From 2007 to 2013 Jane Cronin gave a series of talks about the History and Geography of Spain.  in areas including Torrevieja, Orihuela Costa and the Mar Menor.  This wealth of information has now been included in an interactive Spanish course entitled "Un Retrato de España".  Here is a link with more information about the course.  Un Retrato de España - A Portrait of Spain

A Portrait of Spain talks

Do you know the name of the president of the Spanish government?   What about the most famous actors, singers or TV presenters?  How long has Spain been a democracy and what events lead up to it?   How many regions are there in Spain and what do they look like?

To answer these and hundreds more questions, Jane Cronin has a series of talks entitled A Portrait of Spain in which she entertains her audiences with a wealth of information and anecdotes accompanied by a visual presentation.    The article below was written by Paul Mutter of the Coastrider newspaper who attended one of Jane’s talks in November 2008.  Since this article was written two more presentations have been added to the series, namely "Moorish Spain" and "Spain after the Moors".

Learn more about Spain.

Popular language teacher Jane Cronin has been giving a series of talks entitled ‘Contemporary Spain’. The first talk is entitled Spain under Franco and describes the country Franco was born into, its history when he was a young soldier, the civil war and the periods of his dictatorship until his death in 1975. The second talk, entitled ‘The Transition’ explains how the country managed to change peacefully from a dictatorship into a democracy and the drastic adjustments that had to be made in Spanish society. The third talk is called Contemporary Society and is a personal reflection by Jane on a wide variety of aspects of modern Spanish society. The last talk called the ‘Geography of Spain’ gives a thumbnail sketch of the different regions, pointing out the tremendous variety that existence in landscapes, culture and climate.

The talks are the culmination of an idea that Jane has had for many years but never been able to complete until recently. It started as a series of short talks in the ‘Crossroads’ social club and Jane quickly realised that people had a tremendous appetite for the information; they were hungry to find out more about their adopted country. With little or no advertising, mostly mentioning the idea to her language students, the series was launched at Los Arcos. Jane recalled the first week, as she arrived people were queuing to register out of Los Arcos and round the corner on to the street. It seemed like the series had struck a chord with many. I caught Jane at the last of the present series and the place was full.

“When I see this number of people attending it is clear evidence that the British are interested in learning more about Spain and not just living in ghettoes.” This refers to remarks made recently by a Spanish official. “People are frustrated at their lack of knowledge and do want to learn. The information just has to be provided in the right format,” and that is one of Jane’ strengths. The talk on the Geography of the country with a whistle stop tour round the 17 regions consisted of a series of illustrated sketches seasoned with information about places of interest, personal memories and anecdotes. It is a wonderful technique for imparting knowledge and being entertaining at the same time. Paul Mutter for Coastrider Newspaper.

Here is a link to Keith Nichol's report on the Portrait of Spain talks given in December 2009.



Notes on Portrait of Spain - Spain under Franco and From Dictatorship to Democracy

Notes on Portrait of Spain - Moorish Spain

Notes on Portrait of Spain - Spain After the Moors

Notes on Portrait of Spain  - Geography of Spain

Notes on Portrait of Spain  - Contemporary Society

Notes on Spanish Christmas Traditions talk

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