the games a lot of fun and very good practice to reinforce language, especially new vocabulary, and can imagine that the songs would be appealing to children of primary age.  They would definitely be a great memory aid and reinforcement tool for target language points.


In a computer program teaching any subject at all, there is no room for errors.  Unfortunately, I found  an error we have passed on to the developers.
The small typographical error is in the translation of the song in Unit 2 Singing and Playing where  “Yo canto bien y bailo bien” is translated as “I sing wel (sic) and I dance well”.  It’s a very small point, I know but I didn’t want anything to detract from the professional feel of Languagenut.

 Favourite activity

I prticularly enjoyed “Memory”, based on the game of Pelmanism but also liked Hangman and Spelling and Multiple Choice – they each presented a fun challenge to dealing with new vocabulary.
The  test sections were also appealing with their whole-hearted rewards, with both attractive graphics and sound effects to acknowledge achievement of anything above 50%.  I suppose something a little less dramatic to acknowledge all achievements, even at a lower level, could also be motivating for those taking longer to master language points.

I found navigating around the site easy and straight forward.