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Learning Spanish Offers Many Benefits
You may have taken Spanish, or another foreign language, in high school or college simply because it was a requirement. It was an easy class that would give you enough credits to graduate, so you took it, but didn't really think it could help you later in life.
Learning Spanish Language Skills Enhances Your Life
As many people are now discovering, learning Spanish, or any other foreign language, can enhance many areas of your life. There's the obvious benefit of being able to communicate when you travel. But there are also benefits related to your career, your health, and your volunteer efforts. These are just a few of the benefits you'll enjoy when you learn how to speak Spanish:
When you travel to a Spanish-speaking country, learning Spanish before you go can make your trip much more enjoyable. You'll be able to communicate with hotel personnel, which can come in handy if there are any issues with your room, or if you just need more towels. You'll also be able to order meals in restaurants.
Some of the most culturally interesting travel experiences take place off the beaten path, away from the sites that cater to tourists, and where fewer people will speak languages other than Spanish. Learn Spanish language conversational skills, and you'll be able to hold conversations with the people you encounter. No travel experience in another country is complete without being able to speak to the people who live there.
More and more companies are seeking bilingual employees. This is especially true in areas with high Hispanic populations such as California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida. Being able to speak Spanish will allow you to assist non-English-speaking customers. Many large companies also have offices in Spanish-speaking countries. By learning Spanish language skills, you'll be able to communicate with employees in those locations, making you very valuable to the company.
It’s not just about verbal conversation, either. When you learn Spanish, online communication is also easier. If you live in an area with a large Hispanic demographic, take the time to learn Spanish language skills. The ability to speak Spanish will give you a competitive edge in the job market. Some companies even pay bilingual employees higher salaries, or annual bonuses for their language skills, and the benefits they bring to the company.
Studies have shown that learning a second language can delay the onset of dementia, and other diseases that result in cognitive decline, like Alzheimer's by at least four years. Bilingual people have also been observed to have better language skills overall, and to be better equipped to make intuitive leaps, increasing their problem solving skills.
Studying another language forces the brain to work in ways it hasn't since childhood, when neural pathways were being created, and the brain was developing. It increases brain function and cognitive control. Learning Spanish can help you slow the aging process that affects your brain.
Perhaps you enjoy helping out at a local shelter or food bank. Some of the members of the community who use these services may be Hispanic. Imagine how much more you'll get out of your volunteering experience by learning Spanish language skills so you can speak to those people, and offer them more personalized help.
You may also have considered a stint with a charitable organization like the Peace Corps, which does work in South American countries such as Ecuador or Peru. Or perhaps you’ve thought about traveling to an area of the world hit by a natural disaster like Chile, which has suffered devastating earthquakes. Learning Spanish will make it easier for you to help those in need. Being understood and heard by those offering assistance will also make their plight just a little more bearable.
If you have an interest in the arts, learning Spanish can open up a whole new world to you. You can learn about artists such as Picasso, Dalí, and Goya. You can read original texts of Spanish novels like Don Quixote. You'll enjoy music and artists in genres you already like, as well as learning an appreciation for new music. And you can lose yourself in a foreign film without having to be distracted by subtitles.
Spanish-speaking countries around the world have made enormous contributions to the arts for centuries. Sure, just about anything can be translated, but being able to enjoy music, literature, and film in their original languages provides a richer experience that can only be unlocked by learning Spanish. When you learn Spanish, online resources will also become available to you, allowing you to read and learn about things you may not be able to experience in real life.
Your reason for learning Spanish language skills doesn't need to be as lofty as working for a large multi-national corporation, or traveling halfway around the world to help people affected by tragedy. It can be something as simple as just wanting to expand your own knowledge and learn a new skill.
Maybe you have a Hispanic neighbor, or a family member has married someone of Hispanic descent, and you'd like to be able to make them feel welcome and more at home. Being able to talk to someone in their native language can make someone from another country feel more comfortable and at ease in their surroundings. It's a way of extending your hand in friendship, and creating good relationships with the people around you.
Learn Spanish Language Conversational Skills Via Audio
When you think about learning Spanish, the first thing that pops into your head is probably a classroom, especially if you took Spanish or any other language in high school. There's a lot to be said for learning in a classroom environment, but it's not the only way to study Spanish, or even the best way.
Audio Spanish lessons are an optimal choice because, as Dr. Pimsleur, discovered everyone learns their primary language by listening. It's a skill ingrained from birth. Listening to audio language courses triggers that learning capability in the brain, awakening your capacity for new language.
Other benefits of learning Spanish via audio are:
- You can hear the correct pronunciation and inflection of words and phrases, something you don't get from a book
- Unlike rote memorization of vocabulary and grammar, audio lessons allow you to learn Spanish language conversational skills
- They're portable and lightweight, unlike books, so you can learn anytime, anywhere, when it's convenient for you
Whichever way you go about learning Spanish, you can feel good about doing something to improve your life, increase your skills, and make a measurable contribution to your community, and to the world.