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Humanising Language Teaching
Year 4; Issue 3; May 02

Readers Letters

Being back in an English speaking country I love

Dear Mario,

……I wish I could write about my stays in England, present and past. But I feel it almost impossible to remember exact dates and names.

My head, however, is full of images, scents, tastes, sounds. Something as simple as a children's film, the Harry Potter film, activates all my English memories. Had I seen it in Spain I would have felt completely different and not just because it would have been dubbed in Spanish.

What I feel is that having the opportunity to meet my English friends again, to talk to my Spanish colleagues here on the course about my previous visits to this beautiful country, to search my brain for English words, to be immersed in England.… all this makes my past come back to me again. It was there, in some remote corner of my brain, ( if brains have corners!) waiting to be awakened, as if there were magic wands in Canterbury shops, not just in the Potter film, that could give colours to my sleeping memories.

When I saw the film, I had the impression that I had been to many of those places. Had I visited that school before? Had I seen it in another film? Or had I dreamt about it? Was York Museum there? Does it really appear in the film? Forgotten voices sounded in my head, children's voices, actors' mysterious voices… they all came back to my mind. Had I heard them in the street? Their faces, too. Had I seen them in the theatre or in the cinema? Or was that a magic lantern?

What magic wand has so stirred my half-forgotten past?

Marina Fraga, North West Spain.

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