“How to make integration more efficient through language teaching focusing
on intercultural awareness”
Report on the participants’ visit to Manolo Collado Adult Education Centre
(A.E.C.) in Seville in March 2005
Issued by the coordinators of the project, Bent Funder and Kurt Brath Jensen, VUC FYN Odense
The visit was arranged by teachers at the Manolo Collado Education Centre: Cristina Rodriques
The programme of the visit
aptly introduced the participants of the project to the magnificent sights of historic Seville,
and the five-day visit contained a view of the neighbourhood of the Manolo Collado AEC
and a thorough introduction to the school and the way it works, including an impressive
meeting with the immigrant students and Spanish students.
Furthermore, the programme included a rewarding visit to the teacher training centre
“Centro del Profesorado de Sevilla”.
Presentation of Manolo Collado Adult Education Centre
The Manolo Collado AEC was established in 1982 as a socio-cultural educational project in
the Parque Alrosa neighbourhood on the outskirts of Seville. In spite of harsh monetary
and the resulting working conditions, the daily work and the development of the school
has been a success, not least because it was - and still is – fuelled by the enthusiasm and
commitment of the teachers, students and cooperating organizations like the Students’
Parent Association and the Neighbours’ Associaton. Two educational aims were in focus
from the beginning, namely the educational needs of the local citizens and the
community’s socio-cultural needs.
Today – in the year 2005 – the authorities have taken a more quantitative and academic
view of education at the centre, which is felt to underestimate the socio-cultural aspect.
One of the effects of this is that the Manolo Collado AEC no longer is authorised to issue
certificates for the students.
The school, however, has received essential support from various organizations and
neighbourhood groups. Essential in this connection is La Amistad (Friendship) Student
Associaton formed by a group of students who, after they had obtained their certificate,
wished to continue their training at the centre. Another group consists of youths who
come to the centre with educational projects, for instance creating a History Workshop
carried out by three university students. Along with these initiatives there has been the
development of courses for immigrants and subsequent intercultural parties where local
people meet and learn with the immigrants.
The planning of teaching at Manolo Collado Adult Education Centre
Attendance is voluntary.
Students begin and stop throughout the school-year.
On the whole, the Manolo Collado AEC is the only opportunity for adult immigrants who
want to learn Spanish in the Seville region.
Unfortunately it is not possible for the school to issue certificates for their students at
The teaching is mainly arranged as Get-togethers rather than traditional class-room
The courses are in basic Spanish based on group work, 2 lessons per day and get-together
2 to 3 times per semester where results are collected, and there is a debate of the results
Subjects are chosen by the students and the teacher, and examples could be ecology,
women in the Spanish society and others.
The objective of the teaching:
a. to improve the students’ level of communication
b. to create a good atmosphere
c. to turn the students into good citizens of the Spanish society
d. to teach the students how to speak to the Spanish public
Part of the method of teaching is that the teachers assist in the solving of many practical
problems like communicating with authorities, writing applications of various kinds etc.
The teacher functions as a Spanish role model in this.
This has been done in cooperation with the local refugee centre, concentrating on subjects
like human rights.
One major and interesting effect of this was that the Spanish students at the Manolo
Collado Adult Education Centre together with the immigrant students asked the centre to
arrange future courses for their friends.
The praxis of teaching: Get-together with the theme Interculture
The result of this get-together is a more detailed and sensitive view of many subjects, the
goal and effect of which is the reduction or elimination of negative attitudes towards
immigrants in the local population and vice versa.
The immigrants were asked to write and talk about their backgrounds and experiences as
well as their view of the Spanish society.
The participants were happy about the project and obtained a higher level of
understanding on both sides, for instance of boat refugees from Morocco. However, one
group in particular (young 16 to 18-year old Spaniards) were reluctant to participate: they
had no wish to talk about their acute problems of life, like how to fight their way out of
joblessness by sharing the experiences of people who had managed to overcome those
Presentation of the results
The students had been working in 2 groups, sharing experiences in each.
The students were female and male immigrants from Morocco, Armenia and Denmark,
but Spanish students who had experienced immigration to others regions of Europe or
even Spain also contributed.
The conditions in Spain were compared of conditions in Germany and France. Conditions
in Seville were compared to those in other Spanish cities.
Video interviews were made in order to describe the history of immigration in Seville.
The writers of this report were supplied with a clear impression of an inspiring school
which is run by highly motivated teachers and students who work seriously on their
projects and have reached good professional results. Witnessing the interaction between
the immigrant students and the local population leaves no doubt that both parties have
gained a lot socially and intellectually.
Finally, as coordinators of the project we have the definite impression that all participants
profited from the inspiration triggered by our Spanish colleagues - they sent us home with
ideas to try out in practice at our own institutions.
We are looking very much forward to extending our discussions in Milan in late October
MONDAY, March 14th ARRIVAL
10:30 h Meeting in the hotel.
Sightseeing tour around the city ( by open-topped bus ).
13:30 h. “Light lunch” in the centre of the city.
15-16 h Free time.
14:15 h. By local bus to the “Manolo Collado Adult Education Centre” (A.E.C).
17:00 h. Pre-meeting.
17,30 h Introductory presentation of the evening´s programme.
18:30 h. “Round table get together with students”. Vídeo
20:30 h. Informal buffet style dinner.
…. Return to hotel.
9:30 h. Visit to Real Alcázar.
13:30 h. Free time (lunch, etc.)
16:30 h. Adult Education Centre. Pre-meeting
17:00 h. Information on the history of the A.E.C. and on Adult Education in
Andalusia (South of Spain)
18:00 h. Short walk: get to know the neighbourhood.
19:00 h. Nowadays at the A.E.C.
20 h approx. Free time
22:15 h. Flamenco show (dancing, singing, guitar) at “Casa de la Memoria”
C/ Ximenez de Enciso, 26 (Barrio de Santa Cruz)
9:30 h. Leave hotel take local bus to “Teacher Training Centre”
10:00 h. Information on the “Spanish Educational System”
11:00 h. Videos on intercultural events and parties
12:00 h. Free time
20:30 h. Farewell dinner
10:00 Visit to Town Hall