Se habla español? Community center will host Spanish I class

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Khalida Sarwari, MercuryNews.com The Campbell Reporter July 23, 2012

The Spanish language is spoken by nearly 500 million people in about 20 countries worldwide. In California, it is second only to English as the most commonly spoken language.

"In California, salsa sales are higher than ketchup and tortilla sales are higher than bread," said Monica Rivas, chair of the foreign language department at Mission College. "It's one of the three most important languages to learn today besides Mandarin Chinese and English."

Mission College will offer an adult Spanish class in Campbell for people who want to learn the language or improve their fluency.

The Spanish I class will be offered starting Aug. 27 at the Campbell Community Center. The course is especially beneficial for those who travel and want to have a grasp of the basics of the language, as well as students and professionals.

"You could not only communicate with more people at your workplace, but many employers pay you more if you can speak another language, and especially Spanish in California," said Rivas.

Students will learn basic communication in Spanish, including listening, speaking, reading and writing. The focus of the class will be greetings and the present and future tenses. There will also be an overview of Hispanic culture and civilization.

Interest in the class stemmed from a customer service assessment conducted earlier this year within the communities of Santa Clara, San Jose, Campbell, Saratoga and Los Gatos, according to the college. The assessment revealed a desire for such a class in Campbell.

"It's the first time that we've offered it at the Campbell Community Center," Rivas said. "They're trying to test it out and see if there's an interest to serve that group that lies between Santa Clara and Saratoga so the people of Campbell don't have to drive all the way to Saratoga or Santa Clara." If there is ample interest, a Spanish II class will be offered next year, Rivas said.

The class starts Aug. 27 at 6 p.m. at the Community Center on W. Campbell Avenue. The 2½-hour class will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays through Dec. 12 and will be taught by Ana Tolentino, a seasoned instructor from El Salvador with experience teaching Spanish at all levels. The cost is $230.

The class is five units and is transferable to any UC and CSU. High school students can also get credit with instructor approval.


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Peter Anning
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