Law will get Spaniards speaking foreign languages

16th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

16 May 2006, MADRID — It is not just the British who are hopeless with foreign languages – more than half of Spaniards only speak their mother tongue

16 May 2006

MADRID — It is not just the British who are hopeless with foreign languages – more than half of Spaniards only speak their mother tongue

But a new law is about to change this, introducing English into classrooms at an earlier age.

The Organic Law of Education, passed by parliament earlier this year, will mean children aged between 3 and six will start learning a foreign language.

Later, a second foreign language may be introduced.

In regions around Spain, schools are also starting to introduce more foreign languages.

In Andalusia, 140 state schools offer bilingual education with French and German too.

In Madrid there are 80 bilingual schools.

But training and resources have been a problem in many cases.

The move comes after the Eurobarometer survey found Spain was near the bottom of table of countries in terms of ability to speak  foreign languages.

It was ahead only of Hungary, Portugal, Italy, Britain and Ireland in terms of speaking another tongue.

Indeed, a survey revealed 56 percent of Spaniards speak only their own language.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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