While it is an undisputed fact that adults possess an uncanny wisdom and intellect forged by a lifetime of experiences, they can still learn a few things from young people. On Thursday, October 9, a pair of Latino teens lent credibility to this claim as they assisted a group of adult students in a Spanish workshop at the Milton Public Library.
As the top three students in their class, Cathy Cohee, Thomas Arkinson and Rose Harmon were tabbed to engage in a language immersion excerise designed to strengthen their grasp of Spanish. The participants were joined by Nayeli Pé´re´z and Carlos Feliciano who took time out from their schoolwrok to volunteer for the session. The teens understand the importance of bilingual education because they currently receive ESL instruction to help them master the English language as they adjust to life in this country. Peréz is from Guatemala and Feliciano hails from Puerto Rico. Both relished the opportunity to serve as “teachers”.
Likewise, the common theme of learning a new imjmediately connected the adults with teens. “I am impressed with anyone who can speak two languages and I want to do it too,” said Cohee. “I’ve been taking Spanish classes for two years. I just always wanted to be bilingual.”
Cohee is not alone in her interest in SPanish. An increase in the demands for SPanish courses has occured throughout the nation. The digital revolution, economic expansion, and immigration have caused more Americans to see themselves as members of a global society. The ability to communicate in more than one language is a valuable asset in the current climate.
Trade and other business ventures between the U.S. and partners in Hispanic nations also increase the need for bilingual expertise. According to recent statistics the United States ranks third among nations with Spanish speaking populations trailing only Mexico and Colombia. An incredible 10 percent of the world’s 400 million Spanish speakers reside in the U.S.