Welcome learners to Spanish 1, your aid in learning the Spanish language. This course is designed for English speakers. Knowing Spanish will help you succeed and aid you when visiting a Spanish-speaking country or learning another Romance language, such as French, Italian, or Portuguese. Today, 21 countries in Latin America, Europe (Spain) and Africa (Equatorial Guinea) use Spanish as their official language; and in the United States it is offered as a foreign language course in nearly all high schools and, with a growing Hispanic minority, is rapidly gaining ground as a potential second language. Over 500 million people speak Spanish worldwide, and Spanish is an easy language to learn for fluent speakers of English or a Romance language. The Spanish-speaking countries have rich cultures, especially in literature, food, music, and the arts. Throughout this course, you will find fact sections that contain facts about Spanish-speaking countries and their cultures. Our forum is a place where you can receive feedback and ask questions about Spanish.