by Barbara Mascareno
Being bilingual can provide many opportunities. Learning Spanish as a foreign language can be one of those great advantages in life, especially in the workplace. Living in a multicultural world, knowing a second language improves communication, language skills, and raises cultural awareness.
Not only does knowing it help with the communication during business meetings or when dealing with foreign commerce, but it also helps with dialogue in healthcare jobs, public sector careers, and tourism. More and more medical practitioners need to communicate with Hispanic patients that know little or no English.
Bilingual nurses and doctors can administer the proper medicine and diagnose correctly without an interpreter. Police officers can accurately interrogate suspects or other detainees with a few Spanish phrases. In tourism, attendants are able to communicate better when they know key phrases or words, when speaking with Hispanic visitors.
When workers learn Spanish as a foreign language, it improves reading skills, reasoning, and better verbal communication. In addition, it can also improve grammar skills. In international commerce, transactions with Latin markets can sometimes be done in Spanish only. Knowing how to express the concerns and deal with businesses can be crucial for successful commerce. Written and verbal communications between foreign clients are excellent ways to enhance the interaction lines in businesses.
Cultural awareness is essential when dealing with Latin commerce. Whether it's a handshake or other gestures, the proper understanding of the different Hispanic traditions can open doors. From traditional cuisine to special festivals, knowing the Hispanic heritage is an excellent way to show the appreciation for other cultures. And it is also a growing factor in doing business with the Hispanic market.
It is estimated the Hispanic community will increase by 24 percent in 2050 in the United States. With a great demand of the bilingual workforce, learning Spanish can be a valuable tool. It provides a competitive edge and a cultural advantage.
Hood, L. (2005). Where Do I Go With Spanish? Career World, 34(1), 17.
Barbara Mascareno is a bilingual tutor in Spanish, math, and science. She is the creator of Spanish4Kiddos Tutoring Services, a tutoring source for parents and students. As an educator, she believes in a better education for all children. Connect with her at www.spanish4kiddos.com, follow her on Twitter @spanish4kiddos or Facebook at Spanish4Kiddos.