As someone currently studying to become a Spanish teacher, I will admit: I’m somewhat biased. I think you should learn the language because it’s fun and beautiful. Period. But for those of you who need a little bit more convincing, here’s a few more practical reasons to learn the world’s second most widely spoken language, starting in high school:

1) Doing so may open your eyes.

I feel that in the U.S., many people look down on those who speak only Spanish. They assume that this demographic is automatically dumber for not knowing English, and lazier for not even trying to learn it (or so it appears). But when you find yourself in your first Spanish I class, learning about the present indicative tense, direct and indirect object pronouns, and possessive adjectives, you realize that learning another language isn’t as easy as you once thought, and you start to rethink whether or not you passed judgment too quickly on those other people who don’t speak your native language.

2) Doing so may increase your chances of snagging your first job.

According to The Houston Chronicle, “the number of jobs that require bilingual workers is growing.” And while the term bilingual can be applied to anyone who speaks two languages, I would argue that—at least in Houston—the most marketable kind of communicator is someone who can speak both English and Spanish, given our city’s huge Latino population. But for those of you thinking about leaving Texas one day, rest assured that Spanish knowledge is still plenty valuable beyond our state’s borders. In fact, Monster.com states that “seventy-nine percent of North American recruiters cited Spanish as the additional language most in demand by employers.”

3) Doing so will make your travels a lot easier!

Let’s face it: in high school you are still dependent on mom and dad to take you places—especially when those places lie outside the country. But when and if you do visit a Spanish-speaking country, alone or with your folks, you will have such an easier time getting around and communicating with the locals if you possess at least a basic knowledge of Spanish. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to pop into local stores to ask for directions, or how many times I have used the language to haggle for a better price in the marketplace. But best of all, I have successfully avoided most of the frustration associated with not being able to express one’s self clearly on foreign soil.

Clearly Spanish is an important language to know. But if you find yourself struggling to learn it, don’t be afraid to reach out. Elite Private Tutors can pair you with a great language coach that will have you hablando el idioma in no time. (That means speaking the language.) Call to book an appointment today.

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