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Word Count: 598
As we approach the 21st century and as the idea of a global village is fast becoming a reality it is vital that we enlarge our worldview and reach an understanding of and appreciation for the cultures of the other peoples who share the planet with us As cultural beings we are raised with an certain way of giving order to the world around us Very soon these cultural filters which allow us to make sense of reality and shape it become fixed invisible and unconscious they are part of our worldview which - as unique as we might think it is - rests on the shared values of a particular linguistic community This network of basic assumptions which affects everything in our life love family friendship child rearing work sense of community and of our place within it view of nature sense of self etc is never put into question until it is brought to our awareness by the clash with another system different from our own Language which is the bearer of culture par excellence opens the door to the world of the other and gives us the means to apprehend other ways of viewing our common world and our common humanity Why study Spanish Beyond the argument just made for the truly cosmopolitan view there are for the US citizen compelling internal and external reasons First one has to consider the rise of the Hispanic community within our midst The US Census Bureau shows that the Latinos residing in the United States total about 27 million people and make up almost 10 of the population Projections indicate that by the year 2050 almost half of the US population could be Spanish speaking This fact has strong implications for employment not only in the Southern belt from Florida to California but also in all major cities
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