Learning Spanish for Business benefits global executives, leaders, & HR professionals.
Help your team increase productivity by studying Spanish.
No matter where you’re based, Spanish is one of the most useful languages for any business professional to know.
Consider these recent statistics:
More than 572 million people around the world speak Spanish. That includes 43 million native Spanish speakers and 15 million additional people with some knowledge of Spanish in the U.S.
Spanish is spoken in almost 8 percent of the world, and that’s expected to remain steady through at least 2050. By contrast, Mandarin and English are expected to lose ground percentage-wise.
Spanish has the second-highest number of native speakers in the world.
(Mandarin Chinese is #1.)
By 2050, the number of global Spanish speakers
is predicted to hit 754 million.
The U.S. has 57.5 million residents of Hispanic origin. That’s 17.8 percent of the total U.S. population.
U.S. Hispanics have $1.7 trillion
in purchasing power.
By 2060, the U.S. will have the second-largest population of Spanish speakers after Mexico. About 28.6 percent of the U.S. population — 119 million people — will be Hispanic.
(Sources: El Pais, U.S. Census Bureau, Forbes)
Based on all of that, it’s no wonder that Spanish is tied with Mandarin and French as the second-most-studied language in the world, according to El Pais. (English is #1.) It’s also no wonder that HR professionals see enormous value in business professionals learning Spanish.
It’s not just employees in Spanish-speaking countries who can benefit from Spanish language training.
Others who could use Spanish skills in their jobs include:
Professionals who work alongside Spanish-speaking colleagues, and especially those who manage Spanish speakers.
Professionals who remotely collaborate with Spanish-speaking colleagues on global teams.
Local leaders in communities with numerous Spanish speakers. (Did you know that Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York & Texas each has 1 MM or more Hispanic residents?)
Professionals who provide products or services
for a large Spanish-speaking audience.
Executives who lead companies with a presence
in Spanish-speaking countries.
HR professionals who serve a workforce
with Spanish speakers.
Most people who studied Spanish in high school or college probably don’t remember enough of what they learned to be able to use Spanish at work. And even if they do, chances are they weren’t taught the practical skills they need to do their job in Spanish. For example, they might be able to conjugate verbs but not interact with clients in everyday, conversational Spanish.
If you’re considering Spanish language training for your workforce, any classes you choose should build competency in these specific areas:
In the past year, Fluency Corp has received hundreds of calls from HR leaders (such as Mary Kay’s head of Latin America), upper management (California, Texas and Florida locations of American Airlines) and CEOs and VPs (7-Eleven, Ferrovial, OSG USA, Samsung). They understand the necessity of being able to connect with those who work with them. They are all learning Spanish in order to connect with their employees and show respect for them.
Even fluent Spanish speakers making presentations may still benefit from accent reduction training. Researchers have found that listeners have trouble understanding speakers with unfamiliar accents and remembering the information they hear from them.
Meetings can be a challenge even for those who have some knowledge of Spanish. Most high school and college Spanish classes don’t prepare for students for native speakers talking rapidly and talking over each other. Beyond language, there are also cultural differences in communication. The best classes on Spanish for business won’t just teach vocabulary. They’ll also help students understand the business customs and etiquette of Spanish-speaking colleagues.
You have lots of options for building your workforce’s Spanish skills. But based on our years of experience with language training at Fluency Corp, we can tell you that one method consistently gets the best results: studying with an instructor who’s a native speaker and focusing on listening and speaking. For your company’s language learners, nothing beats lots of conversational practice with someone who can show them how the language is really spoken. No matter how much they study textbooks, listen to recordings or work with software programs, they won’t get the practical know-how that a native speaker can impart. If in-person sessions are not an option, it’s still effective to work online with a native speaker.
You should also look for language training that’s suited to your employees’ needs. Since they want to learn Spanish for business communication, their instructor should have experience with teaching Spanish as it’s used in business contexts.
Becoming fluent in Spanish for business doesn’t happen after only a lesson or two. It takes consistent, steady work. But your employees will have lots of progress to celebrate along the way. Each time they meet with their instructor, they’ll gain skills that help them connect with Spanish-speaking colleagues or customers. And all of that adds up.
To speed up their path to fluency, your company’s language learners can do a couple of things:
Find ways to get additional Spanish conversation practice outside of sessions with their instructor. This could mean finding a work buddy who’s a native Spanish speaker or finding meet-ups or events where they can connect with Spanish speakers. Fluency Corp always gives challenging homework like going out to a cultural event or asking a native speaker to lunch.
Immerse themselves in culture. For example, let’s say one of your executives is relocating from the U.S. to Mexico and wants to improve her Spanish skills before she moves. To supplement her Spanish language training, her Fluency Corp instructor would help her explore magazines, music and television shows from Mexico. Research shows that if you’re enjoying the learning, then you’ll remember it. A positive experience leads to motivation and excitement to learn.
As Spanish becomes more widespread in the U.S. and continues its prominence as a global language, Spanish training for your employees will position your company well for ongoing success. At Fluency Corp, we provide in-person Spanish language training and accent reduction classes at your workplace, for both individuals and small groups. We also offer online Spanish classes. All of our Spanish language programs are taught by native speakers and are customized to your company’s needs. To learn more, contact us today to set up a free consultation!
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