The Cervantes Institute has presented the "“Enciclopedia del español en el mundo” (Encyclopedia of the Spanish in the world), work published because of the 15 years of the Institute's creation. The book it's an exhaustive investigation of 900 pages and in which have collaborated 220 authors.

The work reflects that there are at least 14 million students of Spanish as a foreign language, that turns it into the second more studied language in the world, after English.

By continents:
The greater demand of Spanish come from America with more than seven million students and according to the analysts, this number will be tripled in the next years. In United States there are more than six million students. In Brazil it will go from the current million students to a minimum 11 million just when the law becomes effective by which Spanish as a second language will be introduced as an obligatory subjet in secondary schools. And in Canada there is more than 93,000 students of Spanish.

In Europe three million and half students study Spanish in 38 countries. To this number we have to add more than 180,000 students who visit Spain each year to studyor improve their Spanish. The demand in Europe is concentrated mainly in: France, with more than two million students; Germany, with almost 500,000, and where the interest on specialized courses denotes a more professional approach; Italy with more than 300,000 students and where it has experienced an increase of 52% in the last ten years and Sweden with more than 163,000 students. In this country Spanish has become the first language to study after English.

On the other hand, it's also worth to emphasize that in Africa a progressive demand of Spanish is growing. More than half million students study Spanish. The most remarkable data are reflected in Senegal, with more than 100,000 students and the Marfil Coast, with 235,000, where 74% of the secondary school's students choose Spanish as a second language. In both countries the study of Spanish language is beginning to look like a necessary instrument to have a place for living or working in Europe. In Magreb 60% of the students want to work later as Spanish teachers, and that's why the demand will increase during the next years. And in Cameroun, with more than 63,000 students, Spanish has passed to German as the first foreign language, where the successes of the Eto'o soccer player has contributed a lot to get this place.

Finally, in the Asia and South Pacific regions there are almost 160,000 students of Spanish. In Japan 60,000 college students study Spanish; In China everything indicates that in the next years there will be an increase of the Spanish demand in this country. In Australia and New Zeland there are about 60,000 students. The responsibles of educative policy from both countries recognize that the languages with greater future in these countries will be mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

In each analyzed countries there is a common characteristic: the enormous demand of professionals of Spanish teachers as a foreign language.

Instituto Cervantes