Mi casa es su casa

stock-photo-hispanic-couple-outside-home-with-sold-signThe American Dream, a key piece of which is home ownership, is flourishing in Latinx communities all across the nation. By every economic measure, buying power on the part of Spanish-speaking Americans is skyrocketing to the tune of over $2 trillion. One of the most important areas where that buying power is manifesting itself is in home ownership. Over 6 million new homes will be purchased by Latinx consumers within the next few years. As a prominent executive with the National Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) put it, “With a growing Hispanic population and the highest rate of workforce participation, Hispanics are expected to drive growth in the housing market for decades”. While this is certainly good news for the real estate business, it also presents a series of challenges that will need to be met in terms of adapting to a Spanish-speaking customer base.

NAHREP says the first step would be “to address the incredible shortage of Spanish-language speaking, culturally competent real estate agents (7%) and mortgage professionals (4%)”. The lack of bilingual professionals in this key area- is a drag on the market. Many Latinx homebuyers express preferences for agents who can explain complicated transactions in a readily understandable format. Also, cultural sensitivity is important in terms of introducing upwardly mobile people into neighborhoods that might not reflect their ethnic identities and helping people select areas where they would feel at home. As one homebuyer put it, “The (Spanish-speaking) agent was able to tell us if we would feel comfortable around the neighborhood.”

Given the economic projections for the future, improved language skills and cultural sensibilities will play important roles in the world of real estate for some time to come. There will be an increased need for multilingual professionals in both real estate and financial services. These will create ripple effects in the banking and insurance sectors as well. Local government officials and educators will need to respond as demographic changes alter the social landscape of communities. The need for people certified in Spanish has never been greater and will only continue to grow as the future of our country unfolds.
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Since 1992, Language Testing International (LTI) a Samsung Company, and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), have been offering valid and reliable reading, writing, speaking, and listening tests in more than 120 languages, in more than 60 countries.

LTI administers language assessments to hundreds of thousands of candidates every year and is one of the largest and most respected foreign language proficiency test providers in the world. We offer the highest level of client service as well as convenient online test scheduling and reporting over secure client networks.

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Lisa March is a bilingual Marketing and Sales Executive. She works closely with LTI on strategic partnerships, business development and marketing. Her efforts help LTI scale the use and implementation of language assessments in schools, institutions, corporations and government agencies.

Latest Anti-Discrimination Rules: Language Assistance for Non-English Speakers

On May 18, 2016, United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published its final rules implementing new anti-discrimination rules for Non-English Speakers within provisions of the Affordable Care Act § 1557. This is the first of several alerts discussing aspects of the new rule.  The alert focuses on those provisions requiring language assistance for persons with limited English proficiency; future alerts will cover rules related to sex discrimination and persons with disabilities. The new language assistance rules build on but extend beyond HHS’s 2003 Guidance Regarding Limited English Proficient Persons.
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Lisa March is a bilingual Marketing and Sales Executive. She works closely with LTI on strategic partnerships, business development and marketing. Her efforts help LTI scale the use and implementation of language assessments in schools, institutions, corporations and government agencies.

ACTFL Establishes Center for Assessment, Research & Development

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) announces the establishment of the ACTFL Center for Assessment, Research and Development. The ACTFL Board of Directors approved the proposal for the Center during its May 13-15 annual meeting.

The mission of the Center is to support PK-12 schools and institutions of higher education in areas of assessment and articulation; to develop and maintain high-quality language proficiency assessments; to train, certify and maintain highly reliable testers and raters; to conduct research on proficiency and performance outcomes; and to collaborate with other language organizations and government agencies to support and promote research in the areas of high quality language teaching and learning, including examining implications for teacher education.
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Lisa March is a bilingual Marketing and Sales Executive. She works closely with LTI on strategic partnerships, business development and marketing. Her efforts help LTI scale the use and implementation of language assessments in schools, institutions, corporations and government agencies.

The English Dialect: An Adverse Effect On Global Business Success

Languages evolve, that’s nothing new. However, the English language has its own subset of terminology that native English speakers have adopted and put into use practically on every level – when speaking casually and in business settings. It’s becoming increasingly more difficult for people abroad to understand the “real” English. A Spanish student in Denmark remarked to another researcher: “Now it’s more difficult for me to understand the real English.”

This “real English” – which dizzyingly encompasses the whole range of dialects from Liverpool in England, to Wellington in New Zealand, via Johannesburg in South Africa, and Memphis in the US – is only the start of the problem of understanding what is trying to be communicated.
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Lisa March is a bilingual Marketing and Sales Executive. She works closely with LTI on strategic partnerships, business development and marketing. Her efforts help LTI scale the use and implementation of language assessments in schools, institutions, corporations and government agencies.