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Affects Of Spanish On Business And Education In The United States

1719 words - 7 pages

Has there ever been a time when walking down the street or in the grocery store when a conversation in a language was overheard but not understood? They were probably speaking Spanish. Even though English is the official language of America, Spanish is the second most spoken and read language in our country. The signs are very obvious, from the aisles of the grocery stores to the automated teller machines, that the Spanish Language is everywhere. The focus here is how education and business demands have changed and are prospering because of this language. We overhear conversations in Spanish and wonder what they are saying. McDonald's is even running commercials during the NBA All Star ...view middle of the document...

Stereo-types and myths aside, the Hispanic communities face as many challenges as the Anglo and African-American communities.The affects of this growth are being felt in the education systems of many states. The number of Hispanic students in the nation's public schools nearly doubled from 1990 to 2006, accounting for 60% of the total growth in public school enrollment over that period (Fry and Gonzales, 2008). Many of these students are not fluent in English and need to learn at later stages of their lives or not learn it at all. Students that don not know English are called English Language Learners or, ELL's for short, as documented in propositions and agendas being proposed and regulated in school system across the country. The Associated press reports of the challenges facing the public school systems out of Oklahoma City and Tulsa due to non-English speaking Hispanic. The Associated press quotes, "Sandy Garret, state superintendent of public instruction said whites now make up only 22 percent of the student population in Oklahoma City. Hispanics are the biggest minority at 40 percent, followed by blacks at 30 percent, American Indians at 5 percent and Asians at 3 percent." (Whites no longer majority in urban schools, January 12, 2009).Hispanic children and parents alike, who were born in the United States, are more likely to speak English fluently. Most of these children know little to no Spanish because of the way they were raised. Like most Americans, they have the opportunity to learn at some level during school. Spanish is being offered at different levels of school these days. In the southern states in the early 80's, Spanish was not even offered as a second language in most high schools. It would not be a stretch to say that was the case all around the country until studies, surveys, and census reports showed the governing bodies of the school systems that it should be included in the curriculum. Studies throughout time have shown the younger the child, the better they learn and retain information and skills. The opportunity to learn Spanish or any other language other than English is being offered at the kindergarten level. According to Medrano (2008), "Kindergarteners in the Catalina Foothills School District in Tucson will have the option to attend a new Spanish immersion program starting next fall." Programs like these are signs that show the importance of learning Spanish.The need to know Spanish also has its affect in business. In the school system alone, thousands of Spanish speaking teachers are needed to teach Spanish or to assist the ELL's in learning English. Who will get these jobs and the many other jobs being created to meet the needs and demands of the growing demographic of Spanish speaking America will be determined by the ones fluent in this language. The business world has always accommodated other languages in the United States. This accommodation can be seen in almost every instruction manual that comes along...

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