Spanish is undoubtedly the growth language in the world at the moment; it is now spoken by an estimated 352 million people as a first language (with a further 417 million speaking it as a second language) making it the second or third most widely spoken language in the world. Hispanic nations are also showing strong economic growth so the potential for work opportunities in Spanish speaking countries for those learning Spanish, is increasing everyday. Spanish is now arguably the second most influential language in the world behind English and in all is spoken in 21 countries around the world. South America, with the exception from Brazil, is entirely Spanish speaking, as well as areas of Africa, the Caribbean and an ever growing Hispanic community in the USA. Which such a huge and diverse Spanish speaking world community, it's without a doubt one of the most useful languages to learn – a Spanish language course could open up many opportunities in terms of work and travel throughout the Spanish speaking world.
Spanish language schools in Spain and South America offer students more than just the opportunity to study Spanish in the classroom. The concept of cultural immersion encourages students to extend their learning to outside the classroom. Students get the chance to interact with locals in everyday situations whether it's simply ordering some food or attempting a full-blown conversation on the day's issues. This is also a great help in giving students a solid cultural grounding, many language schools in Spain offer extra-curricular activities and excursions to assist with this process. The whole experience of a foreign country adds to the excitement, not only do you get the chance to learn Spanish but you also get the chance to discover beautiful cities (like Barcelona, Madrid or Seville), sample the joys of Spanish cuisine first hand and experience the warmth and good nature of the Spanish people.
Language schools such as Babylon-Idiomas http://www.babylon-idiomas.com/eng/htm/learn-spanish-spain.htm) offer learning centres in four major Spanish cities (Barcelona, Madrid, Seville and Valencia) as well as in Costa Rica and Argentina as well – all very diverse and extremely different environments in which to learn a language and all with their own cultural nuances and wonderful sights to offer; from the eco-tourism and amazing wildlife of Costa Rica, to the majestic architecture of Gaudi's “Sagrada Familia” in Barcelona.
It is important to remember, however, that spoken Spanish is not identical in the different regions of the Spanish state. In fact, its pronunciation and lexical characteristics can vary to a very significant extent from one place to another. However, the maintenance of a unified, standard, version of the Spanish language and of its written form is guaranteed by the Real Academia de la Lengua Española. The Academia sets the rules to follow in order to speak and write in a way that is accepted by all the different Spanish speakers.
Mike McDougall has five years experience working as a travel writer and marketeer. He is currently working to provide additional content for Babylon-Idiomas http://www.babylon-idiomas.com/eng/htm/learn-spanish-spain.htm) , a Spanish language school with an excellent presence in Spain and Latin America.
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