Learning Spanish is good for business
Arizona Republic
Aug 7, 2008

Arizona Republic, The (Phoenix, AZ) - August 7, 2008

Author: Alex Bloom, The Arizona Republic

Valley business professionals can now learn a vital moneymaking tool: Spanish .

That is the message of Scottsdale's Arizona Language Center, which offers Spanish and 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 insurance industry.

"Business owners will be our students and they will be able to learn the Spanish terminology and Spanish 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 Spanish - speaking market is growing, feeding the need for Spanish speakers.

"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," she said.

The school has three instructors, all have either a master's or a doctorate in their languages.

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 enjoys doing.

"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 Spanish ."

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

(602) 235-0620


Berlitz Language Center

3333 E. Camelback Road, Suite 160, Phoenix

(602) 468-9494



301 E. Bethany Home Road, Suite C-275, Phoenix

(602) 274-4441


Le Tutor Language Services

1855 E. Guadalupe Road, Suite a-104, Tempe

(480) 626-5180


Sherman Group Inc.

8837 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

(602) 216-2022


Spanish Forum Language Institute of Scottsdale

7345 E. Evans Road, Suite 24, Scottsdale

(480) 596-0366



401 W. Baseline Road, Suite 101, Tempe

(480) 839-4811


The Arizona Republic

Edition: Final Chaser
Section: Scottsdale Republic 8
Page: 14
Record Number: pho108527898