• The offer of bilingual tracks reinforces international mobility at the University of Oviedo

    November 07, 2013

    The establishment of teaching in English attracts international students and encourages the students of the Asturian institution to join foreign centers

    International students in one of the courses of Spanish for Foreign Students offered by La Casa de las Lenguas.

    The plan of bilingualism of the University of Oviedo has contributed to making the institution a referent for international students. The initiative promoted by the Campus of International Excellence has involved the establishment of 14 bilingual tracks in Undergraduate Degrees and 13 in Master's Degrees, and has promoted the arrival of foreign students and encouraged the students of the Asturian institution to join other international centers. Currently, more than 600 students are taking their Degrees in Spanish and English, and the next academic year the University of Oviedo will have its first class of graduates in a bilingual track. The Master's Degrees offered in English and Spanish have also been positively received by the students, of which more than 100 are foreigners.

    La Casa de las Lenguas has been a key element to promote the plan of bilingualism, which demands an effective improvement of the linguistic competences of students and teachers. In fact, the arrival of international students to complete bilingual Degrees has already been felt, for example, in the enrollment in the courses of Spanish for Foreign Students.

    Chinese and American students lead the demand of courses of Spanish for Foreign Students at La Casa de las Lenguas. Almost 3,900 students have attended these courses since 2009

    Almost 3,900 students have taken the courses of Spanish at La Casa de las Lenguas since their inception in 2009. Today, American and Chinese are the nationalities that demand the most this type of education, followed by European students. "We have taken notice of foreign students with a decent level of English, but scarce knowledge of Spanish", explains Daniel García Velasco, director of La Casa de las Lenguas.

    The plan of bilingualism has created 42 training courses for the faculty that teaches in the bilingual Degrees. A total of 509 teachers have attended courses at La Casa de las Lenguas to certify their linguistic skills. The zero courses for the students of these Degrees have had 546 participants this year. The offer of bilingual Degrees comprises all the fields of knowledge and, this course, it has been expanded into four new Degrees at the Polytechnical School of Mieres.

    Furthermore, the university community offers grants for enrollment, funded by Cajastur, for anyone who may wish to attend any of the General Language Courses available. The Office of the Vice-Rector for Research and Campus of International Excellence has granted this financial aid to 535 students, teachers and members of the administrative and service staff so far.

    The offer of General Language Courses represents another of the best-regarded services. Almost one thousand students have enrolled this year in some of the courses planned for a dozen different languages. English, French, German and Italian make up the majority of the demand for courses, but languages like Chinese, Japanese and Arabic are growing steadily. Since 2009, almost 4,500 students have attended some of the General Language Courses offered by the University of Oviedo. La Casa de las Lenguas is also a referent as an examining center for the most important international diplomas (DELE, Goethe, IELTS, DELF/ DALF, PLIDA y CAPLE). More than 450 have taken their official exams in the center.

    A greater linguistic dexterity will help the students when they think about doing an international mobility, one of the actions promoted by the strategy of internationalization of the University of Oviedo. More than 2,000 young students take every year the language exams needed to request a place in any of the international mobility programs of the Asturian academic institution.

    Since daily coexistence with foreign students also favors the use of a foreign languages, the Office of the Vice-Rector for Internationalization and Postgraduate Studies and La Casa de las Lenguas set in motion the Tandem and a-Duo programs that, with different formats, improve the linguistic competences of their participants. More than 2,500 students have joined these programs since 2009.