Spanish is the official language of 22 countries in the World: Spain and most of the countries in South and Central America. In addition to these countries, Spanish is also spoken in other territories like Andorra, Gibraltar, Western Sahara, Belize, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Many people are unaware that Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the World, with about 400 million speakers. Chinese and English occupy first and third places respectively.
- Spanish is the second largest language in the United States, with about 30 million speakers.
- You would be able to communicate with Hispanics, who are the largest minority in the United States.
- You would better appreciate Hispanic cultural contributions.
- When traveling to Spanish speaking countries, you would have a more personal and rewarding experience being able to communicate with the natives and understand their culture, rather than being a “foreigner”.
- You would be able to help others: Spanish speakers who don’t speak English and English speakers who don’t speak Spanish.
- It would enhance your resume, and allow you better job opportunities.
- Being bilingual enables you to gain important insights about two languages and cultures.
- Learning a second language exercises the memory, helping the brain stay healthy.
- Becoming bilingual helps improve your confidence.
- It would enable you to gain a more profound understanding of your own language and culture.
- You would become a more open-minded and understanding individual.
- Speaking a second language and understanding its culture would allow you to meet new people and develop strong relationships for life.
- Speaking a second language provides a more competitive edge in career choices.
- Learning a second language is FUN!
- At Cornell University, linguistic research shows that “Learning a second language is good childhood mind medicine.” Instead of causing confusion, cognitive deficit or language delay, like it was once thought, learning a second language allows children to maintain attention longer.
- Children have a natural ability to learn.
- The younger, the better. As their brain develops, newborns learn through sight, taste, smell, sound, touch and doing, allowing them to acquire/learn languages using all their senses.
- It helps children develop cognitive skills that contribute to their future academic success.
- The earlier children learn a second language, the faster and more likely they would attain native-like language proficiency.
- Children’s brain is still developing, making it easier to learn two or more languages at the same time.
Both languages become interdependent: children rely on the grammar and vocabulary of each language to communicate in more creative ways.
- Instead of being the subject of instruction, the target language is used for instruction and as means of communication.
- Authentic communication allows children to learn the second language similar to how they learned their first.
- Language proficiency is attained faster by being completely exposed to the second language.
- Children learn practical language for conversational purposes.
- When children relate to the speakers of the second language, children are also creating a relationship of trust with them. Children learn to associate language with people, developing a sense of awareness for diversity.