Languages and Literature
Importance of Spanish Education in Montana
Currently, in the United States, Spanish speaking English language learners are the largest growing population. This includes large numbers of families and individuals from El Salvador, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, most of whom reside in Texas, California, Arizona, Florida, and New Jersey. So why is Spanish education important in Montana? Most students taking Spanish classes in high school will take the recommended two years and never look back. With this in mind, it is the responsibility of the teacher to help form well-rounded, respectful individuals with the time they have.
Learning another language allows students to use different cognitive processes and improve cognitive skills in all areas, not just language. The benefits to learning a second language are numerous, for instance, job competition, international communication, cultural appreciation, and access to political, social, and cultural movements throughout both American continents.
Two years of Spanish education is not intended to produce bilingual students, but it can produce culturally aware and sympathetic students. By introducing students to cultures other than their own in a Spanish classroom they gain, not only, knowledge but respect, and maybe, if lucky, a desire to continue their Spanish acquisition.
Charlton, Bret, "Spanish Education in Montana" (2019). Languages and Literature Undergraduate Student Works. 5.