On a recent visit to the Adeje cultural centre, the director of education and the managing director of the University of La Laguna General Foundation, Alicia Correa and Sergio Alonso, dropped in on a class of students studying Spanish. They were accompanied by the Adeje councillor for education, Andrés Pérez Ramos.
Pérez Ramos commented on the dual importance of these courses. “For us and for the students this is more than just a language course. It is also an essential tool to help the non-Spanish individuals living in Adeje in their integration into the community and help the levels of cooperation”.
Both Alicia Correa and Sergio Alonso congratulated the teachers and the council on their work in this area over many years. Today the council offers Spanish classes for foreigners throughout the year, in collaboration with the Foundation. The aim, as well as helping non-Spanish members of the local population to learn the language, is to increase their levels of access to the benefits of the community and to appreciate and become part of the culture of Adeje, and of the island of Tenerife.
Information about the course
Those interested in signing up for the one of the courses, taught by Graciela Dávila González, can opt for a level that suits their current ability (beginner, basic, intermediate, advanced). Classes are limited to 25 per session and given the high demand for the classes throughout the year, people should sign up in advance.
Graciela Dávila González is a teacher with over 15 years experience teaching Spanish. The courses are over three months, with classes in the mornings or afternoons twice a week. Those who successfully complete their course receive a certificate from the FGULL Language Service which this year celebrates 20 years teaching foreign languages.
Those interested should either visit the Adeje Ayuntamiento webpage, www.adeje.es, or contact the council’s cultural centre, Calle Príncipe Pelinor, S/N 38670 – Adeje, or phone 922 756 246.
Don’t get left out – learn Spanish and find a new way of communicating
Recently I interviewed Graciela, a lovely woman who heads up the Spanish classes for foreigners in Adeje. The course is linked to the Summer School and the University of La Laguna and now is the time to register.
So I could stop at that, say no more and leave it up to those who want to to make a bit of effort to learn to speak Spanish. But no. I think it really is important for us to learn to speak some of the language of the country we have decided to make home. We decided, for loads of different reasons, to live in Spain, but now that we’re here there are so many more reasons to stay. And by learning the language you are not just opening the doors of the local doctor’s surgery or the hardware shop or public school, you are opening doors to a completely new level of life and experience here.
Language is the key to a culture, to a way of thinking, concepts and ideas are couched in words, in language. Once you start to speak Spanish, just some Spanish, you will be enriching your total living experience here in the Canary Islands.
It’s too easy maybe to get by without Spanish. Much easier, for instance, than for many emigrants who travel to the Uk to live. If they don’t learn English they are excluded from so many facets of daily life, which in itself leads to social isolation of course doens’t do anything to encourage integration. I know there are many other reasons that contribute to these problems as well, but language plays a part.
Here, there are schools, bars, restaurants, shops, radio stations and of course radio programmes, and so many other services that are available in English that you can get by quite easily with little more than a cursory ‘Gracias’ or ‘Por Favor? They, or course, have their place are are welcome additions to the multicultural and commercial mix, but without some Spanish you are simply missing out. And you will also find that once you start to speak, even if you are stumbling over grammer and vocabulary, the Canarian and Spanish population will, generally, really appreciate the effort you are making and help you along. You will also find that you can meet so many more people, people from other countries who have also decided to settle here, with Spanish becoming your mutual common language. I love the fact that I can have a great chat with four of five pals, or attend an exercise class with Dutch, Norwegian, Italian, French and English friends, all of us getting by in our second langauge. Its fun and fascinating.
So enough preaching. It’s down to you at the end of the day. But this summer why not give it a go? The classes are ongoing at the Adeje Cultural Centre. No tiene nada que perder – you have nothing to lose.