Linguistic and educational policy
In the year 2004, with the purpose of contributing to regional linguistic and educational policies that promote the value of diversity and acknowledge the importance of intercultural codes, several national universities decided to work together towards one goal: creating an interuniversity consortium oriented towards the teaching, testing and certification of Spanish as a Foreign Language.
The first outcome of such initiative was the Certificate of Spanish: Language and Use (CELU for its acronym in Spanish), guaranteed by the Argentine Ministries of Education and of Foreign Affairs. At present, following actions of regional integration within Mercosur, the Interuniversity Consortium for the Teaching and Testing of Spanish as a Second and Foreign Language (ELSE Consortium) is composed of almost two thirds of the national universities in Argentina. Its main goal is to promote the teaching and testing of Spanish as a Foreign Language in Argentina. Also included among the Consortium’s objectives are permanent teacher training, the production of specific teaching materials, the implementation of new postgraduate courses and encouragement of research.
CELU, which was declared of educational and cultural interest by the Argentine Senate in the year 2010, is presently administered in Argentine and Brazilian venues. Since 2008, it has also been administered in Europe. At present, countries in Asia and North America are planning to offer the examination as well.
The ELSE Interuniversity Consortium considers that language and education play a key role in the construction of a favorable attitude towards social integration among people from different countries and regions.
Learning a foreign language implies giving value to diversity and acknowledging the importance of intercultural codes. The ELSE Consortium works as an articulator among the national universities which are part of it and the institutions which adhere to its program. They all work together to promote research, teaching, learning, testing, certification and teacher training; the design, production and publication of materials and other activities related to the field of Spanish as a second and foreign language.
Through these actions, the Consortium aims at contributing to the linguistic integration of speakers and countries which maintain relations with Argentina through mutual acknowledgement and academic exchange. The objectives of the ELSE Consortium are:
- to encourage the teaching, learning and certification of Spanish as a second and foreign language
- to develop and support new postgraduate courses
- to share good practices
- to promote research