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Brazil Adopts Spanish as Second Language

Brazilian Congress gave final approval Thursday to a bill that makes Spanish a second language in the country’s public and private primary schools. The bill awaits now President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s signature.

“It’s been fully passed, only the President’s approval is needed next week”, said Congressman Atila Lira, who sponsored the bill.


The legislation requires government and private schools to offer Spanish as an elective subject for students in grades five through eight. In earlier grades Spanish depends on the schools’ discretion.


In Portuguese speaking Brazil, students complete three years of secondary school before going to college. Under the legislation, secondary schools would be able to choose whether to offer Spanish classes.


“The new law is important for primary education and for Brazil’s integration with the rest of Mercosur”, underlined Mr. Lira, adding that the teaching of Spanish “is going to facilitate the formation of a South American bloc”.


Approval of the bill followed several years of debate by legislators in Brazil, a country that has traditionally been closed to foreign languages and where the teaching of other foreign languages was not required.


For some time now Brazilian universities have offered Spanish classes in response to Spanish speaking Mercosur growing influence. Actually in Brazil’s border states that have authority over their educational systems Spanish have been taught for years.


Spain’s Science and Education Ministry Miguel Gonzalez Suela in Madrid hailed the passing of the bill as “a day of celebration”, because anywhere between 10 and 12 million young Brazilians will be learning Spanish.


Currently only private schools attended by 10% of Brazil’s children, offer Spanish at the primary level.


This article appeared originally in Mercopress – www.mercopress.com.

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  • Show Comments (6)

  • Tiago

    Spanish is not important in Brazil like English. It is a stupid law that will not be used.

  • guest

    I think that in a time of increased globalization it is neccesary for a country like Brazil with as many natural resources as it contains needs to broaden its horizons and increase trade with foreign nations as well as those in South America. What easier way to do this than to educate the population and teach them spanish

  • Guest

    A very good news for Brazil!!! This way the country will be able to lead Latin-America to the future without being considered as “foreigners” by the Spanish-speaking neighbours.

  • Guest

    French?
    FranÀ§Àªs? Está brincando? O inglÀªs e espanhol são os mais importantes agora. Daqui 5 anos será chinÀªs.

  • Guest

    I want brazil to remain pure. I do not want spanish to be taught in public schools. It is more important that german be taught to brazilians as well as Italien and french

  • Guest

    viva la revolution!!
    Ai Carajo, pendejo este Lula

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