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Jamaicans Complete Free Spanish Language Course


Jamaica News: More than 150 Jamaicans from public and private sector entities have benefited from a three-month Spanish language training course.

The free training was offered by the Chilean Government through partnership between the International Cooperation Agency of Chile (AGCID) and Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaiso.

Classes were offered at three venues – The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus; University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) headquarters in Kingston.

On Friday, November 29, successful students, who completed the training, received their diplomas at closing ceremonies held at UWI, UCC and the JDF.

Another graduation is scheduled for Monday (Dec. 2) at the UWI campus.

Ambassador of Chile to Jamaica, His Excellency Francisco Bernales, told JIS News that the course followed the successful eight-week pilot in 2018.

“It was very, very successful. The idea was to have 40 students but we received applications from around 100 people, so then we realised the interest, at least in Kingston,” he said.

He said that courses were offered at two levels – basic and intermediate – with more students in the basic level. Classes were held three days per week at midday and after work hours.

Ambassador Bernales said that the graduating students have expressed an interest in participating in advanced courses.

“The three institutions and the students are eager. They would like to go to a higher level. We are recommending that but it all depends now on the budget,” he noted.

Meanwhile, the Ambassador advised that the students continue to put their knowledge of Spanish to practical use by watching Spanish language movies, reading Spanish books and attending the annual cinema festival organised by the Latin American countries in Jamaica.

He said the annual “Navidad en espanol” (Christmas in Spanish) programme, organised by the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation and the Embassy of Spain in Jamaica, also provides opportunity for students to practise their Spanish skills.

The Ambassador welcomes efforts by Prime Minister, the Hon. Andrew Holness, to encourage Jamaicans to learn Spanish as a second language, noting that “this would allow the country to open up to the new spaces within Latin America and the Caribbean.”

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