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Only one in 10 Spaniards studies English, and just four in 10 speak it, survey shows
11 January 2017 @ 12:45

SIX in 10 Spaniards do not speak or understand enough English to be able to hold a basic conversation and cannot read or write it, according to the Social Research Centre (CIS).

And 70% of companies believe their staff 's levels of English are not enough to be able to deal with foreign clients, the national Chamber of Commerce reveals.

Professor Ainderias Fitzgerald, an Irish teacher who trains tutors at the Vaughan Centre in Spain, says much of the problem is that many of those who try to learn English are afraid of 'looking stupid'.

“Teachers need to understand that the battle is not just that of learning the language in itself, but being daring enough to speak it in public,” Fitzgerald explains.

“Practical and oral classes should take precedence – in Spanish schools, too much theory and grammar is taught, whereas if you go to school in Sweden, there are hardly any books; it's nearly all spoken.”

Many parents do not want their children to learn their English in the same way as they did, Fitzgerald reveals.

Madrid-born Paula Grau, 38, says: “I studied lots of grammar – we didn't do any speaking – and there wasn't much emphasis on language-learning. It was just another school subject.

“Nowadays, speaking another language is not just an advantage when you're looking for a job, but a necessity.” 

Read more at thinkSPAIN.com



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4 Comments


roberto123 said:
11 January 2017 @ 14:28

Paula is right, grammar is all well and good but its talking that really counts for us who just want to communicate; plus a good deal of sign language.


marcbernard said:
11 January 2017 @ 17:13

My first thought is:- how many English people living in England can speak anything other than (moderate) English then? I suspect the answer is lower somewhat than 40%.


briando55 said:
12 January 2017 @ 09:09

Marcbernard. Should that be somewhat lower?


robert.ellis0905 said:
17 January 2017 @ 01:00

Only one in 10 Spaniards studies English, and just four in 10 speak it, survey shows
And about 1 in 1000 English speak a foreign language.


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