Why Learn Spanish?
MAKES YOU SMARTER
Speaking a foreign language improves the functionality of your brain by challenging it to recognise, negotiate meaning, and communicate in different language systems. This skill boosts your ability to negotiate meaning in other problem-solving tasks as well. Students who study foreign languages tend to score better on standardised tests than their monolingual peers, particularly in the categories of maths, reading, and vocabulary.
Educators often liken the brain to a muscle, because it functions better with exercise. Learning a language involves memorising rules and vocabulary, which helps strengthen that mental “muscle.” This exercise improves overall memory, which means that multiple language speakers are better at remembering lists or sequences.
Research suggests that multilingual adults experience the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia at a later age of 75 compared to monolingual adults who had the first signs at age 71. These studies were conducted with other variables such as gender, overall health, educational level, and economic status, but there were no significant results that contributed to the mentions diseases as significantly as the number of languages spoken.
Ian (adult student)
Spanish is now the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world (after English, Chinese and Hindustani, it is the official language of four continents. When travelling in Mexico, Central America and South America, and of course Spain, travellers usually receive better treatment if they speak Spanish, allowing them to see and do things that many other visitors do not.
Learning a foreign language is an incredibly rewarding experience and a serious confidence booster. You’ll get to overcome some of your fears and doubts, learn more about yourself, meet new people, and perhaps travel to places you would’ve never dared to visit before. Plus, the constant positive feedback from native speakers and their encouragement is always a motivation and ego booster.
Being able to speak Spanish will allow you to meet new and interesting people and develop life-long friendships.
Sarah – mum (preschool classes)
Having learned Spanish you’ll find your employment opportunities expand, and if you’re in any occupation that involves international trade, communications or tourism, you’ll find many opportunities to increase your employability and use your new language skills. You could even take a career break for a few years or months and study in a foreign country. Or perhaps find your dream job in Spain? Whatever it is that you want, knowing a second language will suddenly shrink the world and bring you opportunities of a lifetime.
BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF ENGLISH
Much of the vocabulary of English has Latin origins, much of which came to English by way of French. Since Spanish is also a Latin language, you will find as you study Spanish that you have a better understanding of your native vocabulary. Similarly, Spanish and English share Indo-European roots, so their grammars are similar. There is perhaps no more effective way to learn English grammar than by studying the grammar of another language, for the study forces you to think about how your language is structured. It’s not unusual, for example, to gain an understanding of English verbs’ tenses and moods by learning how those verbs are used in Spanish.
LEARNING OTHER LANGUAGES
Learning Spanish will give you a head start in learning other foreign languages as learning the structure of one language will give you the reference point for learning others.
IT’S RELATIVELY EASY
Spanish is one of the easiest foreign languages to learn due to its similarity in vocabulary to English and the fact that written Spanish follows basic phonetics.