Future Basque language teachers from the Basque diaspora welcomed by Etxepare Basque Institute

2024 February 26
  • They will work as teachers in their respective Euskal Etxeaks [Basque Clubs] after an intensive eight-week stay at the Maizpide Barnetegi in Lazkao.
  • It consists of 16 people from Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.

This morning, at its headquarters in Donostia, the Basque Government Minister for Culture and Language Policy, Bingen Zupiria, and Etxepare Basque Institute Director, Irene Larraza, received 16 people from Argentina, Uruguay and Chile, who will complete an intensive 8-week training course at Euskara Munduan [Basque in the World in English].

The group started learning the Basque language from scratch in 2020. After completing this intensive course, which will be their first immersion into the Basque context, they will work as Basque teachers in their respective Euskal Etxeak. They have alternated between online and face-to-face training over the last four years. The students used HABE's online platform Ikasten for self-study for 34 weeks a year. They also completed two intensive field placements each year. Each placement lasted 52 hours. In this group’s case, the additional complication of the pandemic was the online nature of three of these visits (July 2020 and January and July 2021). Next July, there will be CEFR level tests at B1, B2 and C1 levels for the Basque language in Buenos Aires.

María Noel Abella (Montevideo, Uruguay): "Thanks to the Basque language, I have an understanding of the way my ancestors saw the world. It was a gift. I've been able to explain to my mother what she's saying, which she just repeats phonetically".

Irma Angélica Biscaychipy (Bahía Blanca, Argentina): "My grandparents came from Iparralde. My grandfather recovered his Basque some time before he died. I carry this memory with me; it's what encouraged me to learn Basque".

Euskara Munduan [Basque in the World]

Through the Euskara Munduan programme, Etxepare Basque Institute promotes knowledge of the Basque language in the Basque diaspora. As part of this programme, members of the euskal etxeak [Basque clubs] are trained to teach Basque in their respective communities to prevent the language’s loss. The programme originated from the Argentinan Euskaraz project, which was established in 1990 to revive the teaching of the Basque language in Basque schools in Argentina. The programme was later extended to other euskal etxeak around the world. Since then, it has been called Euskara Munduan. Since 2018, Etxepare Basque Institute has managed the programme, subsidising Basque classes in schools worldwide, providing materials for teaching Basque, organising exams to accredit Basque proficiency, and promoting the training of Basque teachers. Basque schools often must train their teaching staff due to limited human resources. Over 100 individuals have been trained since the programme's inception, with 35 currently employed as teachers.

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Politicians attending the event