Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world by a number of native speakers (329 million), surpassed only by Chinese. Currently used by some 450 million people (between native speakers and those who use it as a second language), the growth trend is continuous and is expected to reach 535 million speakers in just 20 years.
It is estimated that by 2050, the USA will be the world’s leading Spanish-speaking country. And interest in our language in China is growing. Since 2005 the so-called Spanish Law has been enforced in Brazil, which obliges all secondary schools, both public and private, to offer Spanish language teaching during school hours. To this end, 200,000 teachers will be trained or hired.
Data from the German Federal Statistical Office reveal that in the 2000/2001 academic year some 115,000 German students were studying Spanish, while in the 2007/2008 academic year the figure was projected to be 285,000, an increase of almost 150%.
In barely ten years (between 2000 and 2009), the use of Spanish on the Internet has increased by 650.9% and has become the third most widely used language on the Net. 7.9% of internet users (of the 1.7 billion users in the world) communicate in Spanish. In terms of the demand for documents, it ranks fourth in the world.
Spanish at the University of Deusto
Since 1989, the University of Deusto, through its International Spanish Centre (CIDE), of the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, has been offering courses for foreigners, attended by an average of 1000 students per year, from all continents and participating in numerous International Programmes.
Since 1997 it has been an Examination Centre for the Official Diplomas in Spanish (D.E.L.E) of the Cervantes Institute. And since 2004 it has participated in the Second Language Teacher Training Programme in collaboration with the Cervantes Institute, as well as in the training plans of the Education Department of the Spanish Embassy in the USA of Spanish teachers.
Every year it is present at international fairs for the promotion of the language and has an important team of qualified teachers, typical of a higher education centre.