I must thank Mr. Withey over at Bacon for his teaching abilities....something I did not realize I was so affected by until yesterday. I was chatting with two of the Hispanic fifth graders during the after school program and was conjugating verbs and remembering vocabulary I haven't used in years. Somehow I immediately knew ohos were eyes and lapises was a pen, and not a pencil. Stunning as I remember only squeaking by in Spanish, while many other classmates flourished; however, I know many of them have forgotten more Spanish than I have.
So why am I writing this? Well, we all know America is quickly becoming a bilingual nation and I believe somewhere in our near future, the need to know both English and Spanish will necessitate all schools to begin teaching children Spanish as early as pre-school. I don't believe Spanish will become a national language, as it would take more than 100 years for all students coming through the school systems to become the elderly population and truly have a bilingual population, or enough so as to approve a second national language. On a personal level, I'd love to learn Spanish in its entirety, or as close to its entirety as possible. Perhaps one day I will purchase Rosetta Stone, assuming this economy does turn around. But for as long as I am unemployed or the low man on the totem pole, I risk losing my job and with fewer and fewer districts hiring, the competition will be fierce.
Yes, being bilingual could set me apart, but I took five years of Spanish and remember about 4 or 5 months worth. If I were to begin Rosetta Stone, I expect about a three or four year learning process before I can claim to be conversational, and most likely I'll never be able to claim fluent.