The Spanish Section of the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Ghana has been recognised as Centre for DELE Assessment by Cervantes Institute. The Institute was established in 1991, with the aim of fostering Spanish language teaching, as well as promoting Spanish and Latin American culture.
It carries out these functions through its network of centres all over the world. It also has central offices in Madrid and Alcalá de Henares, the town where the writer Miguel de Cervantes was born.
The Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera (DELE) are official Spanish language proficiency diplomas, organised by the Cervantes Institute and granted by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. DELE stands for Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera (Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language). It’s a worldwide recognised title of Spanish proficiency.
Spanish continues to be the second-most spoken mother language, topped only by Mandarin which is spoken by 950 million people. In addition to the 477.6 million native speakers, a further 73.7 million people have some knowledge of Spanish and another 21.2 million study Spanish as a foreign language – a total of 572.6 million people. It is also the second language used in the main social media: Facebook and Twitter.
This number is expected to rise to 754 million people by 2050, pushed by population growth in Spanish-speaking countries as well as the growing number of Spanish speakers in the United States.
Spanish as a foreign language worldwide, competes with Mandarin and French as the second-most studied language in the world. The number of students enrolled in Spanish courses is higher than the total number of students enrolled in all other languages.
The Spanish Section at the University of Ghana is formed by five senior members, a Spanish lecturer under the MOU with the Spanish Agency for Cooperation and Development (AECID) and a visiting scholar from Spain. The Spanish Section offers BA, MA and MPHIL Programmes.
Thanks to the increasing number of students that apply for Spanish at the University, the section is growing and getting improved in terms of quality and coverage. The Spanish speaking Embassies in Ghana collaborate actively with the Section to promote Hispanic culture and language.
Spanish students at the University of Ghana receive annual grants such as the “Santa Isabel” Award for Best Graduating student in Spanish Orals given by the Spanish Embassy to Ghana and sponsored by the Spanish company Wagcol/Comet, the “Vale un Perú” Award for the Best Graduating student in Spanish, given by the Peruvian Embassy to Ghana and the “Award for Academic Excellence and Service” given by the Ghanaian Association of Hispanists.
The Section also has a Spanish Club run by executive members, all Spanish students, that organise yearly activities related to Spanish language and culture, such as poetry, theatre, singing, salsa, conferences, workshops, competitions or food and cinema festivals. These activities are open to general public, particularly to students from the University, since this club consists of a space to exchange Spanish with other students and Hispanic entities.
The Section also organises every year a two-day Seminar on Hispanic Language and Culture in Europe, Africa and America.
Story: WEEKEND Today CORRESPONDENT