Thursday, July 26, 2012
From here in Spanish, referencing a general gathering of Instituto Cervantes heads who talked among other things about strategy in the near future. There seems to be agreement that the United States is the best place to promote Spanish, which makes complete sense from their point of view. These international organizations (Alliance Française, Confucius Institute, etc.) usually do best promoting their languages in:
- Areas where there is a demographic or political reason to do so (Philippines for Spanish, Portuguese for East Timor and Macau, French for Tunisia, Algeria etc.)
- Areas of prestige (world capitals, world famous cities or places with prestigious universities)
It's much more likely though that the fate of Mexico (specifically the drug war and overall safety) and other nearby countries will have more to do with the future of Spanish in the US.
The Instituto Cervantes has given priority to its expansion in the United States with the opening of centres in Miami and Washington, aware that in the coming years "Spanish will play the role of a second language" in the country.
Director García de la Concha made this announcement today in Salamanca during a press conference before the annual reunion of the directors of the Institute.
De la Concha spoke of the presence of the Institute in Canada and Brazil as additions/appendices to this, complementing the projection in the United States.
Another one of the objectives is to open classrooms "in major universities in the north and some in the south and west coast of the United States."
De la Concha said he hopes that all countries of Hispanoamérica would feel the Instituto Cervantes as their own.
The Instituto Cervantes is present in 87 cities in 44 countries, with 1,200 employees. Its centers had 227,000 students enrolled last year and celebrated 6,500 cultural activities.