In this article I will look at Spanish language teaching in the UK.
The teaching of Spanish language and indeed Spanish culture has in recent years achieved a prominent place in the British education system.
I focus on Spain because it is the country I know best.
Nothing in this article should be seen as excluding any other Spanish speaking country.
Spanish language teaching in primary and secondary schools in the UK
Some schools in Britain are teaching Spanish to pupils as young as Reception class.
Whereas in many schools Spanish is already introduced at Primary and Junior stages.
Almost all British secondary schools offer Spanish to GCSE and A Level as standard within their curriculum.
But Spanish teaching starts in general from year 11.
Spanish language courses for adults
Students going on to university do chose Spanish degrees or combination degrees with Spanish as a major or minor.
Adults attend Spanish classes either provided by state education or by private enterprises.
The later do also frequently design and deliver tailor made Spanish courses to business and industry.
Clearly there is a fact- based understanding that the Spanish language is important.
Introducing Spanish language teaching
This to a certain extent is in contrast to the thinking in the post war period and up to about 1970.
From the 1970’s forward thinking educational centres were beginning to introduce Spanish into their curriculums.
That is not to say that there was no Spanish teaching before that.
Indeed, my father taught Spanish to adults in London at evening classes from the 1950’s.
About that time, it was perhaps fairly typical for people to think of Spain as a holiday destination.
Learning Spanish was so they could order food and drink and buy tickets to events etc.
Spanish language now and for the future
Spanish speaking people continue to enter the UK and naturally English language skills are paramount to them.
But over the years Spanish has become increasingly important to speakers of English and indeed of other languages.
Spain is no longer just a country for summer holidays.
The Banco de Santander for example has large offices in Milton Keynes.
British and other people want to do business with Spain
In conclusion, the Spanish language is clearly established as important both for business and for pleasure.
Spanish language teaching in the UK continues to grow and to provide for the aforementioned needs.
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