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Institutional presentation

Institutional presentation

We would like to present our institution to gibraltarians in a series of simple points explaining who we are:

1.- The Instituto Cervantes is the leading official centre for learning Spanish across the world, equivalent to the British Council for learning English.

It is a public institution, created in 1991 by the Kingdom of Spain to universally promote the teaching, study and use of Spanish and to raise awareness abroad of Spanish-speaking culture. The Instituto Cervantes’ activities principally centre around the linguistic and cultural heritage shared by the countries and peoples of the Spanish-speaking community.

It can be found in 87 centres, across 44 countries on all five continents. It also has two headquarters in Spain: one in Madrid and another in Alcalá de Henares.

His Majesty King Felipe VI is the honorary chair of the Board governing the Instituto Cervantes. The President of the Spanish Government is the executive chair of the Board, which also comprises prominent figures in Spanish language and culture, alongside writers awarded the Miguel de Cervantes Literary Prize.

2.- It is important to remember that the Instituto Cervantes is also home to Spain’s co-official languages. The Instituto Cervantes offers courses in Spain’s three co-official languages: Catalan, Basque and Galician. In several different regions of Spain, one of these languages coexists alongside Spanish, making bilingualism one of our distinguishing features as a country. The Instituto Cervantes considers this an important part of Spain’s cultural richness and, therefore, it also supports the study and promotion of these co-official languages. Our general courses are organised into six levels, by level of difficulty and in line with the European Reference Framework for Languages. We also offer other courses for specific purposes: business Spanish, scientific Spanish, courses designed for companies and institutions, etc.

3.- The Instituto Cervantes has made the Centro Virtual Cervantes available to anyone interested in accessing it, and this free tool may be very useful for preparing assignments for Spanish exams. It provides materials and services for Spanish teachers, students, translators, Hispanicists, journalists and other professionals who work with Spanish, in addition to anyone else interested in the culture of the Spanish-speaking countries.

4.- We also recommend that you join our Digital Library, giving you access to over 14,000 resources which will, no doubt, very helpful for the reading comprehension and written expression and interaction tests of Spanish A-Level and/or DELE exams. Moreover, you can borrow and read e-books and listen to music and audiobooks via the digital library.

It is also important to highlight that the digital library offers access to electronic resources - such as databases, dictionaries, encyclopaedias and directories - and that online book clubs are available. Furthermore, to help with preparation for the listening comprehension test, you can access audiobooks on the digital library platform. The Instituto Cervantes has launched a weekly programme of downloadable audiobooks, written by classic and contemporary authors, available in their original versions and read by professional narrators. To stream and listen to these books, you must register for the service.

To use the digital library’s resources and services, you need to become a library member via the Instituto Cervantes’ e-commerce platform, for the price of €12 per year. From anywhere, at any time, on any device, the Instituto Cervantes’s digital library is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. All you need is internet connection!

5.- The Instituto Cervantes is the world's leading institution for training teachers of Spanish as a foreign language. In its courses and workshops, teachers can refresh their language knowledge and teaching techniques. The Instituto also offers its Teacher Training Centre, in Miguel de Cervantes’ hometown of Alcalá de Henares.

6.- The Instituto Cervantes organises and administrates exams for those working towards the Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera (DELE): the official, international qualification which allows non-native speakers to prove their level of Spanish.

7.- The Instituto Cervantes promotes culture in Spanish in a wide range of forms: literature, visual arts, cinema, performing arts, music, thought, etc. To this end, our centres hold cultural events such as exhibitions, talks, roundtables, literary debates, music performances, stage productions, film screenings and workshops.

8.- The Instituto Cervantes also offers its AVE Global online platform, providing a full programme of online Spanish courses. This open, accessible, quick and affordable teaching system allows students to study at their own pace, whenever and wherever they wish. It provides a large selection of interactive teaching materials and personal tutors are on hand to help students and monitor their progress.

For further information, please send an email to gibraltar@cervantes.es.


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