Sure, we all know the British tend to be rubbish at foreign languages. But a new survey has shown many don’t even feel bad about it. The study by the British Council in collaboration with Populus revealed that over 45 per cent of British holidaymakers rely on the assumption ‘that everyone will speak English in the country that they’re visiting’.
And only 36 per cent reported feeling guilty about it. Some try to make themselves understood with such creative ways as speaking English with a foreign accent (15 per cent), but the majority resort to pointing at things (56 per cent).
A worrying 15 per cent of respondents confessed to eating fast food – or even British food – while on holiday in order to avoid communicating with the locals.
Thankfully, major incidents – such as the tourist who was trapped for a night in a French town hall (Hotel de Ville) which she mistook for a hotel – are fairly rare.
Politicians in British Columbia, Canada, get three cheers this month for taking a refreshingly long-sighted approach to adult education.
Canadian papers have reported that fees for adult basic education and English language courses will be scrapped.
Delivering on an election promise, the new government is axing fees on high-school level courses for adults and English as a second language programmes.
Premier John Horgan said that the government has enough money in the budget to fund the move and that further details will be released in September. This comes after a move to reinstate tuition fees on such courses in 2015 led to a 35 per cent fall in enrolments.
Who knew funding was such an important thing?