If you take a dictionary of Spanish in order to look up the word “Spanish” you will find three meanings: Two in relationship to political questions of pure jurisprudence (“Nature of Spain” and “relative to or belonging to Spain”) which don´t interest me now and another meaning which defines “Spanish” as a language: “Common language of Spain and a lot of Nations of America also spoken as an appropriate language in other parts of the world.” We will concentrate us on the last meaning, relating to the increase of the demand of teaching Spanish in the world.
Some guidelines show precisely that the didactics now deal with a new way of teaching Spanish as a foreign language. These are stipulated by experts and regard to objectives, contents, methodology and evaluation. In establishing objects for the course, we must pay attention to the programes made by schools (normally adapted to the curriculum of Instituto Cervantes and also to the Europe Reference of Languages) in which the final principles are set up. Although we share this idea if it shows a communicative focus, the teacher has to adapt to the group, he has to decide whose turn it is, to communicate, to write, to read, to listen and to “fight” with Spanish. For them one of the first questions in a course (also related to the topic of autoevaluation, student responsable of his own learning process etc.) normally refer to the motive why the student is learning Spanish. The question leads to the final conclusion of “why we are here in this room now.” Asking this question in my class I always come to the same result: Spanish ist up-to-date.
But why Spanish? Why not one of the other almost uncountable languages which exist in the world? Why is it the language of Cervantes, Lorca, Borges or García Márquez?
The example shows the expansion of cultural spanish centers not only in countries in which Spanish is the official language but in the whole world. It also shows that Spanish is step by step rising in the ranking of the languages which are mostly used. First in the sector of new technologies and further by means of communication in governmental organizations. Therefore it receives a character of “the official language” (less on the street but the official recognition will follow) in an english speaking country as the USA or in a country surrounded by people who speak Spanish. This leads to the obligation to learn Spanish in their schools.
We will speak about this and a lot more in this blog. It is dedicated to this language which unites us and enriches us in linguistic, literature and culture. We will deal with questions on all areas, especially in relationship to your lessons.