The Autonomous Learning Zone is a DIY, non-hierachical learning project in Manchester. We meet on Thursdays 1-5pm in each other’s homes to learn about whatever interests us… anything from animal yoga to radical history and bike maintenance!


Drawing while learning Spanish

lamparaSome of us are interested in learning Spanish and some of us in practising drawing, so we came up with the idea of combining both activities. The process was very creative and interesting. We had 4 Spanish sayings: Perro ladrador poco mordedor, En casa del herrero cuchara de palo, En abril aguas mil and Más vale tarde que nunca. One word in each of them was translated to English and everyone drew about what they thought the saying meant. Then, we said different words in Spanish and one in English for objects in the room, one for each person, and everyone drew it. We all learnt things and practised our drawing skills, it worked quite well and it was fun!

We will try to keep doing similar activities as we have thought in previous sessions that some things we want to learn need more time, more than a session, and continuity. We will keep exploring this, New ideas and other projects are very welcome! 🙂

Here is what a participant had to say about the session:

“As an almost complete beginner in Spanish, I found the Spanish phrases drawing game helpful in learning/revising Spanish vocabulary and feel it would be a helpful learning activity to be incorporated into longer Spanish sessions. Actively trying to work out what the words and phrases meant, and then how I would draw this, required longer and more complex reflection which I think aided my remembering than simply trying to rote memorizing their meanings would have. The pictures that everyone drew help me to remember the translations, as I find images easier to remember than spoken or written words. To demonstrate this I’ll translate the phrases above, from memory and without revision.. ana perhaps you can correct my mistakes to see how well I’ve remembered and how valid my above statement is!

Perro ladrador poco mordedor
The dog’s bark is bigger than his bite (dog barker small biter)

This was an attempt to draw a Spanish phrase, but there was some confusion!

This was an attempt to draw a Spanish phrase, but there was some confusion!

En casa del herrero cuchara de palo
In the house of the blacksmith you will find wood (literal: in house of blacksmith find the wood)
pretty uncertain about this one!
In the house of the blacksmith, there is a wooden spoon

En abril aguas mil
In april rains thousand

Más vale tarde que nunca
Better late than never (literal: more better late than never)

Overview of wordpress

A few months into having the Autonomous Learning Zone, we decided to set uo a website! The first step to this is of course learning about how to set up a website, and as we wanted one we could all edit we opted for WordPress… After a session with the projector and a talk through of wordpress, we are now ready to write a few bits about our experiences!

For more info on how to us WordPress, please see the following link: