Pablo DÍEZ ASTRUGA, Education Attaché to the Embassy of Spain in Bucharest: The Spanish language, a part of World Heritage

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On October 12th Spaniards all over the world commemorate the day when Admiral and explorer Christopher Columbus touched ground on the isle of Guanahani, in the New World.

Today, Spanish is the second most spoken native language in the world, only after Mandarin, is recognised as the official language in twenty countries and its influence and impact in the Americas continue growing, especially in the United States, where Latino population will reach one third of the country’s population in twenty five years.

Hispanic communities on both sides of the Atlantic proudly celebrate their common bonds, culture and language, but this celebration also entails a strong commitment to show and share with our neighbors and friends everywhere.

In Romania, Instituto Cervantes and the Embassy of Spain’s Education Office work hand in hand in sharing this rich heritage in a close, friendly Latin-rooted country. The cultural exchange – not to mention trade or the increasing mobility of qualified professionals – and mutual friendship and understanding has never been so strong between Spain and Romania, mainly due to the largest immigrant community in Spain for the past few years, Romanians.

All these facts have encouraged the Spanish and Romanian Ministries of Education to build up over the years a successful and highly demanded network of the so-called Spanish Sections in ten Romanian High Schools, where a mixed Spanish-Romanian curriculum is delivered within the Romanian official Education system.

In each of these schools one highly qualified Spanish native teacher is assigned from our Office to reinforce the oral skills of the students and prepare them to sit the Spanish Baccalaureate at the end of twelfth grade.

We offer the schools technical and pedagogical support, teaching resources, manuals and organize each year a Theater Festival in Spanish in Bucharest, where each Spanish Section competes to participate in an International Theater event that includes Spanish Sections from other East and Central Europe countries.

Our mission and vision continue to be that of instilling our students an international approach that broadens their opportunities for future education and professional development. Thus, Spanish being an international language, our students become part of a global community of over 560 million people.

With eleven Nobel Laureates in Literature, the language of Cervantes is becoming ever more influential in business, the Internet and international relations. From the cultural and education field we work on strengthening our ties with our partners and friends in Romania, as well as in the rest of the countries where we have presence.