If you're thinking about studying Spanish at A-Level, then you need to read this post. We outline all the benefits you'll gain from studying the second most widely-spoken language in the world, including the skills you'll learn, gap year opportunities, and business benefits.
If you have a talent for languages, then you might want to think about studying Spanish at A-Level. Spanish is the second most widely-spoken language in the world with over 400 million speakers. It’s also one of the most spoken languages in Europe. Being able to speak Spanish can provide you with numerous academic and career opportunities.
Learn About Spanish Culture
Learning Spanish will provide you with the opportunity to work and travel in Europe, Central and South America, and other Spanish-speaking countries. Through learning the language, you will be able to access the Spanish and Latin American cultures, which are rich in areas such as dance and literature.
Gap Year and Travel Opportunities with Spanish
If you plan to continue studying Spanish beyond A-Level, being able to speak the language will give you the opportunity to take a gap year in any Spanish- speaking country across the world. You could also consider working abroad before starting university, for example as a holiday representative in Spain, or even a volunteer in South America. The knowledge and cultural understanding you’ll get from studying Spanish at A-Level will definitely come in handy in these instances.
Business Advantages of the Spanish Language
Language skills alone are already an advantage in potential employers’ eyes, but Spanish even more so, as it’s so widely spoken. Many British and American companies conduct business in Spanish-speaking countries, and with over 30 million Spanish speakers in the US alone, it’s a great skill to have if you’re looking to work abroad.
South America is a huge agricultural producer, producing a large quantity of the world’s coffee, sugarcane and bananas. Being able to speak Spanish could open up opportunities to work for global export companies. Similarly, in Spain, the manufacturing and textile industries are strong, providing further opportunities.
Academic Benefits of Studying Spanish
Being able to speak Spanish not only enables you to communicate with the 400 million other speakers worldwide, but it will bring other academic benefits as well. Given its rich artistic and literary history, studying Spanish at A-Level will enhance any further study you do in arts-based subjects such as Art History. Moreover, Spanish is the third most commonly used language on the Internet.
What Skills Will I Get From Studying A-Level Spanish?
As with learning any language, there are four key skills that you will gain with A-Level Spanish:
Speaking – The ability to speak Spanish will allow you to communicate with over 400 million people across the world, opening you to many different audiences.
Listening - Spanish listening skills will enable you to understand Spanish speakers as you’ll be able to pick up on the different subtleties of the language. You’ll also be able to watch Spanish films and TV shows, and listen to podcasts.
Reading – By learning Spanish at A-Level, you’ll be able to read Spanish books in their original format, as well as magazines, newspapers and online news sites. You’ll also be able to interpret road signs, alerts and notices.
Writing – With your A-Level knowledge, you’ll have the ability to write in many different styles, i.e. in emails, texts or essay format, and even write articles or blog posts.
Which Other Subjects Go With Spanish?
As a modern foreign language, Spanish pairs well with all other European languages, be it French, German, or English. If you’re looking to make a career out of languages, then it’s a wise idea to consider studying Spanish with two other languages at A-Level.
Spanish also pairs well with arts-based subjects such as Art History or literature, given that both Spain and Latin America have rich histories in both areas. You could also consider studying History with Spanish, as you will be learning about Spanish history as part of your A-Level course.
Which Careers Use Spanish?
The ability to speak a second language, even if only to A-Level, has huge advantages in the job market. You’ll find that you can use your Spanish skills in many unrelated fields. However, if you’re looking to actively use the language in your career, then here are some professions that may be of interest:
Spanish Teacher or Tutor
If you’re looking to share your knowledge with others, and want to work with young people, then becoming a spanish tutor or teacher could be a rewarding career for you. In order to do this, you’ll need both a Spanish Degree, and a postgraduate teaching qualification.
If your Spanish skills develop to the point where you can be considered bilingual, then becoming a Spanish translator could be a good match career-wise. As a translator, you’ll typically be self-employed and working on a contracted basis for various different companies. You can also specialise in different fields, such as medical or legal translation.
Travel and Tourism
If you’re looking to travel as part of your career, then A-Level Spanish will provide you with a number of opportunities in the travel and tourism sector. For example you could work as a holiday representative, travel agent or airline crew, as these careers look highly upon applicants who can speak more than one language.
Due to the growth of the internet, businesses of all sizes are able to sell their products and services to customers across the globe. There are a number of marketing and PR jobs that are looking for applicants with language skills, and with Spanish being the world’s second largest language, your Spanish-speaking skills will be beneficial for any job in these sectors.
Your A-Level knowledge could help you land a job in a number of international marketing and PR companies.
Still unsure whether you should study A-Level Spanish? Check out these 9 reasons to study Spanish by Lindsay Does Languages: