Last month, the US and Spain both renewed an agreement to promote student and teacher exchange programs between the two countries.
The US Department of Education and the Spanish Ministry of Education and Vocational Training agreed on a new memorandum of understanding between the two agencies, which will promote multilingual and multicultural education in both countries.
“This week, alongside Ambassador [Santiago] Cabanas, I signed a memorandum supporting the study of Spanish language & culture in the US, and the study of English in Spain,” said US secretary of education Miguel Cardona in a tweet shortly after signing the memorandum. “It will also help to strengthen our educator workforce, and support effective instruction in our schools.”
This is the third such memorandum that has been signed between the two countries. Spain and the US have each sent several language educators abroad to the other country—currently, there are about 500 Spanish teachers working in the US, while the US has sent more than 7,000 “conversation assistants” to enrich English language classes in Spain’s public school system.
After English, Spanish is the second-most widely spoken language in the US, which also boasts the second-largest population of Spanish speakers in the world, just after Mexico. Cardona hopes to devise similar agreements between the US and countries in Latin America, in order to facilitate high-quality Spanish language education in the country.
In recent years, Spain has been a strong supporter of Spanish-language education abroad, with the recent opening of the University of California, Los Angeles’ Instituto Cervantes center highlighting the country’s commitment to Spanish education around the world.
The Instituto Cervantes is a global organization that promotes Spanish education throughout the world—at the August opening of UCLA’s branch, the country’s prime minister Pedro Sánchez stated that “Spanish is a language of progress and modernity, of the future and entrepreneurship.”