Knowing Spanish and Catalan well to teach them afterwards

Demand to learn a second language has increased. Catalan and especially Spanish have become highly demanded languages, although in different contexts. The Master in Teaching Spanish and Catalan as second languages/ Languages and population movements is presented as a unique offer.

A Chinese university, in its job offers’ section, announces it will hire Spanish teachers for its Spanish students. Spanish is also the foreign language with more learners in American universities. They need people to teach them Spanish. In a different context, Catalonia’s sociocultural reality demands Catalan teachers. They are essential for the integration classes and even abroad. The Ramon Llull Institute coordinates Catalan teaching in 160 universities worldwide and looks for Catalan teachers. The University of Girona offers an official Master in Teaching Spanish and Catalan as second languages/ Languages and population movements for all graduate students with vocation for teaching who wish to specialize in teaching Spanish or Catalan as a foreign language.

This master, like all official masters, provides access to doctorate studies. It represents a unique offer because it has different lines depending on students’ interests: research or professional focus on one of both languages. It should be noticed that the master’ programme is independent for each language, Spanish and Catalan.

There are many common credits; from the 60 theory credits just 15 are not common for both languages. The result is that many students add these 15 credits to their programme in order to get the training in both languages. This characteristic leads to the learning and incorporation of Catalan by many students who were initially attracted by the prestige and international power of Spanish. The importance of both languages in this master gathers students from many different backgrounds: philology, social sciences, education, etc. Many students are secondary school teachers who wish to improve their knowledge and training abilities in this area. Students’ nationality is also diverse, since there are students from Italy, Ukraine, China, North-America, South-America and Russia, who want to return to their countries to teach Spanish or Catalan. Therefore, this master represents an opportunity to disseminate Catalan.

Teaching Spanish and Catalan both here and abroad
The master’s programme includes theory and practice. The theoretical content includes methodology, second language acquisition and grammar focused on teaching a second language. At the same time, the program includes other subjects related to linguistics, sociolinguistics, anthropology and sociology, totally necessary to teach someone a language that is not his/her own language. Students who understand this master as a way towards research in the different branches of linguistics, in Catalan language, and in Spanish language, can partially design their own academic curriculum according to their interests, and they will conduct a final project. However, those who choose the professional option are offered internships in institutions such as the Consortium for Language Normalisation, the Official School of Languages, UdG’s Modern Languages Center, or the different Spanish sections in foreign universities. For those who choose to do an internship abroad, the master’s academic coordinator helps them apply for Erasmus Placement scholarships.

Professors in this master come from different areas: philology, psychology, anthropology or education and they are members of different research groups at the University of Girona, which shows the interdisciplinary character of the programme and offers a wide range of options for the final master’s project. Most of the professors are members of the Department of Linguistic Advice for Immigration (GALI), specialized in studying and managing linguistic diversity. Beatriz Blecua -the master’s coordinator- considers that, nowadays, an important job option is teaching languages abroad. In this sense, the Master in Teaching Spanish and Catalan as second languages/ Languages and population movements offers suitable training for that purpose.

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