As Texas's population grows, the number of people who primarily speak Spanish is growing, too.
And so, one East Texas city has been offering adult Spanish classes for people who want to learn to communicate in the language better.
The city of Tyler is offering their second summer session of Conversational Spanish 101 starting Tuesday night, and they say it's a course that more people are becoming interested in for a variety of reasons.
Glass Recreation Center Supervisor Ann Santana says it's important for people to learn Spanish because 55 percent of the Texas population is now Spanish-speaking.
"I guess Nelson Mandela put it the best. He said, 'If you speak to a man in a language he understands, it goes to his head. But if you speak to a man in his own language, it goes to his heart,' Santana said. "So we're able to be more in touch with people, because communication is the biggest key to so many things."
And city officials say it's that need to communicate that's driving people to the class.
"Our conversational Spanish 101 seems to be a popular thing, especially with our Hispanic community growing larger and it will increase. It helps business folks learn how to converse with their customers. And also, if you're going to travel and just wanted to learn to be bilingual," said Debbie Isham, Special Events and Recreation Manager for the City of Tyler. "People are feeling like they have a little bit better grasp of the Spanish language and they would be able to just go out and start a conversation with Spanish."
And Santana says there are multiple benefits to attending the class.
"A lot of them that come are wanting to be able to be more well-versed in their business, so they're able to communicate with people when they do come in. And I feel like a lot of them too, I have a lot of seniors that take the class, because that also has been proven to prevent the early onset of dementia, if they're trying to learn a new language," she said.
The class starts Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at the Glass Recreation Center in North Tyler. It's a one-hour class held on Tuesday nights, and it costs $35 for the four weeks.
If you'd like to register for the class, there's still time to do so. Call the Glass Recreation Center staff today at 903-595-7271.
Monday, September 1 2014 2:00 AM EDT2014-09-01 06:00:48 GMT
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