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imac Spanish Language Programs
Donato Guerra No.180
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Guadalajara, Jalisco. 44100 Mexico
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USA: 1-866-306 5040
Canada: 1-877-442 0845
England: 0-800-404 9844
Australia: 0-800-0611 0136
New Zealand: 0-800-449-282
e-mail: Spanish-Imac@Imac-ac.edu.mx
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Why Learn Spanish

Why Choose Spanish as Your New Foreign Language? Why is it Important to Learn Spanish?

Traditionally people from the United States are not obligated to learn another language besides English, but times have changed as more and more native English speakers are making the move to learn another language. Economic globalization has been the big push behind the increasing importance of being able to communicate with those from other countries. For obvious reasons, the second language US citizens are choosing to learn is Spanish. The modern trend now shows that Americans are studying Spanish in record numbers due to many factors, but most importantly, education in an international setting is becoming a top mandate for the American government because people need to be economically competitive.

There are many reasons why people are compelled to learn Spanish as a foreign language. Why is it important to learn Spanish? Spanish is spoken by almost 400 million people worldwide, which is reason enough to learn the language. But it's even more compelling when you realize that about half of the population in the Western Hemisphere speaks Spanish, making it the primary language for as many people as English in this region of the world. The entire continent of South America speaks primarily Spanish (aside from Brazil), as does just about all of Central America, Mexico and Latin America - over 15 countries in total. In addition, within the United States, Spanish is the second most widely spoken language after English - by a very wide margin. In the U.S., more and more, opportunities are increasing for those who are fluent in both Spanish and English due to the explosion in the Spanish-speaking population. This means that the ability to speak both Spanish and English will continue to become more and more valuable for people who live in the U.S. with each passing year.

In addition to in the U.S., Spanish is also gaining importance in Europe, where it is quickly becoming the foreign language of choice after English. It's fairly obvious to see why. Phonetically, Spanish is nearly perfect which makes it easy to learn. First, by learning Spanish fluently you can open the gateway to understand enough to be able to get by when communicating with people who speak different languages. Secondly, overall, Spanish is the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world. Aside from English, Chinese and Hindustani are the most commonly spoken languages, but geographically speaking, they are only widely spoken in China and India respectively. Looking at the numbers alone make learning Spanish a good choice, connecting people in close proximity also make it more than a relevant selection for throughout the whole North American and South American continents. In fact, as a romance language, Spanish can open the door to understanding many millions of other people who speak one of the other romance languages such as Italian, Portuguese or French to strengthen ties with the European continent as well. Language acquisition requires special skills that can enable you to become fluent in other languages in much less time than it would take someone who is learning their first romance language, because of the similarities in grammar structure and vocabulary. Understanding a language means understanding some fine, culturally enriching aspects of different societies. In order to stay competitive in our economically driven world it is imperative to know more about other cultures and how they think.

The Facts to Support Choosing Spanish

Most people who choose to learn Spanish do so because of its popularity, especially in the Western Hemisphere and in Europe. They know that they are learning a language that will give them practical use - both in their daily lives and in their professional lives. The facts not only support these feelings, they show that Spanish leads other foreign languages by a wide margin for usage within the Western World. They also show that the gap is widening. The population in many Spanish-speaking nations around the world are steadily growing, and the projections for the Spanish-speaking population within the U.S. show that it is becoming a larger percentage of the total U.S. population every year. Following are some facts that show just how widespread the Spanish language is in the world and how it is projected to continue to grow in the near future and beyond.

The World Speaking Spanish

  • As of 2005, statistically, Spanish had more native speakers than English (English had 340 million and Spanish had 350 million) Due to perceived population projections; native speakers of Spanish are increasing today, and they are only expected to increase further in the coming years. If you include the number of people who are fluent in Spanish as a second language, the total number of Spanish speakers in the world is well over 400 million people. The list of countries where Spanish is either the primary language or the largest secondary language covers 28 different countries- Andorra, Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, France, Gibraltar, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela.
  • Although most of the countries outside of Spain with a native Spanish speaking population are located in the Western Hemisphere, there are some notable exceptions. Spanish and French share the role as the official language of Equatorial Guinea, making it the only country on the continent of Africa with Spanish as a primary language. However, Morocco and Gibraltar also have many Spanish speakers. In Asia, the Philippines are the lone representatives for Spanish-speaking nations. In all, Spanish is the primary language in countries across four different continents.

The U.S. Population Speaking Spanish

  • According to the U.S. Census, the estimated number of Hispanics in the U.S. as of July 1, 2005 is 42.7 million. This figure means that the United States has the fifth largest Hispanic population worldwide (trailing Mexico, Colombia, Spain and Argentina - just barely behind Spain itself and Argentina). Of this group of over 42 million people, well over 3 out of 4 say that Spanish is their primary language. A particular percentage of these Spanish speakers live in the following states; California has the most at approximately 12.4 million, Texas has 7.8 million, New York has 1.8 million, and Florida has 1.5 million. In the U.S., the 28 million people who speak Spanish at home are well over half of the approximately 47 million people who speak a language other than English at home, which means that Spanish is spoken by more people than all other languages combined within the U.S. The statistics also show that approximately half of U.S. immigrants are from Latin America and this trend does not show any signs of stopping; moreover, this group has the highest birth rates.
  • Another indication that the language will be kept vibrant for many years to come is the fact that quite a large portion of the Spanish speaking population in the U.S. are children. Moreover, by 2050, the number of Hispanics in the U.S is projected to grow exponentially to over 100 million people, which at that point will be approximately one quarter of the total U.S. population. That's over triple the 2000 figure in a 50-year span.

Spanish in the Media

  • In the New York City area, the newscast on the Spanish-language Noticias 41 and Noticiero Univision, often have higher ratings than 'the big three' network news shows on CBS, NBC and ABC. Approximately 8.7 percent of Internet users speak Spanish, making it the 4th most common language among the Internet community, trailing only English (32%), Japanese (about 7.4%), and German (about 5%). A recent study of 25 metro markets in the U.S. found that Spanish-language programming was the sixth most popular format.
  • It's increasingly difficult to ignore the spread of Spanish in the United States. Bank ATMs offer instructions in Spanish. The Yellow Pages in many cities have added a Spanish-language insert and Spanish is working its way into everyday use. Is there an American left who can't order fajitas with spicy jalapeņos using the proper Spanish-accented flair? (Say the J like an H: fah-hee-tas)

Spanish Education / Economic Facts

  • Over the past decade, the demand for Spanish Language courses worldwide have just about doubled. In both the United States and Canada, Spanish is the most popular foreign language to learn. In the U.S. it is the most popular by a very wide margin.
  • As countries in Latin America are strengthening and expanding their economies, they are becoming more important as trading partners. Many countries in Latin America have signed or are on the verge of signing on to NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), which was originally set up by the United States, Canada and Mexico. This should act to further strengthen trade and business ties between these countries and the U.S. - making the Spanish language an even more important asset for Americans in the business world.
  • Just as in the past, when people had to educate themselves to keep up with the technology during post industrialization; people now increasingly need to be educated in language to keep up with the digital world.

Now that you know a few of the important facts about the relevance of learning the Spanish language take a step further and start learning Spanish next Monday!. Please click on any of the following links to know more about our Spanish immersion programs:

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imac Spanish Language Programs is a member of the following organizations:
ACTFL
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
CASLT
Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers
FIYTO
Federation of International Youth Travel Organizations
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American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese
ALTO
Association of Language Travel Organization
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Global Work Experience Association
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American Chamber of Commerce
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