Three Argentinean students to begin two months at the Maizpide barnetegi
Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.
Three Argentinean students will now be able to carry out a stay that was originally scheduled for last January. Beatriz Etchegaray, Elisabeth Etchegaray and Beatriz Poume will study at the Maizpide barnetegi (full-immersion language school) in Lazkao in October and November, where they will study Basque as part of the Etxepare Basque Institute´s Euskara Munduan programme. They started learning Euskara as complete beginners in 2013 and for the first time, they will now be able to fully immerse themselves in a Basque-speaking environment. Once they have finished their studies, they will teach Basque at the Basque centres in their own towns.
Elisabeth Etchegaray, from the Basque centre in the city of Azul, is studying level B2.2; Beatriz Etchegaray, from Viedma, is level B2.1; and Beatriz Poum, from Tandil, is level B1. They belong to the same group of Basque language students who came in January. These 11 people from the Basque diaspora in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay spent two months at the barnetegi to improve their Euskara. The learning path of the group of 20 started eight years ago, during which time they alternated between online and face-to-face training. The students attended 36 sessions a year on their own through HABE´s online platform Ikasten. They also took part in two 52-hour in-person barnetegis each year. In total, they have spent between 1,200 and 1,600 hours learning Basque. After taking the tests to accredit their level of Euskara in Buenos Aires in 2019, they received the B1 and B2 certificates. The goal is to a level higher during their stay in Lazkao: those who have B2 will do C1, and those who have B1, will do B2.
The Etxepare Basque Institute promotes the Basque language among Basque communities around the world through the Euskara Munduan programme. The programme has its origins in the Argentinan Euskaraz project, created in 1990 to recover knowledge of the Basque language in Basque centres in Argentina. Years later, the programme was extended to other Basque centres in different countries, taking on the name Euskara Munduan. Since 2018, the programme has been managed by the Etxepare Basque Institute, which has granted financial support for the Euskara classes taught in Basque schools around the world. Funds go toward teaching materials, organising exams to accredit the level of language proficiency and promoting the teacher training, since Basque schools often have to train their own teaching staff. Around 2,000 people are learning Basque all over the world in courses at Basque centres supported by the Etxepare Basque Institute. Likewise, around 1,900 more people will take Basque classes through the lectureship programmes that the Institute promotes at 35 international universities.
The Basque centres affiliated with FEVA (Federation of Basque-Argentine Entities) have long wanted to the opportunity to complete this training process in the Basque Country. They conveyed this wish to the Basque President on his trip to Argentina in 2018. After a year´s delay due to the pandemic, they will finally have their chance in 2021.