Reginald Charran has a natural penchant for languages. Born in a rural Hindu community in the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago, he is a product of a colonial heritage that left a legacy of dialectal versions of world languages. Insight into communities such as his shows the foundation of the globalised environment we know today.
Spanish explorers settled the island from 1492. For a short time, so too did the French, who gave way to British rule. The introduction of African slaves brought in varieties of African languages, and large numbers of Indians brought in as indentured labourers from the mid-19th century also brought languages of their own. Experiments with labour from China, Syria and Lebanon had the same effect. Though the colonisers withdrew control, they left people who had already sowed the various languages into the island’s soil. The formal education system tried to streamline the dialectal versions of the languages the people acquired in their villages - Spanish and French patois, a potpouri of the Bhojpuri languages of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, India, and African dialects.
It is within this system that Mr. Charran discovered his interest in languages, when he entered secondary school at Presentation College, Chaguanas in Central Trinidad at
age 12. He repeatedly topped his classes in French, Spanish, Latin and English. At the local informal community classes, he discovered an easy capability for Hindi. But it was Spanish that captivated him most of all. He pursued formal training in Spanish in Mexico. He mixed that interest in languages with two charran3s – teaching and publishing –
pursuing training in teaching methods and publishing in Canada, and later, in several Latin American countries – Colombia, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, and Spain.
He was particularly charmed by the linguistic variations of Spanish he discovered in
Latin America, as compared to the Castilian Spanish of the Spanish mcharran3land, Spain.
It fed his interest in the peoples, cultures and histories and nurtured a dream to one day produce books for students at all levels from toddlers to tertiary level to share and transmit this knowledge of the languages. He did. If there was a category of bestsellers for schools’ textbooks, Charran Publishing’s Spanish textbooks for Caribbean schools may be considered as such. His textbook, “Guide to CXC Spanish,” for example, incorporates the cultures, languages and literatures of six Spanish-speaking countries – Spain, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, Venezuela, Columbia and Mexico.
Now that Spanish is positioned as a world language, second to English, Charran’s Publishing has positioned itself at educating the region in preparation for this. He is networking with countries of the Caribbean Common Market (CARICOM) and a team of bilingual and multilingual experts and foreign publishers to meet the growing demands of Spanish teachers for teaching material.
These take the form of books, workbooks, audio CD’s, posters, flash cards, answer keys and teaching guides in pedagogical techniques, which lend variety and excitement to the learning process. These are hereby reflected in the publications shown in Charran Publishers 2005/6 Catalogo Espanol.