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Spanish Today: Why Speaking This Language Has Become So Important - Articles Surfing
Maurico Evlampieff was twelve years old when he was thrown into an English-speaking school: "I had to sink or swim", he says. "From my own experience, I know that speaking another language can seem like an impossible task when you're faced with a mountain of vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation". For those of you who have ever visited a foreign country where English was not the main speaking language, you know how frustrating it can be when you need to ask a simple question, but the person who you are asking cannot understand what you are saying. Even in the U.S., Spanish is becoming more of the spoken language in many areas. Many potential job seekers specifically seek candidates who can speak more than one language. And with all the immigration seeping through our borders, young Americans cannot afford to not become fluent in at least one other language.
It is estimated that there are some 35 million Hispanic Americans living in the U.S. today (source: Deborah Sharp, USA Today). Sharp says "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 adds a Spanish-language insert. And Spanish is working its way into everyday use".
Even George Bush is speaks to the Spanish population in their native tongue in his radio addresses. The future of our country is changing from immigrants having to learn our native language, to our needing to learn theirs.
It's one thing to be "brought up" in a school system where learning a second language has become mandatory. And that second language doesn't have to be Spanish (though more and more students are choosing it anyway). Our ability to learn is strongest while our brain is still growing and we are subjected to so much new stimuli. As we get older that learning ability diminishes and we need to do more than just pick up a book to do it.
I actually spent 8 years mastering the language from middle school through college. I even took a trip to Spain in high school, though at that time I was by no means fast speaking enough to keep up conversation with the Spaniards. "Mas poco, mas poco" ("More slowly, more slowly"), I remember often saying. I even became somewhat of a remarkable Spanish writer while I was in college. But once I graduated, my life journey took me elsewhere, and aside from my first restaurant jobs where the dishwashers and cleaners were mostly Brazilians, I never really continued my practices.
I started to miss it. I missed responding to friends who would ask me a question in English and I could immediately respond to their question in Spanish. The ones that didn't know any Spanish would look at me as if I had all of a sudden grown a third limb! But once in a while there would be someone who did understand what I was saying and we'd carry on for few minutes all in Spanish. As silly as it sounds, it was fun. Speaking Spanish with the accent felt good on my tongue - the exaggerated R's and the 'ya' pronunciation for 'll' letters was somewhat of a vacation for my mouth.
My boyfriend are planning our next vacation and one of our top considerations is Costa Del Sol. It is one of the more affordable vacation share options within our plan and the Benal Beach resort we are looking at is magnificent. Plus, it's one that I know is good since I already stayed there several years ago on my high school trip.
At the resort, I know it's primarily English speaking, but outside it's going to Spanish. So I wanted to brush up on my rusty skills so that I'm not a flabbering idiot when we need to ask directions or speak intelligently to the locals about their native land.
I didn't want a tutor and picking up a book at this point isn't the best way I learn. I looked into Rosetta Stone, which seemed to offer a very sleek interactive program. But to drop $200 or $300 just for the beginner courses was just more than I could afford. I then found a program called Rocket Spanish which was a completely interactive program designed with people like me in mind. I read the sales letter and liked the pitch of the author (I also thought he was pretty cute as far as two dimensional pictures go). So I decided to try it.
My first impression of the website was, "Oh great, another verbose sales letter trying to sell me something." But I liked the author's writing style so I decided to read on. There was a section where you could listen to some free audio samples of the program. What the heck, I'll give it a try. And they were pretty good - but I still wasn't ready to part with my $50. Then further down, you can try out the program for a six day free course. Well if it's free, now we're talking. By the end of that six day course I wanted more! So I went ahead and purchased the full program.
I must say this is one of the coolest programs I own! It's fun, it's interactive, and it's so simple to us even a 5th grader would get it. And best of all my Spanish is even better than it was when I was in college! I know this because I actually ran into my old Spanish professor while attending an alumni event at my former college. She was thoroughly impressed when we carried on a full 5 minute conversation in Spanish! I told her about the program and she said she would look into it and maybe even recommend it to some of her students that were currently struggling with her course material. A note about her: She was a tough teacher! I actually signed up for her class because I thought it would be a "blow off" requirement course I could ace my Freshman year. But within the first week after reviewing her course syllabus and how much work she required I almost dropped out! But I needed the language requirement and didn't want to start a new language, so I hung in there. Over the course of the semester got to know her pretty well and became one of her top students. By the end I enjoyed the class so much, I entered into her advanced level course, where I think over the timeframe of the course wrote the equivalent of a novel in Spanish!
Rocket Spanish for anyone who really wants to learn how to speak Spanish well and is tailored for whatever level you are at. Even if you've never said "Hola", you can learn how to properly speak the language using this program! And the pace you go is entirely up to you. If you spent just an hour a day using this program, you'd be fluent in three months. And it's easy to do that given the fun interactive nature of it. I highly recommend this program for anyone interested in learning to speak this beautiful language!
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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