Wednesday, September 24, 2008


My Spanish class is watching a televonela "Destinos" ("Destinies" or "Destinations"), in piecemeal, every couple class periods.

This thing is fascinating.

It's a movie designed for people learning Spanish. The general story line is a family mystery that spans continents, time periods, and generations. There is a narrator who sometimes speaks in English but also Spanish, and the characters all speak (different dialects of) Spanish. The Spanish words are put on the screen next to their object--like all of don Fernando's hijos (children), which is done several times to comedic (although memory-storing) effect.

It's a little like those novels for SAT students, where the text is infused with big vocabulary, whether the words sound appropriate in the story or not.

In terms of story craft, "Destinos" flies completely in the face of the admonition that plot not be imposed on characters. And realistic dialogue? Not so much.

But don't get me wrong--I'm not criticizing the "Destinos" series. It's a great visual tool for learning or reinforcing vocabulary. And I'm ever a sucker for stories.


Abercornucopia said...

I loved Destinos! We watched it back in my spanish class in high school. I caught it late one night on PBS awhile back and it instantly sucked me in. I still remember my favorite line, "Hola, me llamo Beto, Beto Chaaaavez". You'll have to let me know when you get to that episode. :]

Michelle Panik O'Neill said...

Oooh-oooh, your comment is like a teaser commercial! I can't wait until we get there.