Malaga Education Week – Spain’s leading multi-faceted event for the Spanish teaching sector – closed this weekend after a weeklong celebration of events in which the worlds of culture, education and tourism decided to unite forces to promote the city of Malaga.
This 2nd edition of MEW converted Malaga, during the week of 14-20 January, in the world capital of Spanish and confirmed the importance of this event as an on-going part of the “Spanish in Spain’s” annual calendar.
MEW is an initiative of NACEM (the Association of Schools of Spanish in Malaga) and has attracted public and private funding, bringing together all the stakeholders involved in the teaching of Spanish in Malaga and the promotion of Malaga as a study destination. It is a week-long event composed of several independent but related events, with the overall intention of promoting the study of Spanish in Malaga and gaining the attention of the media.
Last year, the focus was on Spanish as an economic resource and we had an A-list of speakers at Director level from institutions such as TurEspaña, Instituto Cervantes, the Telefonica Foundation, ICEX, Extenda, the University of Malaga, as well as other local personalities drawn from the world of culture, education and tourism. The event was deemed to be such a success that the participation and support of the institutions/authorities has continued enthusiastically in 2019.
For the 2nd edition the focus was placed on the prime and indispensable element of our business sector – the teacher of Spanish!
- 2 day’s of teacher training for teachers of Spanish: 155 teachers attended 9 workshops led by Directors of Studies and trainers from NACEM member schools in the prestigious surroundings of the Rectorado of the University of Malaga.
These practical and highly active sessions were very well received, providing a plethora of ideas, hints and resources for the teachers to make immediate use of in their classrooms.
- The Malaga Congress: a forum on the current situation in the “Spanish-in Spain” sector and debate on the challenges and opportunities facing it. Divided into 2 sections, it concentrated on 2 specific themes:
- The importance of “language tourism”, with specific reference to Malaga and its province
- The teaching of Spanish in Spain today from the teacher perspective, in both the public and private sectors.
An A-list of speakers from Universities, representatives of NACEM and national and local tourist boards dealt with points and issues such as:
- The changing role of the teacher: facing continuous changes and challenges from new technology and ever-changing student profiles and nationalities
- The training of teachers: the training courses available and the constantly increasing requirements for qualifications and experience – “one of the most demanding professions in terms of qualifications and most observed and inspected”
- Teacher representation: an interest was clearly expressed for the formation of a body to better represent the interests of the teachers, and gain official recognition of the profession.
- The Cosmopolitan Tourist: a follow-up session from last year when we heard that the search for this type of tourist – curious, interested in local cultures, independent, demanding, cultured – was a top priority for TurEspaña. The connection between language school students and the Cosmopolitan Tourist was firmly made and reinforced, suggesting a strong synergy of interests between the national tourist board and language tourism.
- The language student as “ambassador”: several speakers from the Tourist Boards emphasised the importance of these students as future “ambassadors” for the town/area where they have studied, often for several weeks or months – encouraging and influencing friends and family to visit and creating huge added value by their promotion of Malaga as a cultural tourism destination.
- The Polish market: a snapshot and brief case study of this interesting market where Extenda (Andalucias’s Export Marketing Board) has identified a seriously interesting potential for Spanish.
- Exhibition in Calle Larios: 40 “MUPI” poster sites in Malaga’s main shopping street have been dedicated to an awareness campaign to bring to the attention of Malagueños and visitors, the importance of the Schools of Spanish to the local economy and in the promotion of the city as a cultural tourism destination. This underlines the total support of the townhall and local authorities for this business sector.
MEW also included:
- a “fam trip” visit by 24 study abroad agents who visited NACEM schools and learnt about Malaga as a study destination,
- ST Alphe Spain: a B2B conference for study abroad professionals from around the world
In conclusion, another highly successful Malaga Education Week, with a series of well-attended and well-received activities, focusing on the Teaching of Spanish, the schools’ contribution to the local economy and Malaga as the destination of choice for students wanting to learn our beautiful language.
Thank you to Bob Burger, director of marketing at IALC-accredited language school Malaca Instituto-Club Hispanico, S.L.U for providing a fantastic summary of the week's events. Find out more about the award winning School of Spanish here.