Welcome to 'The Class'

One of the initiatives in El PuntAvui TV's ambitious “English hour” puts the focus on children and their learning of English. If the programme aims at providing an English-learning environment for all and at giving a presence to the English language on TV on a daily basis, we thought that young learners had to have their share: first things first. After consultations here and there, it was decided to produce a series showing life in the English classroom. We wanted to put cameras in the very guts of our public school system: a classroom of first year primary school students (5-6 years old) during their English class. The school is in a working class neighbourhood in Barcelona and the teacher is a professional, enthusiastic young Catalan who teaches English to all the classes in that primary school. We called the series “The Class”.

Each chapter of “The Class” records – in a condensed version – a particular session. With no script, we show whatever comes out of the interaction and dynamics of each class. The focus, though, is on learners and their learning process. The teacher is there, but the camera is always on the children. We want to keep a record, a documentary throughout the school term, of the joys and pains of learning, of the endless need for repetition and the sparks of creativity and discovery. Hopefully, the series will also show the nature of good teaching. We do not pretend to suggest the virtues of a particular teaching approach or present a model for teaching and learning in a classroom environment. But we expect that a number of the necessary conditions for achieving good teaching and good learning will easily be identified by viewers. Life in the English classroom is the main focus of the series, but the documentary will also provide the real context to the situation: the school surroundings, parents and neighbours around the school building, special events in the school life, the passing of the seasons and so on. All in all we face this risky, ambitious project with the hope that it will become a meeting place for viewers holding different perspectives on the learning process. We hope it will become relevant to students of English (whatever their age), to primary students who will have access to a privileged mirror of life in their classrooms, to parents interested in having insights on what goes on in schools, to teachers being able to do classroom observation from home and explore the nature of learning.

Join the class

From the outset “The class” (produced by Marta Andreu of Playtime TV) counted on the good advice of Jordi Balló, the director of the prestigious creative documentary Master at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and the UPF has created grants for final year students to make sure that they can contribute to the project and profit from involvement in its production. The Department of Education has never put barriers to the idea and has been instrumental in facilitating our access to a public school. They see great potential to the project to spread interest and new motivation to teachers devoted to teaching English in Catalonia. And APAC (Associació de Professors d'Anglès de Catalunya) has provided support and sound advice to the makers of the series. It is time for me to say: Join “The class”!

“The Class” will be shown on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6 to 6.15pm and will be followed by “Story Time”, a daily story for children that is being produced with the help of teachers working in “The Young Learners Centre” of the British Council in Barcelona. Storytelling is at the heart of our perception and representation of the world.

As some say “We are the stories we are told”. It is our aim to provide stories in English to Catalan children to make sure their representation of the world is rich, varied and multilingual.

Sign in. Sign in if you are already a verified reader. I want to become verified reader. To leave comments on the website you must be a verified reader.
Note: To leave comments on the website you must be a verified reader and accept the conditions of use.