Learning Spanish is good for business
Aug 7, 2008
Republic, The (Phoenix, AZ)
- August 7, 2008
Bloom, The Arizona Republic
professionals can now learn a vital moneymaking tool:
That is the message of Scottsdale's Arizona Language Center, which offers
other language classes to adults.
"It's so important these days to be able to talk to somebody in their own
language," said Vickie Kerr, founder and owner of the Arizona Language Center.
The downtown Scottsdale center, which opened in June, is one of many language
schools in the Valley. But its goal is to offer industry-specific learning
opportunities in Spanish
. Kerr said the center is preparing a booklet of vocabulary specifically for the
"Business owners will be our students and they will be able to learn the
phrases that they will need for their job," Kerr said.
Kerr said she is not concerned with competition from other local professional
language schools because the
speaking market is
growing, feeding the need for
"It's a growing market and that market used to not be able to get services in
any other languages except English and now it's becoming important and they're
looking for businesses that service their language even if they're bilingual,"
The school has three instructors, all have either a master's or a doctorate in
ASU prof teaches at center
Marivel Danielson, a Scottsdale resident, teaches
Spanish at the
center. She is a professor of Chicano studies at Arizona State University and
has a doctorate in romance languages and literature. Danielson said she heard
about the school through a Craigslist.org post.
Danielson does not teach language at Arizona State but said it is something she
"I have taught it in the past and just came in and was very excited to be a part
of this beginning startup language school," she said.
Kerr said the Arizona Language Center also has an English as a second language
professor and one that teaches Mandarin.
She said there are many programs available. The center offers 12 levels, which
each have 12 hours of instruction. Each level of
Spanish costs $192,
while the English levels cost $145. Mandarin classes will start next month.
Additionally, Kerr said the center tries to be flexible with clients. Business
owners can take classes at the center's Scottsdale location, or set up on-site
classes with professors visiting the business to teach levels in just a few
days. Most of the students are not beginners, Kerr said.
"We're finding that a lot of people have had
Spanish in high
school or they've studied
Spanish at some time so they're not really a beginner," Kerr
said. "It's hard to find someone in Arizona who doesn't know at least some
Danielson has been impressed by her students, who have all been eager to learn.
"There's a different motivation because it's not necessarily fulfilling a
requirement for a degree," Danielson said. "It's sort of a life goal to be able
to communicate and expand their knowledge."
A sample of Valley professional language centers
Arizona Language Center
4385 N. 75th St., Suite 101, Scottsdale
Berlitz Language Center
3333 E. Camelback Road, Suite 160, Phoenix
301 E. Bethany Home Road, Suite C-275, Phoenix
Le Tutor Language Services
1855 E. Guadalupe Road, Suite a-104, Tempe
Sherman Group Inc.
8837 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
Forum Language Institute of Scottsdale
7345 E. Evans Road, Suite 24, Scottsdale
401 W. Baseline Road, Suite 101, Tempe
The Arizona Republic
Section: Scottsdale Republic 8
Dateline: SCOTTSDALE, AZ
Record Number: pho108527898