Love and torment in the Spanish language class: using short films to enhance speaking, listening and writing skills
This paper describes an innovative course based on the use of authentic short films. It was designed in order to overcome the doldrums that students often suffer after reaching an 'Intermediate plateau' in their language learning. The core strength of the course resides in a strategic combination of three key features: a) an alternative way of exploiting short video films to build skills in speaking, listening and writing, b) a course design which involves students in real and authentic communication tasks and c) the use of computer assisted learning technology which made the films accessible to students at their own pace and location from the free eLearning space of the university. This enabled individualized and student centered study as well as providing opportunities for unlimited viewing of the films as the students undertook their tasks. At the end of the course, students completed an evaluation which asked about their achievements, the problems they encountered using the technology and their views about the effectiveness of the course in enhancing their speaking listening and writing skills in Spanish. The article concludes with suggestions for improvement of the course design offered from the students and instructor involved.