Texts for Learners and Teachers of Spanish
Frequently Asked Questions

What is Tecla?

Tecla is a magazine for teachers and (intermediate to advanced) learners of Spanish provided free through the Internet. A typical edition comprises two original texts about Spanish culture, a number of comprehension and production activities, and corresponding keys. It was originally the product of the combined efforts of Paul Meara (now of the University of Swansea) and Rob Kennedy (now of the Language Centre at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London) and was distributed via the UK subscription service Campus 2000. The team of Language Advisers of the Spanish Embassy Education Office provided the texts, activities and keys weekly to Birbeck College for its editing and publication. Since October 2000 the new Tecla issues are only available at the Spanish Education Office website. [Top of the page]

When is Tecla published?

We endeavour to publish an edition every Monday of the traditional UK academic year (this varies from year to year, but is divided approximately into three eleven-weekly terms: the first week of October to the third week of December; the third week of January to the firs week of April; and the last week of April to the second week of July). The edition is normally posted during the weekend. We occasionally find our staff shortages impossible to overcome and are unable to produce an edition; we do our best, however, to ensure that this occurs only rarely. The exact publication schedule for the academic session 2000/2001 is as follows:
Autumn Term
2 October 9 October 16 October
6 November 13 November 20 November
27 November 4 December 11 December
18 December
Spring Term
15 January 22 January 29 January
5 February 12 February 5 March
12 March 19 March 26 March
2 April
Summer Term
30 April 7 May 14 May
21 May 4 June 11 June
18 June 25 June 2 July
9 July

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How can I access Tecla?

As well as the Birkbeck College site, the texts from 1994 to July 2000 are mirrored at the Spanish Education Office. The new issues since October 2000 are only available at the Spanish Education Office. [Top of the page]

How can I contact the Tecla administrators?

Feel free to forward your queries to [email protected]. We have had to withdraw a former address that we made available to you, [email protected], to reduce the strain on the Birkbeck e-mail network. Although this address still appears on editions published prior to September 1997, we warn you that it no longer works and encourage you to use the new address. [Top of the page]

How can I search through all the editions of Tecla?

There is a search facility that allows you to search through all editions for a single word of up to 50 characters. The results are returned as a list of links to the editions that contain the word, and each link is followed by a citation of the lines of the edition in which the word occurs. To locate the article, follow the link to the edition and use your browser's find command (in Netscape this can be accessed by clicking on the toolbar button that carries a small image of a pair of binoculars). When it was first released this facility was a modest script that simply searched sequentially through all the editions, however it recently caused the Birkbeck web server to crash and was upgraded to perform the searches much more quickly, so hopefully the frustratingly long waits for results that you are used to experiencing are a thing of the past. [Top of the page]

How can I find a list of all articles on a particular topic?

There is a thematic index of articles arranged alphabetically. Select the topic you are interested in from the scrollable list and then follow the "Get Articles" command; this will fetch the list of matching articles which are links to the editions that contain them. To locate the article use your browser's find command. Until December 1997 the index was woefully out of date, but we have developed a new CGI interface which uses a small database of articles to generate lists of articles on the fly. The significance of this from your point of view is that it makes it possible for us to update the index as new editions are added every week, and therefore the index can be relied upon in future to be up to date. [Top of the page]

How can I download and/or print an edition?

If you are using a browser, such as any of the recent releases of Netscape and Internet Explorer, that supports HTML frames, you may have found that downloading and/or printing editions is not as straightforward as it used to be. However the relevant procedures in the case of frames are not too complicated: first of all make sure that the frame that contains the article is the default for any saving and printing operations (to do this simply click on any part of the article frame that is not a hypertext link); then from the browser's File menu select "Save Frame As ..." or "Print Frame ..." rather than simply "Save As ..." or "Print ...". [Top of the page]

Can I copy editions for publication on my School's/College's network?

Yes you can with some provisos: that you retain Tecla's copyright notice (at the foot of each edition); that re-publication by you is solely for educational purposes and is not for direct financial gain; and that the re-published edition is only available to students within your institution and not made available on the Internet. [Top of the page]

Where can I get English translations of the articles?

From anyone who is prepared to translate them for you. The members of the Tecla team offer their services for free and, in the case of those from the Department of Spanish at Birkbeck, give up part of their weekend to keep the service going so we regret to say that we do not have the time to provide translations. [Top of the page]

When I try to access an old edition why does the Birkbeck server tell me that "The requested document cannot be found on this server or is not in the specified location"?

To improve the searching and indexing of the Tecla archive, we have changed the file-naming system to reflect the dates of the editions rather than their numerical sequence. Unfortunately this means that many of you who have bookmarked past editions will find that your bookmarks no longer work as they expected. In order to facilitate the transition to the new system, we have compiled a list of links to the new URLS based on the old URLS. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the implementation of the new system. [Top of the page]

Can you send me a weekly edition of Tecla through the post or via email?

Sorry, but no. [Top of the page]


Copyright: worldwide copyright 2000 for all sections of Tecla remains with the Consejería de Educación. All right reserved. Learners and teachers of Spanish may download, print, edit or reproduce the contents of Tecla without limitation, except that re-publication of any part of Tecla for direct financial gain may not be undertaken without the consent of Birkbeck College and the Consejería de Educación.


© Consejería de Educación y Ciencia. Londres. Tel. 020 7243 8535, ext. 237
Spanish Education and Science Office Fax 020 7229 4965
20 Peel Street. London W8 7PD [email protected]