A mal tiempo buena cara

A real disaster

A real disaster


I do not know how Holland and Scandinavian countries tackle the teaching of foreign languages. It is amazing how they have been able to speak English perfectly since they are very young.

One thing is obvious: In a class with thirty people, the easiest method is to explain grammar, to correct some exercises…. But a language is not alive in that way. Practising conversation must be mandatory. Of course, this is much more difficult as the groups of student have to be very small,  more teachers are necessary, therefore more resources and therefore more money. And the assessments would take longer since a written exam can be done by a thousand people at the same time, but not an oral exam, obviously.

And what about the teachers? People who have just achieved a bachelor degree in English are not fluent in spoken English. I know about this because they assure it. This is very serious, they are our teachers. The student of these type of degrees should live for a while in the foreign country related to the language they are studying. It is the only way of getting used to the language and gaining in fluency.

Another important point: The parents. Because the children do not leave the school completely educated. For example, although our children are attending a bilingual school, why do not we watch with them a DVD in the second language after school, for half an hour or an hour? This practice would help a lot in order to improve our children’s listening skills. And you know, the sooner, the better.

The problem is that, generally, the vast majority of the people are not aware of how important the knowledge of foreign languages is. Mainly because foreign languages are not useful for them in their day-to-day life and then they do not transmit that importance to their children.

I think that, in general, we are scared of living abroad because we are not skilled in foreign languages. I believe that if we were able to communicate using foreign languages we would look for chances in other countries more often.

I hope the situation in your countries is better than in Spain, my country.

4 comentarios

David -

Learning languages is more a matter of effort than of money. If you think that the way is to pay a lot for private lessons, you are so wrong (by the way, this phrasing is in the "Friends way" :-D ).

We could take advantage of lot of opportunities in our day-to-day life, but we do not want to. For example:

Instead of, read

Instead of taking part in "apedréame" (, take part in digg (

Whenever you watch a DVD, choose the original sound track.

If you want to read a book originally written in English, buy the original instead of the translated one.

Watch at least 30 minutes per day of videos in English (easily available on the Internet).

By the way, Marian, if you want to write well, I am afraid you have to write. Reading is necessary too, but not enough :-)

Marian -

Hola maja.

Me alegro de que tengas un blog, a ver si escribes más que yo en el mío, jeje

Gonzalo y yo estamos totalmente contra del doblaje, aparte cargarse totalmente las actuaciones y el sonido de las películas y series, evitan que aprendamos inglés de una vez por todas.

Besicos y feliz San Jorge.

P.D. Me da una pereza terrible escribir en inglés, pero te lleré y así practico. Es por culpa del doblaje, seguro.

Rocío -

I totally agree!!!
Here in Spain, all movies and series are dubbed, and people spend lots of money in private English teachers (the "official" ones are not fluent at all). But they could learn much more, and faster, just by watching movies and series in their original languages.
p.s.Carolina, se nota que sabes de lo que hablas.
¡¡Enhorabuena por tu blog!!!

rose -

Well, I think you have overlooked an important factor. The netherlands don't translate foreign films. They only use subtitles for cinema and TV. Kids get so accustomed very early to the english sound of language and have a high motivation to learn.