Learning the second language
Alejandro Rivera – Special to the Southern News
Alex Soriano, junior accounting major and spanish minor, said that because of the Hispanic and Latino growth in the United States, it is important to learn the language of Spanish.
“There are plenty of other languages to learn,” Soriano said, “but let’s be realistic and acknowledge the fact that Spanish is the second most spoken language in the United States.”
According to statistics from the U.S Census Bureau, Spanish is the most spoken language in the United States other than English. In 2011, there were more than 37 million Spanish speakers older than the age of five and since 1980, studies show that Spanish-speaking has grown 233 percent. The U.S Census Bureau also reports that in 2020, the number of Spanish speakers should grow up to 43 million.
Lexi Sobireski, sophomore marketing major, said she realizes the importance of learning another language, but does not think it should be required.
“Sometimes, learning another language can be too much for a person to handle,” Sobireski said. “I dislike how Southern Connecticut State University requires students to take a language. I get that they are trying to give us more opportunities, and graduate students of many capabilities, but some people like me would rather be involved in other fields that don’t require a new language to be learned.”
Resha Cardone, department chair for all languages at SCSU, said learning a new language opens a door to a new world.
“Many people think that learning a new language as an adult is too difficult,” Cardone said. “I began learning Spanish around high school and continued through college. Now, I speak three languages other than English: Spanish, French, Portuguese.”
Cardone also said the Spanish language has been growing, but a look back in history shows that parts of the United States used to be territories of Spanish-speaking nations, therefore, Spanish speakers have been in the U.S for a long time.
As the Spanish-speaking population continues to grow, Cardone said, “Hopefully bilingualism is more accepted in the U.S.”
Soriano said outside of school, he can communicate with people that speak Spanish, and use his skills to create a diverse environment at his job.
“There are a lot of Spanish speakers at SCSU,” Soriano said. “I can make new friends, and feel confident enough to translate if needed. I think that when a student graduates, an employer will certainly lean towards a student that speaks another language versus an applicant that only speaks English.”
Soriano said that many restaurants have menus that are translated into Spanish, and a lot of phone lines have the option to dial a number to speak to someone in Spanish.
“Due to immigration, and other cultural influences, I think the demand for bilingual citizens who speak Spanish is rising,” Soriano said.
“I am a firm believer that if people come to the United States,” Sobireski said, ” they should adjust to our language, we shouldn’t adjust to theirs.”
Cardone said learning another language improves a person’s cognitive ability and even helps with the understanding of the English language.
“It is really important that students know that learning a language is a lifelong process,” Cardone said. “Life consists of us constantly trying to improve our language, but some people do not realize that it takes time.”