The Spanish Language as a Cultural and Touristic Resource for the Chinese Market to Develop Quality Education
Frontiers in Psychology, 2022-02-01
Since 1952, Spanish has been included as a Degree in the Foreign Language Studies in the higher education system of China. The number of Spanish students has gradually increased and, until March 2020, with 6 Universities recently approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education (MOE), there are 102 Chinese universities that teach Spanish as a university degree. In 2017, the MOE of the People's Republic of China (PRC) published the Curriculum Plan in the Higher Secondary Schools, which incorporated the teaching of Spanish as a teaching option along with other languages, such as English, Japanese, Russian, German, and French. In the following year, during the Chinese President's state visit to Spain, a cooperation agreement was signed between the Royal Spanish Academy (abbreviated as RAE for its Spanish name) and SISU, under which a RAE-SISU Joint Research Centre was established. This study aims to publicize the situation of Spanish teaching in China, showing how a language can become a cultural and language tourism resource for Spain. An empirical study of student profiles was carried out at one of the most prestigious universities with reference to Spanish teaching in China, SISU. The data were obtained through primary sources employing a survey sent to the Chinese students studying their bachelor's degree of Spanish Philology, obtaining a sample of 159 students. The results revealed information on the studies carried out, also reviewing the most popular universities among the Chinese students in Spain, their stay period, and the destination image that the students have. The data will serve to show the opportunities for Spain as a destination for language tourism for the Chinese market. One of the implications of this study would be that it helps to explain how Spain can design a product for a niche market that demands Spain as a destination for language and cultural tourism.