Foreign Language Facts
Learning Spanish has many benefits! These benefits range from economic and financial, to mental and intellectual, to personal and social. The following information has been collected from various organizations such as ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages), MiWLA (Michigan World Language Association) and NNELL (National Network for Early Language Learning), which outlines the importance of learning a foreign language.
Economic and Financial Benefits
--Enables you to better communicate with Spanish-speaking employees or co-workers
--Gives you more career choices
--Looks appealing to potential employers
--Makes you more marketable
--Earns you the potential to start at a higher wage at a new job or get a raise at your current job
--Businesses can open up to new markets; in North America, Hispanic consumers are the fastest growing population in the marketplace with almost 400 million people speaking Spanish as their first language
--Could allow you to save money when you travel by being able to communicate with shop owners who may artificially raise prices for tourists
--Expands the mental capacities of both adults and children
--Research suggests that learning a foreign language reduces the chances of developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease
--Stretches listening ability by allowing learners to make distinctions between different sounds
--Sensitizes people to language…when you hear it, you might try to listen and to see if you can understand the other language
--Gives learners a better understanding of the grammatical structures and other aspects of their native language
--In school testing, it has been proven that bilingual children consistently score higher than monolingual students
--Foreign language learning in elementary and middle school gives students a head start for high school and college foreign language requirements
--Provides an understanding and appreciation for people from other countries and cultures
--Presents the opportunity to communicate with people that you would otherwise not have the chance to interact with or even know
--Takes away the uncertainty of people who are from different backgrounds
--As the Hispanic population continues to grow in the United States, there is a good chance that you will encounter a Spanish-speaker. Here in Michigan,there is a large population of Hispanic people who live in Southwest Detroit. Macomb and Saint Clair Counties also have pockets of Hispanic communities
--Travel becomes much easier and interesting; by knowing a foreign language it will make it easier to get around, including reading signs, menus, etc.
You might even make friends with a local who can show you places that are cheaper or better than tourist areas
--Learning a foreign language will allow you to better appreciate the cultural contributions to our world such as literature, art, science and if nothing better, the food!
--Knowing how to speak another language can enable you to help those who do not speak English
Other Interesting Facts
--Spanish has become so prominent in our country that it is now considered the fourth largest Spanish-speaking country in the world behind Mexico, Colombia and Spain
--The Hispanic population now constitutes the largest minority group in the country; In 2015, the Hispanic population in the United States reached 50 million
--40% of the population growth is from Hispanic origin
--In Europe, Spanish is the second most popular second language to learn, after English. With almost 400 million speakers, Spanish is the fourth most
commonly spoken language in the world
--Spanish is an official language on four continents and is the mother-tongue in 21countries. The number of Spanish speakers and their rate of growth makes learning Spanish a smart choice
--Spanish is a Romance language, meaning that its roots are from Latin. Since English also has thousands of words from Latin origin, it makes Spanish one of the easiest languages to learn. Additionally, if you would like to learn another Romance language such as French or Italian, it will be much easier
--In Spanish, what you see is what you get, meaning that the language is nearly phonetically perfect. In other words, the vowels only have one sound each, so there’s no guessing if the vowel is long, short or silent
--Lastly, and quite possibly the most important reason to learn Spanish is that it can be so fun! It may very well be the single most enjoyable thing
you may ever do!
No matter what your motivations are for learning Spanish, it is something that will benefit you for the rest of your life!