In our increasingly shrinking global world learning other languages seems like a natural progression. Speaking a second language acts as a window to a wider world. Specifically, becoming a Spanish as well as an English speaking member of the United States would yield both academic and cultural results while giving you a broader array of opportunities.
Spanish as a language has a foothold and a very bright future here in the United States. After English, Spanish is the second most common language in the United States. The influx of Spanish speaking immigrants from Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Mexico has greatly increased the number of Spanish speakers in the U.S.. Traditionally, an immigrant’s original language tends to become reduced through generational assimilation. However, of the U.S. Hispanics only 9% speak English only. 50% of second generation immigrants speak Spanish at home. According to the US Census, the Latino population is expected to account for 44% of the nation’s growth over the next 25 years.
The number of Spanish newspapers, magazines, publishers, local television stations and programs in the United States are constantly increasing. We are seeing trilingual labeling of products as a standard and bilingual labeling in public facilities becoming more commonplace. It is very safe to assume that Spanish will remain firmly in the number two spot for years to come. So, I think I have made my case as to the significance of Spanish in our country! Now I will move on to point out the personal benefits of learning to speak the language.
Spanish is one of the easiest languages to learn. Spanish is Latin based as are French and Italian. Russian and German also have some characteristics that are present in Spanish but not in English. Therefore if you can learn Spanish you have a head start at grasping other languages as well.
Much of the vocabulary of the English language has Latin origins. Therefore, learning Spanish could improve your English vocabulary as well. Studying a language involves thinking about how the language is structured. It is likely that while you are learning about how verbs are used in Spanish you may gain a greater understanding of English verbs’ tenses and moods.
Connecting with our neighbors and cultural understanding is a huge benefit of learning Spanish. You most likely have or will have a Spanish speaking neighbor or co-worker. Communication is priceless. We gain so much from interacting with others and a language barrier greatly decreases the quality of any interaction. Spanish culture is also distinctly different from American culture. It is interesting and inspirational to become familiar with other customs, foods, histories and people. In some areas where the Latino population is a significant portion of the populous, learning Spanish is simply a way to participate fully in the life and culture of your environment.
Traveling to Spanish speaking countries is an entirely different experience when you speak the language. So many more doors are opened and opportunities presented!
Lastly, employment opportunities expand greatly by knowing Spanish. Medicine, education, international trade, communications and tourism are examples of professions that may require their applicants to be bilingual. And being that so many of our citizens are Spanish speaking there isn’t a profession that could not benefit from having a bilingual employee. It will put you above other non Spanish speaking applicants hands down.
Resources are plentiful for materials that teach Spanish. There are a plethora of choices of learning methods. There are instructors and home based courses at every level imaginable and in all different forms. There are audio exercises you can practice while you drive or at the gym. There are conversation classes. There are internet based activities and educational computer games [http://www.thesoftwarespot.com/default.asp?S=500&CategoryID=1695863&PageNo=2]. A second language is mandatory in most grammar school curricculums throughout the U.S.. I strongly advise choosing Spanish although other languages are offered!
We are living in an increasingly shrinking global world. Learning to speak a second language is a logical progression. Becoming a Spanish as well as an English speaking member of the United States would broaden your array of opportunities both personally and professionally.
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