Why Learning Spanish Builds A Better Future For Your Child
As a parent, one of the best gifts you can give your child is the opportunity to learn Spanish. In today’s interconnected and interdependent world, learning Spanish can definitely build a better future for your child and enrich his life experiences. Let us find out why and how.
1. A global language
As a global citizen, your child would do well to know a global language other than English. Spanish is a global language. Today, Spanish is spoken by nearly 500 million people around the world as their native tongue and 75 million people as a second language. Spanish is the official or national language in 20 countries including Argentina, Mexico, and Venezuela. It is the most popular choice for a second language in the United States, and it is spoken by 15% of all residents in the European Union. It is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations, and the third most-used language in the media. In addition, 10% of the language of the internet is Spanish. As you can clearly see, knowledge of Spanish can make your child a truly global citizen.
2. A thriving language
We hear of some languages such as Sanskrit as ‘dying’ languages since fewer people speak the language as time progresses. Spanish, on the other hand, is a thriving and growing language because the number of its users has been steadily increasing over the past decade. In fact, the British Council published a report recently, citing Spanish as the most important second language for British people to learn, giving it more importance than Mandarin, Arabic, and French. In the United States, the number of Spanish – speaking people have been increasing at such a rate that analysts predict that sooner or later it will become the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world.
3. Easy to learn
Do not worry that learning Spanish will be a hard grind for your child. As long as there is enthusiasm and effort from the learner, Spanish is easy to learn for an English speaker. The alphabet is the same as that of English, and unlike Mandarin, it is not a tonal language. In addition, Spanish words are spelled phonetically, which means there are no complicated spelling and pronunciation rules. Even if the words are spelled or pronounced in the same way, you can use simple reasoning to understand the English translation of a Spanish word.
Some examples might help make that clearer:
- adorar in Spanish, adore in English
- accidente in Spanish, accident in English
- abusivo in Spanish, abusive in English
All these make Spanish an ideal choice for students who have to choose a second language at school or university.
4. Increases employability
The world is a ‘global village’ now with the advances in information and communication technology connecting different countries and people closely, into one global network. This being the case, knowing a second language that is globally used is an extremely valuable asset for a would-be employee. In international business and trade, knowing Spanish would be extremely advantageous as Spanish speakers are a valuable demographic for businesses to tap into. Are you working in healthcare or education in the United States? If yes, knowing Spanish is the best thing that could happen to you. Due to globalization in this shrinking business world those who know one more global language other than English will definitely stand a better chance.
5. Opens the door to other languages
Spanish is the most widely spoken Romance language in the world, and once you master it, you can learn other Romance languages such as Italian, French, and Portuguese easily. This is because all Romance languages share some characteristics, most importantly, vocabulary and grammar. Therefore it is not surprising that Spanish speakers have an easier time learning other Romance languages. This is why Spanish is often referred to as a ‘gateway language’. Even if you want to learn an unrelated language like Mandarin or Russian, knowing Spanish still helps. This is because, for each foreign language you learn, you pick up learning techniques, strategies, and a sense of confidence that will carry over to the next.
6. Enhances travel experiences
Spanish speakers reside in some of the coolest travel destinations in the world. Knowing Spanish is a huge advantage for a world traveler who would like to visit Europe and the Americas. Wherever you go in these continents, you will be able to communicate with more people and enrich your travel experience if you know Spanish. Imagine being able to explore thousands of miles of affordable and beautiful Latin American cities, beaches, and trails. If you do go to popular destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean, speaking the local language will help you get away from the beaten path and engage in a more authentic experience. And of course, you can visit Spain and see the wonders of Madrid, Barcelona, Andalucía, and other cities!
7. Wider entertainment options
One of the most interesting benefits of learning Spanish is that you will have access to the amazing world of rich Hispanic culture. Imagine being able to watch classic movies, like Pan’s Labyrinth, in the original language instead of watching with subtitles. Imagine reading great writers, like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Pablo Neruda, in the original language in which they wrote. Enjoying works of literature and art in their original language gives you deeper insights into the contexts and the milieu they were written. In addition, you will be able to understand the lyrics to your favorite songs in Spanish once you learn the language. Latin music has taken over the world by storm in recent years, with Latin Pop, Reggaeton, and Salsa dominating the scene. If that’s not to your liking, then there are many alternatives to enjoy, such as the folk, rock, or traditional music from countries like Spain and Argentina. Music is driven mostly by emotion, and if you can understand the Spanish lyrics, the songs you listen to will touch your soul in intimate ways. As a bonus, listening to music is a really fun way to learn Spanish!
8. Many opportunities to learn
You will not have to go far and wide in search of a Spanish teacher, once you decide to let your child learn the language. Spanish Language Instruction Is affordable and widespread in schools and universities now. One-to-one coaching programs such as that offered by Homeschool Spanish Academy can cater to your child’s needs no matter how old he is. It is also easy to find learning material for learning Spanish. What is most remarkable is that learning Spanish through the ‘immersion method’ – which means you learn by immersing yourself in the target language and culture – is really easy with Spanish due to its prevalence in Europe and the Americas. Add in the exposure to Spanish programs on radio and television, and you are swamped with immersion opportunities. Even in cultures as diverse as China and India, many schools and universities offer Spanish as a third language, after the national language and English. In China, as Spanish grows in popularity, many students consider learning it an advantage as they prepare for the Gaokao, a national college entrance exam.
9. Helps with your English
It might sound counter-intuitive, but learning Spanish actually helps with your mastery of English. Most people who grew up speaking English are not aware of the rules of the English language because it came automatically to them. You do not ever have to think of prepositions, adjectives, subject-verb agreement, or the placement of the adverbs! However, once you learn another language like Spanish, you are forced to learn the grammar rules and relate them back to English. This helps your mastery of the English language itself tremendously and helps you catch the tiny grammatical mistakes even native speakers make every day. Since there are a lot of words in English borrowed from Spanish, your vocabulary also will be remarkably enhanced. English words like aficionado and vigilante are originally from Spanish.
10. Boosts your worth as an employee
Knowing Spanish will be an asset for your child as an employee, whether he works in customer service or is an accountant or a CEO. It will improve his relationships with coworkers if he is working with bilinguals who know Spanish. He will also able to engage in business with Spanish-speaking client or customer in their native language. If he is one of the few employees who knows Spanish, this will make him the go-to person to help Spanish-speaking clients. If he is looking for promotion, learning Spanish could give him the edge he needs to be chosen over an otherwise equally valuable employee. Clearly, knowledge of Spanish will make your child a more valuable and useful employee.
With so many factors going for learning Spanish, any conscientious parent like you would readily sign their child up for a Spanish course at the earliest opportunity. It will be a decision you will not regret.
Want more free Spanish lessons, fun content, and easy learning strategies for kids? Check these out!
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- 3 Tips to Make Homeschool Customized to Each Child
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- Why Learning Spanish Builds A Better Future For Your Child - May 17, 2021