Spain Increases English Lessons to Decrease Unemployment
Spain currently has an unemployment rate of about 20%, which is twice as high as the European average. According to the New York Times, more and more Spaniards are searching for employment opportunities abroad. Unfortunately, many are experiencing difficulties due to poor foreign language skills, specifically their lack of knowledge of basic English. Many adults are returning to school to learn or improve their English or another foreign language.
While the current job seekers are having a hard time because of language barriers outside of Spain, education reforms are being made to ensure that future generations will not encounter such troubles. A third of Madrid’s primary schools are bilingual, and by 2015 they are hoping at least half of the schools will be teaching more languages. In addition, more and more schools have begun employing English speaking teachers.
Spain has a long way to go because in addition to struggling with vocabulary and pronunciation, even the campaign has poor grammar. The campaign to promote bilingual education boasts the slogan “Yes, we want!”. Richard Vaughan, owner of Vaughn Systems, an English teaching company, estimates that less than five percent of graduates of engineering, law or business have even a working knowledge of English.
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