What we do
The VaughanTown project was an idea that started in April 2000. An ex-student of the Vaughan organization insisted that I visit a charming little restored Spanish village called Valdelavilla. It was far away from major population centers, but because of its charm I finally decided to try something I’d been dreaming of for years: to create an English speaking village right in the heart of Spain.
In the year 2000, the Internet was already a powerful tool, with thousands of forums and discussion boards, and emails were becoming an everyday mode of communication. I decided to use this tool to reach large numbers of Englishspeaking natives who might be interested in coming to Spain and lending their native voices and accents to create the impossible: A microcosm of the English language ten times more varied and more intense than any place in Spain and... on the planet!
People both in Spain and abroad thought I was a bit crazy.
Why would volunteers come to Spain to talk for 80 hours straight?
How, they said, would I convince Spanish executives that by driving 170 miles northeast of Madrid, they would improve their English more in six days than flying to London, Chicago or Melbourne to spend a full month?
Skepticism hung in the air, but I’m used to it. It’s accompanied me often over the past 30 years of hard work and success. Some of the most skeptical were in my own organization, but they didn’t tell me directly and fortunately they worked hard despite their misgivings to help make the project a roaring success. Finally, in July 2001, we did the first pilot program, with 35 participants. The heaviest downpour in known memory fell on the province the moment the us arrived with English-Speakers and Spaniards, leaving most of us drenched to the bone even before getting our luggage and rooms in order. The deluge lasted for an hour and then the rest of the 15 days were sunny, fun, and successful. Since then we have done hundreds of programs and have also re-launched VaughanTown, based on a slightly smaller, less informal format. Ideally we want similar numbers of English-Speakers and Spaniards to spend six days together, from breakfast to past dinner, talking and talking and talking. Spanish adults love to talk, especially when they overcome their fear of sounding silly when using English, so your job is basically to help them to overcome this fear. And then, when they do, the Spaniards transform into fun, talkative people and they quickly turn you into an expert on Spanish life and ways. It’s an enormously enriching experience for all involved.
Apart from VaughanTown and both our "in house" and company classes we're also on the Radio and Social Media!
Vaughan Radio began broadcasting in December 2003, being the first bilingual radio devoted to English teaching and bettering our listeners understanding of the English language.
Vaughan TV joined the path to success in 2008, as well as Vaughan Radio and now exists mostly online on YouTube
Follow us on Facebook! You can find us here:https://www.facebook.com/VaughanTeachersandVolunteers/