Posted by Emma C. Weitzenkorn '15
As parents are selecting a bilingual future for their children, they are aware of concepts such as success in the financial work as their children grow up to be professionals as well as the cultural exchange through the knowledge of English. Similarly, young adults in their twenties who study English discussed two main themes: their goals of working for large, globalized companies that use English to communicate with internationally and the experience of learning another culture. One participant explained that he enjoys studying English for the process of expanding himself: “I think that when you learn a foreign language, you embrace a different way of thinking, a different way of analyzing.”
Additionally, teachers and parents at the nursery school and adults above the age of thirty generally expressed the frustration they experienced throughout their lives attempting to learn English, many of who still feel uncomfortable speaking English after studying the language for numerous years. As Spain is not defined solely by the language of Spanish, citizens of Madrid are expressing the desire to open their doors little by little (“poco a poco”). As one participant explained, “I’m a international people… I would like to be more open to other countries,” a sentiment repeated throughout many interviews, and they see the use of the English language is indispensable in this process.
English is prominent in the school systems of Madrid as well as on the streets through advertisements, through television and the media as well as through fashion. As the people of Madrid have come to embrace their globalized world, and with the language of English for the younger generations, identity shifts from being defined by the boarders of a country to becoming citizens of the world.