The numbers of people who speak two or more languages is growing fast in the world. Spanish is one of the most popular languages to study because it is a key language in the world.
Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world. At the moment, it is spoken by more than 572,6 million people, according to research by Instituto Cervantes. Chinese is the first most spoken language in the world with 950 million people.
Spanish is the official language in more than 20 countries and it is also spoken in other countries like the USA, Canada, Brazil, Philippines, Equatorial Guinea and Western Sahara.
These are the main reasons why people end up saying: “I want to learn Spanish”. Nowadays, about 18 million people are studying Spanish in the world.
In the United Kingdom, Spanish is the only single language that is growing in popularity despite the general decline of modern foreign languages in British schools. While children learning French or German at GCSE level has dramatically dropped from the previous twenty years, students learning Spanish has increased from 29,000 to 85,000 between 1995 and 2015. The British Council expects that Spanish will be the most popular language by 2020.
The advantages of learning Spanish are easy to understand and they range from knowing other cultures and people to Spanish being an important asset for your career.
The Spanish language will help you to know people from other cultures. Apart from the speaking Spanish countries like Mexico, Spain, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, etc. which have provided the world with a varied Hispanic background, countries like the USA or Canada are experimenting a cultural revolution made by the Hispanic population living on those countries. You can notice in the States or in Canada how the Spanish language is present in road signs, town and state names, etc. but the most important thing is the people living there with shops, food, restaurants, social events, music, festivals and a long list of etceteras where Spanish is the centre of these cultural events.
For example, it would be fantastic if you could understand Spanish in order to be able to study and enjoy painters, musicians or writers like Arturo Pérez Reverte, one of the most popular ones at the moment.
However, mastering the Spanish language is also an advantage for your work career.
In recent years, Hispanic American countries have economically growed and many European countries have helped these countries development by signing important commercial, economical and political agreements with them. In this globalised world, many European companies are interested in investing in this region and, therefore, having on your CV the favouring circumstance of speaking Spanish will be a key point when looking for new jobs.
In the business world, English is the most common language. However, Spanish is the second language and being able to master both languages to speak with customers around the world will definitely be a bonus for your career. Furthermore, if you’re able to speak Spanish, due to the same latin origin, it will be easy for you to understand similar languages like Italian or Portuguese. A high percentage of the three languages is very similar and this will broaden your career scope.
Another obvious advantage related to learning the Spanish language is, obviously, tourism. Hispanic America and Spain have lots to offer to travellers from around the world: The most famous beaches and costas, incredible architecture from Peruvian Machu Pichu and the Maya Pyramids to the Prehistoric caves in Northern Spain and the Alhambra in Granada.
In Spain, tourism keeps growing year after year. Spain is one of the most popular tourism destinations in the world. It’s got many different museums, hundreds of different historical sites, and a fantastic climate which makes studying in Spain a great experience.
Another great opportunity to put into practice what you have learnt in your Spanish courses is food and restaurants. The Hispanic food culture is famous. You can enjoy the best Argentinian meat or the spicy Mexican food. Spain offers a wide range of dishes and it’s one of the countries with more restaurants internationally recognised and included on the Michelin guide. So, it is important to know how to order an excellent paella or some few tapas if you visit Spain.
Spanish Language immersion programs
While on holiday, you can take a Spanish language immersion program and enjoy both worlds, learning the language and immerse yourself in the Spanish culture.
One of the best ways to learn Spanish is to immerse yourself in the country having an intensive course living with a Spanish family, especially, if that family is your tutor’s family.
To live with a native tutor and his or her family is of great help because you will be able to use the language at all times. You will be hearing your hosts speaking Spanish and you will have to interact with them using the language. You will have to express yourself in Spanish and your language knowledge and skills will improve dramatically. You will also be more self-confident about using Spanish because you will need to communicate in the language. However, you will never feel isolated because you will always have a host to help you.
On top of that, taking part in one of these courses, will also offer you a cultural immersion and, apart from the language, you will learn the country, regional and family traditions and costumes.
You should not forget that all this experience is for you to enjoy at all times and that means that you can also have other activities like sports, workshops, etc. that you can share with Spanish people and that will help you not only with your language but by interacting with Spanish people and, who knows, making some good friends.