En un lugar de Loñdres (EulL) is the title of a project developed in the Spanish course LN 122 Spanish Language and Society (B1-B2 CEFR) and it is also the title of this blog.
London is not monolingual. This city goes to sleep and rises in the morning to the hum of an impressive linguistic diversity, where English, the official language, mingles with the so-called foreign langauges. One of them, Spanish, has between 200,000 and 300,000 native speakers in the city.
Is Spanish a ‘foreign’ language in London? For how long does a language have to be spoken in a place for it to cease being ‘foreign’? Or in fact is it not even a question of time?
Why we do not look the existing linguistic reality and start to talk about “present languages” and “absent languages”?
And why, when a student wants to practice a language he or she is studying, does that student have to catch a plane or connect to the internet instead of walking out into the street? Why, in ‘foreign’ language classes, do we ignore the communities of immigrants?
En un lugar de Loñdres (EulL) seeks to respond to (some of) these questions.
The project also encourages students of LN 122 Spanish Language and Society to leave the classroom and go out into the streets of London to meet the Spanish speakers who live here. The students listen to their stories, observe and analyse their presence in – and impact on – the city, and reflect on the linguistic diversity of this multilingual context.
The project is divided in two stages (I.Preparatory and II. Individual Project – interview, photographic essay, opinion article, digital history etc.) over a period of 15 – 20 weeks. The project includes activities and workshops. Some samples are:
- Observation and analysis of the linguistic landscape of London and the virtual landscape of the communities of Spanish speakers
- Reading and multi-modal analysis of local newspapers in Spanish
- A workshop on fieldwork, ethics and techniques of interviewing
- Practice in interviewing, transcribing and editing
- A workshop on documentary photography
This blog is a publication platform for the project. Here you will find 4 sections:
- Web Journeys which is a collection of webpages, compiled by students and the teacher, about the Spanish-speaking communities and the Spanish language in London.
- Vídeo-Interviews in which members of these communities or experts in the field help to understand the history of the Spanish-speaking communities in London, their participation in political and other groups, the challenges they face, etc.
- The Main Page where we publish the work (interviews, photographic essays, opinion articles etc.) created by the students and articles by others which can be interesting for the project.
- Mapping where we locate in a London map different elements related to the Spanish-speaking communities in this city.
If you wish to know more about En un lugar de Loñdres (EulL) or to have access to the project materials, please contact Lourdes Hernández-Martín, Coordinator of Spanish Projects and Coordinator of Arabic at the Language Centre of LSE,
The Spanish Section of the Language Centre of LSE thanks the students of LN122 Spanish Language and Society for their participation in the project, their enthusiasm and their support.