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Introduction to Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language

Bilbao campus

Spanish in today's world

Spanish is the second most widely spoken language today. With 329 million native speakers, it ranks second only to Chinese. Spanish is used by some 450 million people (natives and speakers of Spanish as a second language). It is undergoing continuous growth and predictions indicate that 535 people million will be speaking Spanish in 20 years.

The USA is expected to be the world's leading Spanish speaking country in 2050. In China, Spanish is becoming increasingly popular. Since 2005, Brazil has the so called Spanish Law in force, which obliges all public and private secondary schools to teach Spanish within regular class hours. 200,000 teachers will be trained or hired to meet this objective.

Data from the Federal Statistical Office of Germany show that some 115,000 German pupils studied Spanish during the 2000/2001 academic year. This number rose to 285,000 in 2007/2008, marking an increase of nearly 150%.

In only ten years time (2000-2009), the use of Spanish on the Internet has increased 650.9%, making it the third most widely used language on the web. 7.9% of web users (of the 1700 million users worldwide) communicate in Spanish. As for the number of documents requested, Spanish ranks as the fourth most popular language.

Spanish at the University of Deusto

Since 1989, the University of Deusto has offered Spanish classes for foreigners though CIDE (International Centre for Spanish), based in the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences. An average of 1000 students study here every year, coming from all over the world and participating in international programmes.

CIDE has been a Cervantes DELE Exam Centre for Official Spanish Diplomas since 1997. Since 2004, it has taken part in the Training Programme for Teachers of Second Languages in collaboration with the Cervantes Institute, in addition to course design for the Educational Council of the Spanish Embassy in the USA for Spanish teachers.

The centre regularly attends international fairs to promote Spanish and has a highly qualified teaching staff which meets the standards required for HEIs.

Job opportunities in Spanish L2

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