Sunday, June 07, 2009
They're certainly being offered in other places as well, but a newspaper here has a bit on free Spanish classes that have been offered recently in order to help those that have been affected by the economic downturn improve their skills in order to find employment again. Due to the economic downturn less people have the money to spend on their education and thus the school has had quite a few empty seats, so this seems to be about 50% PR and 50% public service.
Right now there are two comments below the article and the second commenter is complaining about "Americans having to learn another language to get jobs", but one would be hard-pressed to find an area of the world where knowing another language wouldn't be an asset on a résumé. Even when a job position requires no knowledge of another language, fluency in a foreign language is usually seen as a sign of intelligence. In fact, English speakers are lucky in a sense in that knowledge of a foreign language is seen in this way due to the language's predominance in the world; speakers of other languages as a mother tongue aren't so lucky as a certain amount of fluency in English doesn't really mean anything anymore in most parts of the world. It's nice to have the bar set so low.