What is the OPI?

OPI stands for the Oral Proficiency Interview. It is a standarized oral assessment of your speaking and listening proficiency in another language. The American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) developed the test and certifies testers.

You may be required to take the test to determine your functional level of speaking Spanish. The test consists of a 20 to 30 minute interview either live or via a video chat tool like Skype or by telephone. The topic of the interview can range from many subjects but the tester is going to use your answers early in the discussion to generate topics to ask about later.

There are four mandatory phases:

  • Warm-up
  • Level checks
  • Probes
  • Wind-down

Check back here soon for tips on preparing for and taking the OPI.


Jobs in Latin America

Jobs in Latin America presentation
Date/Time: July 30 @ 4 p.m.
Location: Skype @psc-sru-connection
Speaker/Topic: Dr. Ana-Maria Caula, Professor in Slippery Rock University’s Modern Languages Department, talks about jobs in Latin America via Skype

July Conversation Mixer

July conversation mixer
Date/Time: July 25 @ 8 p.m.
Location: Ibiza Tapas & Wine Bar, 2224 E. Carson Street right next to the Mallorca Restaurant and the Birmingham Bridge on Pittsburgh’s South Side.
Topic: Differences between American Spanish and Spain Spanish

Top Companies Hiring Bilinguals

Hiring Companies

Image: Pixabay.com

Spanish is tops, along with Chinese and Arabic, on the list of most desired languages by hiring managers. Being bilingual opens up many new opportunities. Job site Monster.com just released a list of companies who hire the most bilingual workers. Have a look.

  1. Rent A Center
  2. AT&T
  3. National Vision
  4. UnitedHealth Group
  5. Aflac
  6. Trustco Bank
  7. Cathay Bank
  8. Helen Ross McNabb Center
  9. Christus Health
  10. Penske

10 Jobs that Use Spanish

jobs that require spanish

–Guest Blog–

1. Teacher

You’re probably thinking “Well, of course you need to speak Spanish to be a Spanish teacher.” You’re right. But there are other teaching jobs that require Spanish, too.

For instance, bilingual education focuses on presenting information in two languages. In the US, many bilingual schools and programs use Spanish. If you’re interested, you might want to check out the National Association for Bilingual Education’s job board. Additionally, in areas with large Hispanic populations, many ESL jobs require or prefer someone with Spanish skills.

2. Interpreter/Translator

Interpreters and translators help people who don’t speak the same language to communicate with each other. Whether the communication is spoken or in writing, they take information from one language and change it to the other.

Interpreters and translators can work in a variety of settings. Medical translator/interpreter jobs are particularly common, but there are also jobs available in government, the court system and through private translation companies. Not to mention, you can always try your hand at freelancing in your area and online.

3. Customer Service Representative

While there are plenty of customer service jobs available that don’t require Spanish, the jobs that do require Spanish often pay more due to the additional skill required. And let’s face it—who doesn’t want to get paid more?

And it only makes sense that you get paid more—after all, speaking English and Spanish means the number of customers you’re able to assist is much greater than representatives who speak only one of the languages.

Customer service representatives work in call centers or retail locations, at home in your English-speaking country and abroad in Spanish-speaking countries. Similar jobs working in tourism are also available.

4. Sales Professional

Remember that booming trade industry we discussed? Well, someone needs to negotiate those sales and purchases. This is where sales professionals come in.

International sales professionals buy and sell goods from around the world. With your Spanish skills, you’re ready to do business with Spanish-speaking countries. Companies in Spanish-speaking countries will often greatly appreciate the presence of a sales professional who can interact with their English-speaking clients, suppliers and business partners.

On a smaller scale, if you live in a community with a large Hispanic population, you’ll probably be able to find local sales jobs selling anything from cars to mattresses.

5. Medical Professional

Sure, there are plenty of jobs in the medical field that don’t require Spanish. But in areas with large Hispanic populations, Spanish is in high demand. After all, it’s much better for patients to be able to communicate directly with a doctor or nurse rather than through a translator.

Any medical profession from nursing assistant to nurse, doctor, EMT and medical receptionist may use Spanish language skills. Even if the job doesn’t require it, it can certainly help you advance in your field or make you a more desirable candidate. Additionally, since medical professionals often deal with emergency situations, speaking Spanish can literally help you save lives.

6. Law Enforcement Professional

Law enforcement is another career where communication is very important, and not being able to communicate clearly could prove fatal.

In communities with large Hispanic populations, police officers often need to know at least some Spanish so that they can better protect everyone living in these bilingual communities.

Since the US has nearly 2000 miles of border with a Spanish-speaking country, many positions with the FBI and Border Patrol also require Spanish.

7. Social Worker

Social workers work with individuals and families on very intimate levels. They’re privy to private information about sensitive situations such as abuse, mental health issues and other challenges that families face. Therefore, it’s best to communicate in the language the clients are most comfortable with. For this reason, communities with large Hispanic populations often recruit Spanish-speaking social workers.

8. Writer

Whether it’s journalism, content writing, blogging or public relations writing, the large Hispanic population in the US means there’s a large market for written materials in Spanish.

The ability to share information clearly in both Spanish and English doubles your potential market. For this reason, many employers seek writers who can write in both languages. Additionally, since some writing jobs require interviewing skills, it will help to be able to communicate with the interviewee in their primary language.

9. Administrative Assistant/Receptionist

Administrative assistants and receptionists interact with a lot of people. Some of them, of course, will not be native English speakers. Because of this, some positions may require the receptionist or administrative assistant speak Spanish. However, even if speaking Spanish is not a requirement, it’s a helpful asset that’s likely to give you the edge over other candidates applying for the position.

10. Teller/Personal Banker

Bank tellers handle the customers’ money, while personal bankers help them manage their accounts in more depth. Since money is always a sensitive issue, it helps to be able to speak about it in a language the customer will better understand.

Many teller and personal banker positions do not require Spanish, but in communities with large Hispanic populations, many positions will require Spanish, and this is likely to be a requirement more and more often.

With all these great jobs requiring Spanish, you’ll surely find something great to make dinero (money).

So practice your Spanish and get to work!

Guest blog by FluentU (http://www.fluentu.com/spanish/).

Musica in Espanol


Enrique Iglesias, singer Photo: Wikipedia Commons

The power of music in Spanish is so strong, that I couldn’t stay away from it any longer. – Enrique Iglesias

I just saw that the song “Despacito” performed by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber is now the most downloaded song in history. It must be stirring something in audiences around the world.

How about you? What song in Spanish has the power to make your heart stir?

What to do with my Spanish?

So you’ve got skills, huh? Spanish skills. That’s great. But what good is it if you can’t ever use them. You even know that Spanish can help you get a job. It might even get you a ticket to see more of the world.  Then comes the frustrating realization that you don’t know how to use your Spanish.

That’s why the Professional Spanish Club was formed; we want you to take your Spanish further and we want your Spanish to take you further, too. The PSC can help you find out how to use your Spanish even if you majored in something else, especially if you majored in something else. There’s nothing better than using your Spanish in your career that you’ve been preparing for, and there’s never been a better time to have Spanish no matter what field you are in.

Photo: pixabay.com royalty free

Whether you’ve studied or trained in the medical field, safety engineering, criminal justice, social work, or many other occupations, Spanish can give you an advantage in the job market both here in the U.S. and abroad. Join the PSC for help in figuring all of this out and for opportunities to access college-level content, participate in exclusive live events like international conversation practice with native speakers, all while building a community of like-minded lovers of Spanish.

Membership in the club is free and gives you access to so much material and support. This is not classroom Spanish or run by robots. It’s run by real people, Ph.D.’s at a real university in Pennsylvania. And it’s about using Spanish in the real world. We say it’s “Real Spanish. Real life.” We’d love you to join us today. Visit the Membership page for more information and then join the club. Bienvenidos!