Spain’s FEDELE and Argentina’s SEA this week signed a framework agreement to promote Spanish as a second language and develop language tourism in both countries.
“There’s a healthy competition, we’re going to learn a lot together and support each other to give value to this wonderful product we have, the Spanish language”
“Between two countries we don’t feel we are competitors when there are 20,000 Spanish students in the world,” Mari Carmen Timor Catalá, president of FEDELE and directer of Spanish school TLCdénia told The PIE News.
“There’s a healthy competition, we’re going to learn a lot together and support each other to give value to this wonderful product we have, the Spanish language.”
Each year some 350,000 students study Spanish at universities and private language schools in Spain, staying on average three weeks and spending €1,800. Argentina, meanwhile, welcomes more than 50,000 students a year, averaging eight week stays and spending around US$4,100 each.
With Spanish accounting for 12% of total global language student mobility, both FEDELE and SEA believe collaboration is the key to develop the Spanish as a foreign language sector.
“We believe that Spanish is a valuable international product, it’s a shared language that belongs to all hispanic countries and it’s an economical resource for all Spanish speaking countries,” said Timor.
“The best thing for us to do is collaborate so that this language continues to become more important globally.”
Through the agreement signed by Timor and SEA president Marcelo García, the two organisations said they will work together to improve student services, their education offering and connect teachers to share best practice tips.
Data collection and market intelligence is also part of the agreement, with both associations saying they will open channels of communication to share market intelligence internally and externally.
“It’s good for us to open up beyond our borders; we have the same concerns when it comes to our professional development and marketing,” said Timor.
“We face the same challenges with our offering, students, staff and administration.”
FEDELE has 83 member schools, all accredited by Instituto Cervantes. SEA, founded in 1993, has accredited 120 member language schools across Argentina, 60 of which offer Spanish as a second language.