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Why Study a Foreign Language?. Doesn’t (or shouldn’t) everyone know English?. Nelson Mandela once said:. “If you talk to a a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”. 1. It’s a small world. It’s a small world.

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why study a foreign language

Why Study a Foreign Language?

Doesn’t (or shouldn’t) everyone know English?

nelson mandela once said
Nelson Mandela once said:

“If you talk to a a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.

If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

it s a small world
It’s a small world

Globalization makes it Increasingly important to communicate with citizens of other countries

Internet, social media, etc bring the world to your doorstep

National economic and security goals require knowledge of other languages.

it s a small world1
It’s a small world

Even those who know English well prefer to converse negotiate, do business in their native language.

21 of the top 25 industrialized countries begin the study of languages in grades K-5. Most U.S. students begin the study at age 14.

80% of students in Europe speak at least 2 languages. 14% of U.S. students consider themselves bilingual.

Research by Georgetown U and Bureau of Labor Statistics places a FL 10th on the list of most useful majors. (4/12)

expand horizons
Expand Horizons

“When we have come into adulthood in the midst of a single cultural experience, it can be difficult to accept unfamiliar ideologies or conceive of changing our habits. Delving into the details of different cultures can help you understand that the human experience varies considerably …The unknown will become something to joyfully unearth rather than something to fear.” http://www.dailyom.com/articles/2/2011/31360.html

expand your horizons
Expand your horizons

Studying another language opens your mind to new ways of doing things

It teaches and encourages respect of other people.

It can embolden you to try new adventures.

exercise your brain
Exercise your brain

Improves standardized test scores (verbal and math scores improve)

Increases knowledge of your own language.

Delays the onset of Alzheimer's Disease and provides coping skills because of greater mental flexibilty.

access to original
Access to original




Scholarly research


“Americans who travel abroad for the first time are often shocked to discover that, despite all the progress that has been made in the last 30 years, many foreign people still speak in foreign languages.”

- Dave Barry,

humor columnsit


Study abroad

Read signs, menus

Venture beyond typical tourist places

Everyday problem solving

Converse with local people

75% of world’s population do not speak English.

why spanish
Why Spanish?

“The world is rapidly becoming multilingual and Arabic and Spanish are both key languages of the future.”

David Graddol, language researcher

why spanish1
Why Spanish?

Third most widely spoken language of the world (behind Mandarin Chinese and English)

500 million people worldwide

Half of the Western Hemisphere

48.4 million people in the U.S. (2009-12.8%)

U.S. is 5th largest Hispanic population

Hispanics highest birthrates—projected to be over 100 million by 2050. (30%)

why spanish2
Why Spanish?
  • Most studied FL in U.S.
    • 52% of university students in Spanish; 13.!% French
    • 18 million are studying Spanish
why spanish3
Why Spanish?

Spanish is not difficult.

“Chinese requires learning tones. French is spelled funny. Arabic has a different alphabet. Spanish, on the other hand is spelled phonetically and many of the words are similar to English.”


why spanish4
Why Spanish?

Speak so others can’t understand you.

Understand what foreigners are saying about you

Impress your friends

Expand your dating pool

Help a struggling newcomer

Improve your job potential