Graduation Year

2015

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics

Second Department

Hispanic Studies

Reader 1

Kerry Odell

Reader 2

Jennifer Wood

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2015 Molly M. Robbins

Abstract

This paper uses historical and economic references to evaluate the economic value of learning English in Spain. Seeing that English is the lingua franca in politics, business, and technology, it is a necessary skill for Spanish citizens to possess in order to efficiently interact in foreign relations of all kinds. Due to Franco’s harsh language policies, and Spain’s ineffective education system, Spain has lacked the same linguistic exposure to foreign languages—especially English—than the rest of Europe. By referencing the previous literature written about the relationship between language and earnings, this paper seeks to find the economic incentive for Spaniards to learn English. The six issues introduced by language economist, Francois Grin, provide an economic, cultural, and social compass to evaluate the overall impact English language learning would have on the Spanish labor market and national economy. The six issues analyze the relevance language has on economic processes, human capital, social investments, policies, wage distribution, and the general market. With tourism as Spain’s most lucrative business sector, better skills in English communication would only add to its economic success. While the Spanish government has named English as one of the seven basic skills within the labor market, effective teaching programs still have to be developed.