This interview is the first in a new section of the FEDELE blog in which we want to give a voice to the main players in the daily life of our sector. Carlota Rylance, the new president of Español en Andalucía is the first to be interviewed in these FEDELE micro-interviews.
Carlota Rylance is from Jerez and works in the family business, Tenidiomas. She has a degree in Translation and Interepreting from the University of Granada and a masters in Spanish as a Foreign Language from the University of Sevilla. She is currently combining her work as Head of School with teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language.
1.- What do you think of the current situation regarding language tourism in Andalusia?
I think that we are experiencing one of the best moments for our region. We are lucky to live in an area with a great climate, beaches, mountains etc. and also a great variety of culture throughout the whole region. This means that when students come to Andalusia to study Spanish they don’t just come to practise the language, they also come to learn from a living culture which is in a state of constant change but which never forgets its roots.
2.- What kind of support does the sector receive from regional, provincial and local government?
Many public institutions think that language tourism is not as important as other tourism sectors. But this is gradually changing. A few years ago there was nobody responsible for language tourism at the provincial Tourist Boards and not even a section for the different schools teaching Spanish on city tourism webpages. But Spanish schools are working hard on a local level and creating a clear concept, so that schools and public institutions are working together more and more on projects abroad, on promotional material, on educational workshops etc. But of course, there is always more work to be done!
3.- What new projects is the association wanting to carry out? What challenges is EEA taking on in the near future
One of our main aims is to have our sector seen as a sector of quality and professionalism, where the schools become the main element in the teaching of Spanish and its surrounding culture. To this end we are giving training courses to our managers and teachers, organising work-days and other events for our professionals. We also want our region to be one of the main destinations for people learning Spanish. We are aware that there are other very popular destinations for studying languages, but we are immersed in projects which enable us to meet the expectations of our students.
Image copyright: Español en Andalucía.