Aprendiendo espanol

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  • Publicado : 23 de febrero de 2012
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As we approach the 21st century and as the idea of a "global village" is fast becoming a reality, it is vital that we enlarge our worldview and reach an understanding of, and appreciation for, thecultures of the other peoples who share the planet with us. As cultural beings, we are raised with an certain way of giving order to the world around us. Very soon, these "cultural filters," which allowus to make sense of reality and shape it, become fixed, invisible and unconscious; they are part of our worldview which - as unique as we might think it is - rests on the shared values of aparticular linguistic community.

This network of basic assumptions which affects everything in our life (love, family, friendship, child rearing, work, sense of community and of our place within it, viewof nature, sense of self, etc.) is never put into question until it is brought to our awareness by the clash with another system, different from our own. Language, which is the bearer of culture parexcellence, opens the door to the world of the other and gives us the means to apprehend other ways of viewing our common world and our common humanity. Why study Spanish? Beyond the argument just madefor the truly cosmopolitan view, there are, for the US citizen, compelling internal and external reasons. First, one has to consider the rise of the Hispanic community within our midst. The US CensusBureau shows that the Latinos residing in the United States total about 27 million people and make up almost 10% of the population.

Projections indicate that, by the year 2050, almost half of theUS population could be Spanish speaking. This fact has strong implications for employment, not only in the Southern belt ( from Florida to California ) but also in all major cities of the nation. Inthe job market, the bilingual employee will increasingly have the edge over other candidates, especially in the service sector. But employment is only part of the picture. The Hispanic community with...
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