There are many reasons to take Spanish classes

If you’re considering learning a foreign language, you may be wondering which one is right for you. The answer to that lies for the most part in the reasons you’re taking the classes in the first place. Is the new language “just for fun?” A scholastic requirement? Or will this be something you plan to use in everyday life or for business?

There are probably as many reasons to take Spanish classes as there are people who take them. One of the most obvious is that Spanish is fast becoming a common language in popular culture, heard everywhere from taco restaurant commercials to phrases incorporated into teen nomenclature. The assimilation of Spanish words and phrases into the English language is ongoing and constant. Also, in many parts of the United States, Spanish is used with nearly the frequency of English. This is especially true in the Southwest, of course, but the phenomenon may be found in other parts of the country as well.

While in no way exclusive to the Spanish language, learning a second language has been shown to prolong mental agility in older persons and may actually stave off dementia. An active mind, according to many studies, not only prevents dementia, but also increases other mental abilities in both children and adults. Also, learning a new language helps “nimble up” the parts of the brain directly related to critical thinking skills and problem solving, and can even increase creativity.

If you’re a business person, you’ve no doubt already encountered situations in which a good working knowledge of Spanish would come in handy. Whether dealing with employees, co-worker or suppliers, Spanish can help bridge what might otherwise be an untenable linguistic hurdle. Add that to the fact that there are in the world over 350 million Spanish speaking people, all of whom represent a potential customer base for your product or service and the reasons for speaking Spanish become all too obvious. When competing against a single-language company in today’s global marketplace, the multi-lingual competitor will always have an advantage.

Government figures indicate that by the year 2015 there will be nearly 50 million people in the United States along who list Spanish as their second language; this represents a huge untapped demographic for many businesses. It also represents the future; bilingualism will be of ever increasing importance—both to businesses and individuals—in the world of tomorrow.

A good working knowledge of Spanish will open up new horizons with regard to travel. Why be the “ugly American,” shouting mispronounced phrases out of a translation dictionary when you could be the cool American, communicating fluently with the locals, getting the best deals in the open marketplace, and just generally having a much better time on your Mexican vacation.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, of course. The reasons for taking Spanish classes are legion; developing a deeper appreciation for Hispanic culture and literary contributions, gaining a deeper understanding of English, building relationships hitherto unavailable with Spanish speaking friends and neighbors, and lastly, just for the sheer joy of learning a new language, one you’ll be able to use frequently in everyday life.

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