A new survey by the Centre for Sociological Research (CIS), part of the Ministry of the Presidency in Spain, revealed that six out of ten Spaniards can’t write or speak English and only 10 per cent study a foreign language. Experts suggest the main causes of this problem include the education system, dubbing of films and students’ lack of confidence, 20 minutos newspaper reported.
Over 70,000 Panamanian students and teachers will have been trained in English by the end of this year thanks to the Panama Bilingual programme, ANPanama news agency reports. In January the final cohort of 1,000 teachers and students at the international teacher training Panamá Bilingüe 2017 programme were sent by the government to study for eight weeks in universities in the US, Canada, the UK and Barbados.
Medellin, Colombia’s second city (above), has launched a new bilingual programme which introduces English language to children in early childhood. Pilot project Semilla Bilingüe (bilingual seed) has been implemented in eighteen kindergartens and fifteen primary schools since January.
A report by a policy-forming group within the UK Parliament has called for mandatory Esol classes for newly arrived immigrants – but also called for a lot more money to pay for this. The UK’s cross-party All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Integration has a mission to examine ‘how government and local authorities could better support communities to manage rapid demographic change’ in times of Brexit and an alarming rise in xenophobic hate crime nationally.
Authorities in Quebec, Canada have announced investigations into two English school boards following press reports of international students scammed by their agents. Management of both the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) and the Lester B. Pearson School Board, also in Montreal, have denied any wrongdoing.
International students returning to study in the US were among those worst affected by the travel ban imposed by President Trump’s executive order in January, Melanie Butler writes. This included a 90-day ban on Iranian, Somali, Yemeni, Syrian, Sudanese, Iraqi and Libyan nationals arriving. In the picture above is one of many protests that broke out in US airports, this one at San Francisco International.
Congratulations to all those who passed their Cambridge English Language Assessment Delta modules in 2016. Under the UK Data Protection Act, Cambridge English Language Assessment can only release names of those candidates who have agreed they can do so by ticking the relevant box on the form. The Gazette can only publish the names that Cambridge provides. You can download the list as a PDF here. Results are for candidates who have signed an agreement giving Cambridge English permission to publish their names.
Key: P=pass, M=merit, D=distinction.
The Gazette editorial team’s selection of ELT news from around the world
United States: Teachers’ union New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) has appealed to the state to increase funding to support English language learners (ELLs). ELL enrolments have increased 22 per cent from 2008–9, the union reported, and while most of them are located in urban districts, numbers are on the rise in rural and suburban areas as well – 65 per cent of all New York State school districts reported having ELLs in their student body.
Education First (EF) will carry out English language tests across the state-school sector in Ecuador as a part of an agreement signed between the Ministry of Education and the multinational company in November, El Comercio reported.
Rachel Baker, an academic advisor at EF, explained that the test will be taken between December and March by 500,000 students via the internet.
Adult enrolment in language schools in Spain has gradually dropped as the employment situation has improved in the country. Most of the evidence for this comes from the EOIs – Escuelas Oficiales de Idiomas – state language schools in Spain. ‘We are like a social thermometer on matters such as unemployment,’ said the director of the state language school in Vigo, in Galicia, in the north of Spain.