The airwaves of Valencia have been vibrating with English since Londoner Craig Wealand started filling the ether with material to help Valencian students learn English.
Craig arrived in Valencia in 1997 after 10 years travelling and teaching in other countries, mainly because his parents retired to nearby Moraira on the Costa Blanca.
In 2001 he was approached by a student, Luis Domingo Blanco, an IT expert working at Valencia’s port, with a view to expanding a website dedicated to helping students practice their English, www.mansioningles.com
Having noticed that English pronunciation is not the most logical in the world, Craig realized that a much stronger audio content was needed for the free course, which now has four levels, and other material on the website including a free monthly email newsletter.
In January, 2014 Craig set up a podcast website www.inglespodcast.com providing all kinds of audiomaterials to help students overcome such booby traps as English phrasal verbs, and which also has a complete self study course for passing the Cambridge First Certificate Exam, which is for sale. http://www.mansioningles.com/cd_first.htm
The flagship podcast, Aprender Inglés con Reza y Craig, features Reza Shah as co-host, Craig’s friend and colleague at the British Council, Valencia.
Another initiative that Craig has launched is a series of podcasts of interviews with interesting native speakers of English; among them the editor of Valencia International.
A growing interest in podcasts took Craig to Las Vegas where, shunning the gambling tables and the Elvis imitator performances, he attended the New Media Expo (NMX) in April 2015, where he was able to share his experiences with the ‘podcast community’, and which led to his projects being nominated for two awards at the coming conference in Manchester; see our article: http://valencia-international.com/british-valencian-teachers-up-for-award/
Craig must be doing something right as 60,000 of his podcasts are downloaded every month.
He also has spectacularly good teeth, as his Spanish wife Angeles is a dentist. Unfortunately the podcasts don’t have video for the moment, and so you will be denied that pleasure.