by: Sarah Keavy
I remember the first time I learned some Spanish in fifth grade. I thought it was cool, but not the greatest thing in the world. Then ninth grade came and I didn’t really know any Spanish and I had moved to South Omaha. I was quite thankful that I was starting to learn Spanish. I immediately fell in love with the language once I started really learning it. It came in handy soon after. My mom and I had a garage sale and this one lady could not speak English. I ended up interpreting between her and my mom. I even got the item sold! Throughout my time in South Omaha, I ended up using the language endlessly. Not because I had to, but because I wanted to. However, there were plenty of times where I had to use Spanish because the person or people I was communicating with, could not speak English. This is just one example.
According to Adam Tutor, on his website, “Homeschool Spanish Academy”, “Unless you are a bear in hibernation or similarly snuggled up in your suburban refuge lost in the retentions of Downton Abbey, it is next to impossible to escape the omnipresence of the Spanish language in our society today” (Tutor par. 1). Why should English-speaking Americans communicate with the Spanish-speaking population in America? English is our national language anyways, right? Wrong. According to the website, “Official Language of the U.S.”, “There is no official language in the United States” (par 1). So why should English-speaking Americans bother to learn Spanish?
All U.S. high school students should be required to take Spanish as a second language because language is what connects us as human beings and it is becoming a very necessary language to have in the workplace as well as one’s social life.Language is by far man’s greatest invention. It’s how humans communicate with one another. There are multiple languages and by far, the one that is in greatest need to be learned in the United States is Spanish. Language is the keystone of communication. America is a melting pot. There are many different races, languages, and cultures here. However, the dominant language and culture behind English is Spanish and the Hispanic cultures. What would normally separate different ethnicities, languages, and cultures, brings us together in America. The reason is America is a melting pot. For these reasons, English-speaking Americans should learn Spanish. Due to the enormous presence of Spanish-speakers in the United States, American High School Students ought to learn the language.
How many Hispanic/Latino people are there living in the U.S.? According to the website, “infoplease”, “As of July 1, 2012, [there are] 1.1 million [Hispanics living in the United States]” (par 1). High school students in the United States should be required to take Spanish because Hispanics are the largest growing ethnicity in the United States and this in turn is becoming a very necessary language to have in the workplace as well as one’s social life. According to Deborah Sharp, in her article in USA Today, titled, “Those who don’t speak Spanish may be left behind”, she states, “With the surge over the past decade in the Hispanic population in the United States, speaking Spanish is becoming more of a necessity than a choice in many parts of the country” (Sharp par. 1). In other words, Spanish is a growing language in the United States and it is very important that non-Spanish-speaking Americans learn it because it is needed in everyday life from one’s social life to one’s work life. For example, Spanish knowledge is a very valuable asset to have as a job-seeker. According to Terrence Wiley, President, Sarah Moore, and Margaret Fee on their website called “COUNCIL on FOREIGN RELATIONS”, “In an increasingly competitive international economy, a workforce with more market-relevant foreign language skills is a strategic economic asset for the United States” (Wiley, Moore, Fee par. 1). Also according to this website, “It is an old adage that you can buy in any language, but you must sell in the language of your customer.” (Wiley, Moore, Fee par. 3). In other words, Americans can use English to buy whatever it is they’re buying, but when it comes to selling, Americans have to know the target language. Therefore, it is necessary to have Spanish knowledge as a skill to add on to one’s resume.
I have discussed how Spanish connects us as humans beings and how it is necessary to have knowledge of the language because it is very useful in one’s work and social life. The U.S. Hispanic/Latino population is growing and is only continuing to soar. This makes it very valuable to have as a skill because no matter where you go in the United States or what you do, you will likely encounter a Spanish-speaker. Knowing this language can also help create friends that cannot speak or speak limited English. Your work and social life are both important; add new people to it. You deserve it and so does the Hispanic population.
Adam Tutor. “The Spanish Network: Opportunities For Bilingualists in Today’s Job Market.” HOMESCHOOL SPANISH ACADEMY. blog.HOMESCHOOL SPANISH ACADEMY.com, 21 Mar. 2013. Web. 21 Oct. 2013.
Fee, Margaret S., Moore, Sarah C., Wiley, Terrence G. COUNCIL on FOREIGN RELATIONS. Council on Foreign Relations.org, n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2013.
“Official Language of the U.S.” Answers.USA.gov, 4 Nov. 2013. Web. 1 Dec. 2013.
Sharp, Deborah. “Those who don’t speak Spanish may be left behind.” USA Today. Jun. 2001. Web. 16 Sep. 2001.