COLUMBIA CORPUS OF CONVERSATIONS FOR TEACHING SPANISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE
This site contains video recordings of natural conversations among Spanish speakers to be used as language sources in the teaching and learning of the language. The recordings were made by approaching speakers in public places or taking advantages of meetings among family and friends, without a script or any other constraint.
Below each video recording, on the same page, there is a brief description (DESCRIPCIÓN), an orthographic transcription (TRANSCRIPCIÓN), a list of interesting language elements that appear — ¿QUÉ VAMOS A ENCONTRAR? (“what will we find?”) — and specific activities for that video — ACTIVIDADES — for different language levels.
The videos are categorized according to the language level of students, the number of participants in the videos, the country of origin of the speakers, their professions, the relation among them, and their topics of conversation. Each of these categories can be accessed in the menu on the upper right corner of the page.
Although each video includes one or several activities, in the aforementioned menu in ANTES DE EMPEZAR, there is also a series different types of activities and suggested didactic uses that are applicable to many of the videos and general instructions for their use. In some cases, the videos are assigned to more than one category, such as level and specific purpose, for example. To locate more information (year recorded, city in which the recording was done, more specific themes), and especially to search for language elements (like concrete words), it is best to use the search function.
The levels use the guidelines and designations from the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages and from the Common European Framework of References for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment.
The videos can be watched in higher or lower resolution by simply clicking on the icon (indented circle) in settings in the status bar at the bottom of the video. The resolution affects the downloading speed of the video.
These recordings are to be used exclusively for teaching purposes. If anyone would like to use them for research, they will be required to submit their project to the Human Research Protection Office of Columbia University for approval.
This project has been carried out by a team directed by Guadalupe Ruiz Fajardo (Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, Columbia University) and consisting of Lacey Beck (Columbia University/Universidad Nebrija), Ana Méndez Oliver (Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, Columbia University), Mariana-Cecilia Velázquez (Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, Columbia University), Juan Catena Botero (Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, Columbia University), Ramón Flores Piñero (Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, Columbia University), Jaume Batlle Rodríguez (Departamento de Educació Lingüística i Literària, Universitat de Barcelona) y Sara Riquelme Macarrilla (Monk’s Walk School, Welwyn Garden City, UK). Emmanuela Soria Ruiz (The Cooper Union) recorded conversations in Havana. Aurora Rodríguez Colado (Center for Teaching and Learning, Columbia University) designed the site and instructed the team on how to use it. Steve Welsh and Ian Sullivan (Language Resource Center, Columbia University) have collaborated in different moments of the technical process, especially with the online storage design for the recordings and their their editing.
This project was funded by the Institute of Latin American Studies (Columbia University) for the recording of the videos; the Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning (Columbia University) for the transcriptions and website design; the Language Resource Center (Columbia University) for the storage of the videos, transcripts and pedagogical activities design; and Hispanex (Gobierno de España) for the video recordings and technical support.