A record number of students in Spain are signing up for French classes as young people look to strengthen their skills set. But the trend is also the result of a coordinated charm offensive by French officials.
In Madrid’s San Isidro high school as many as 300 students follow a bi-lingual curriculum. In one of Spain’s oldest schools, the classes are equally divided between Spanish and French, and they will eventually earn a diploma valid in both the country of Cervantes and of Molière.
The bi-lingual programme was one of only seven in the country in 2011, but there will be as many as 100 when the school term starts in September.
Many students at San Isidro say learning French will provide them with academic and professional opportunities that might not otherwise be possible.
The rising number of French classes is also the fruit of political maneuvering, with French officials encouraging their Spanish counterparts not only to teach French in more high schools, but expand the language programme to primary schools.
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Date created : 2016-03-14