Socialists pledge to create a generation of English speakers

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If the ruling Socialists are voted back into power at the upcoming general elections, within 10 years students leaving high school will be able to speak English at an "everyday" level.

19 February 2008

MADRID - If the ruling Socialists are voted back into power at the upcoming general elections, within 10 years students leaving high school will be able to speak English at an "everyday" level. That was the promise made by Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero at a party rally in Fuenlabrada, Madrid, yesterday.

Among the package of measures announced by Zapatero on Monday was the short-term goal of teaching 15 percent of high school classes in English by the end of the next legislature - something that would require the temporary hiring of 12,000 native English teachers and 8,000 teaching assistants.

Starter courses in English for 4,000 primary school teachers would also form part of the plan, as would intensive courses to be delivered in the United Kingdom and the United States for more experienced teachers.

The prime minister also promised to make EUR 85 million available for 200,000 students to learn English abroad, making the point that this money would go to children from families "who don't have the means" to send their kids abroad during vacations.

[Copyright EL PAÍS 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

1 Comment To This Article

  • CdeRonde (M.Ed) English for ESL posted:

    on 21st February 2008, 21:27:57 - Reply

    The answer to having the Spanish learning English is simple: let´s get rid of the Spanish language dubbed series and movies and making subtitled V.O. the standard. This is the cheapest, fastest and easiest way into getting the Spanish to speak English in a short time. It also improves reading skills.

    The Dutch and Israelis are countries that don´t dub and have the highest rate of ESL (English Second Language) fluency in the world (90%)
    as well as high appreciation for the learning of third and fourth languages. Allowing our students (teenagers and adults) to experience foreigners on screen the way they really are, that is with their own voices, accents and characteristics - opens a whole new world for them and at many different levels.

    When taking Spanish students to a V.O. screening they are surprised to find that the Terminator has his own distinct voice and "Hey" they call out surprised
    : " His voice is different from Scoobydoo, Eddy Murphy and Frank Sinatra! Huh ?! " Also, it surprised them that in ´real´ foreign actors were not screeching and panting all the time when uttering their lines. ( You know this side effect of the Spanish dubbed voice).

    Most of those students now want only V.O. and I ask of you: think about it and let´s agree that we owe it to ourselves to stop any plans that want to waste tax money and EU subsidies (so much needed elsewhere) on boring extra classes for already pressured students and teachers. Do away with the multi million Euro per year money slurping language dubbing industry dumbing and bogging down an entire nation. If afraid of job loss in that sector set up a retraining program and get everybody involved into the making of fine educational programs. drs. CdeRonde (M.Ed), Spain