Wednesday, May 13, 2009
An article here in Spanish has some information on the shortage of Spanish teachers in Germany, where demand has increased by 150% over the past seven years. Since I'm opposed to the idea of English becoming the world's second language (because it won't, and the sooner we realize this the better) this is good news, although it's still a bit odd that Spanish would surpass French in Germany considering that France and Belgium are just next door, and French is common in Luxembourg and Switzerland as well. Spain, on the other hand, is somewhat farther away and less influential at least in the EU, so I would have expected third place to be a more natural position for the language in Germany (English then French then Spanish). But hey, Spanish is the only language that is capable of challenging English where it is most dominant, so good for it. Keep this up and das kommt mir spanisch vor won't make sense anymore.
The article will apparently be published in more detail in German here, so keep an eye out for that. Here's part of the article:
Germany suffers from a sharp shortage of Spanish teachers in its schools at all levels, criticized the president of the German Association of Philologists, Heinz Peter Meidinger.
"The gap will not close for six or seven years", said Meidinger un an interview to be published in a special edition dedicated to education in the weekly "Focus Schule".
The data from the Federal Office of Statistics reveal that in 2000/01 115,000 German students studied Spanish, while this number has grown to 285,000 by the 2007/08 year, an increase of 150% over the seven years.
"The demand for Spanish is explosive and Spanish has clearly surpassed French for some time", said Meidinger, who noted that after English it was the language most studied in German schools.
The Minister of Education in Baveria, Nicole Steinbach, said that the number of students learning Spanish in high school has increased in the state by 300% over only six years.