Are you an English speaker? Have you considered learning Spanish? You should know, there are plenty of benefits to doing so -- ones that will help you in many aspects of life.
Ask someone you know who speaks both languages and they will undoubtedly tell you there are perks.
If you're still unsure, here are some reasons that will surely convince you.
1. Connect to your community.
There are Spanish speakers throughout the Houston and Houston-area communities. You can help to broaden your scope on who you’re interacting with and what you’re able to fully be involved in within your community when you can understand and communicate more efficiently with those Spanish speakers.
2. Improve your multitasking abilities.
When your brain has to mentally negotiate which language it will use, it is doing a mental juggling, which enhances multitasking skills. That’s not all. People who are bilingual have improved memory and problem-solving skills, as well as better concentration and listening skills. By working all those brain muscles, we help ourselves to combat mental aging and cognitive decline, according to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
3. Get a leg up in your career.
Knowing a second language — specifically one that much of the Houston population speaks — can help give you a leg up when it comes to advancing your career. Not only has the demand for bilingual professionals risen, but postings for jobs that were specifically geared toward bilingual job seekers more than doubled from 2010 to 2015, ACTFL reported.
4. Become a better decision maker.
When you have to make a decision in a different language than your native one, it is more reason-driven, according to ACTFL. The reason: When deliberating in another language, people distance themselves from emotional responses, moving them to make a decision based on facts.
5. Travel confidently.
Tropical vacations are just a short flight away to the Mexican Caribbean, and even though many of the tourist areas are filled with people who are fluent in Spanish and English, it can make it quite a bit easier (and more pleasant) if you're able to speak both, too. Conversing easily with people means you'll waste less time getting from A to B, waiting on meals (and drinks), and you'll notice most people working at resorts, airports and in transportation appreciate the efforts (even if they laugh at your attempts sometimes).