Saturday, 18 April 2009

Spanish to be reintroduced in Philippine high schools in June

Madrid starts training grants to spread the use of Spanish
Manila Standard

MADRID—The cultural arm of the Spanish government will help the Philippines reintroduce Spanish language training in schools under an agreement reached Thursday.

The Cervantes Institute will train Spanish language teachers in the Philippines, a former Spanish colony, during the first stage of the cooperation between the two sides, it said in a statement.

Last week the institute began training 35 teachers at its center in Manila. Another course involving 75 teachers, financed by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, will begin shortly, it added.

The agreement was reached during a meeting in Madrid between the director of the Cervantes Institute, Carmen Caffarel, and the visiting education secretary of the Philippines, Jesli Lapus.

In January the government of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo announced that starting in June, Spanish would be taught at high schools across the country whose students had mastered English and shown an ability to learn another foreign language.

In 1987 the Philippines abolished Spanish as one of its official languages, and a requirement that college students learn it.

The language has since largely vanished from everyday use in the country of just under 100 million people, with English and the local languages now commonly used.

Unlike in Madrid’s colonies in Latin America, the Spanish language was never as widespread in the Philippines, mainly because of the small number of Spanish settlers in the archipelago.

English was introduced to the country when it passed from Spanish to American control after the Spanish-American war of 1898. AFP


  1. + Spanish is also useful to those who may want to work in the US (southern areas). It would be convenient to be able to speak and write that language as some job descriptions there prefer Spanish speaking applicants.

  2. Spanish teachers should come to the Philippines like the Hispanic version of Thomasites :)