For five years now ELNA has planned to prepare a course in Esperanto for television. Recently the planning firmed up, the text was written, rewritten, re-rewritten and polished; and everything is now ready (except for the money) to push ahead with the project.
Esperanto, Pasporto Al La Tuta Mondo will be suitable for educational or cable television and is directed to adults, including students at the high school and university level. It consists of 15 half-hour lessons, using the direct method of language teaching so that the same tapes may be used anywhere in the world.
We want the lessons to have a sort of timeless quality, so that they may be used unchanged for many years. We want the lessons to have a continuing story line, which will hold the interest of the students. And—we want the lessons to be amusing.
The main actors are the six members of the Bonvolo family. Georgo, a Greek philosopher; Filiso, a classic ballerina; Roberto, a professional long-distance runner; Jolando, a race-track jockey; Heleno, an avant garde sculptress; and Donaldo, an adolescent but genius-level British- style judge. The family members wear unusual costumes, and act in original and unusual ways. They are, after all, characters which we have invented; characters with universal appeal. In that way the course will not easily become dated.
The Bonvolo family is very interested in international cultural relations and during the course of the lessons experience many contacts—by mail, telephone, home visits, foreign visits and even ESP-visits–with foreigners equally fantastic and idiosyncratic in action. After many amusing meetings and partings all of the actors, major and minor, joyfully come together in the last lesson at an international convention.
Besides using the direct method, the lessons are structured on several other important methods of instruction such as dialogue subtitles, pattern phrases, word lists, pictures, maps, designs, and computer-created light effects. The video will be made digitally, in order that it may be later adapted to CD-ROM and interactive instruction. Workbooks are planned in Esperanto and the national languages to accompany the video courses.
Our team has already produced a 15-minute promotional video, which presents the project and is designed to help collect the necessary money for this audacious project.
We invite the collaboration of the various national Esperanto organizations and/or individuals in the forthcoming creation of workbooks for the courses in the various national languages. The aim is that those collaborators themselves print the workbooks and copy the tapes without cost (or we will furnish at cost) for local use in those countries. This project is truly international, and the Bonvolo family hopes to create Esperantists throughout the world. All requests for further information should be directed to the producer, Lusi Harmon, at ELNA.