Williamsburg, Virginia (PRWEB) June 05, 2012
Learning @ La Tienda is an educational website with a culinary spin, and furthers La Tienda’s mission to support a broad range of education-based initiatives. Designed with the Spanish educator in mind, the site provides a student-friendly interface focusing on the foods and rich cultural heritage of Spain.
Online learning resource developer Laurie Hager began the project with an online discussion forum with educators who are La Tienda.com customers. "Over the years many of our customers have shared that they enjoy using our product content in their classrooms," Hager continued, "and together we exchanged innovative ideas about developing content that would be meaningful for a variety of age levels and skill sets." The resulting site is a direct reflection of that collaboration.
One of the main components of the site is the Spanish food “flash cards,” with audio links featuring pronunciation of each term by a native of Spain. To make the recordings Hager worked with Raquel Nicholson, one of La Tienda’s Customer Service Representatives. Nicholson was born and raised in Madrid and has been an employee at La Tienda for many years. “Raquel’s voice is kind, warm and spirited in the recordings,” Hager commented. “We hope that listening to her will give students confidence that they can learn to speak like a Spanish native themselves.”
Another feature of the Learning @ La Tienda site is the “Hablo Images.” These pictures of modern Spain, taken by the Harris Family, founders of La Tienda, are intended to be a “conversation starter” in Spanish classes of any level. The photos offer a glimpse into contemporary Spain. Some illustrate the geographic diversity of Spain, while others are of families, fiestas and fascinating scenes from everyday life. “Every year our family makes trips to Spain and we plan to add more images and fresh content each year, so that the Learning site will continue to grow organically,” said CEO, Tim Harris.
The third feature on the site is a set of essays in both English and Spanish translation. These essays focus on the food, the culture and the people who create some of La Tienda’s iconic products. The essays are accompanied by discussion questions and suggested exploration activities involving food from Spain. In addition to being found on the Learning site, these essays are also in a book written by Don Harris, “The Heart of Spain,” as well as in his blog, El Camino de Don Harris.
Harris writes his blog about time spent in Spain with his young family and the many subsequent years of nurturing relationships with vendors, who have become life-long friends. Whenever possible La Tienda supports family-owned companies that produce hand-made products using free-range and sustainable resources, and Don’s blog elaborates upon many of these connections. “It is inspiring to be part of a business that is about so much more than pure profit,” said Harris, “and this initiative shows that we are as committed to our customers and to the general public as we are to our amazing producers.”
About La Tienda:
Founded in 1996, La Tienda.com is an online retailer offering a selection of over 800 gourmet items from Spain. Family–owned and managed, the business is dedicated to working with artisan and small family businesses in Spain. La Tienda is headquartered in Williamsburg, Virginia, with its Spanish operation based outside of San Sebastian, Spain. Warehouses in Virginia and Alicante, Spain ship throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and Europe.
La Tienda will ship to over 95,000 customers in 2012, including restaurants and renowned chefs. In 2010, the company was awarded the Captain John Smith Award by the James City County Economic Development Team to a business, organization or individual for exemplary contributions to their local community. In 2011, La Tienda received the Outstanding Workplace Education Partnership Award from the Virginia Association for Adult and Continuing Education (VAACE). In 2012, The Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE) awarded La Tienda the national Outstanding Workplace of the Year Award. La Tienda is a regular exhibitor at state and regional foreign language conferences such as the Foreign Language Association of Virginia (FLAVA) and the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL).