Spain is a very funny country. It is by far one of the countries in the world which spends more money regarding languages, and it is by far the last country speaking a foreign language. What’s wrong with Spain?
I wrote an article about the English and languages, and it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t write one about the Spanish people and languages. Because Spain’s situation with languages is probably the worst of the world.
Every Spaniard wants a solution quick and easy, and everyone understands the importance of speaking a foreign language in a tourist country like sunny Spain, but everyone thinks it should be different, easier, better, quicker, cheaper…
Things are what they are
As what I explained about the Britons, having had an overseas empire which forced others to learn the Emperor’s language never helps. All the countries in the world which have had an empire are bad learners of foreign languages.
Spain is not difference. We deny our past, our glorious past when we spoke several languages altogether in Al-Andalus. We deny that in Spain the first school of translation was created in Salamanca, and we deny everything because we discovered America by chance.
Christopher Columbus, who is also claimed by the italians nowadays, was not a fair guy really. Even though he was one of the best explorers in history, he went on the policy of the Spanish Catholic Monarchs to impose a religion and a language.
Don’t impose, open your mind
And Cristian Spain learnt to stop the different. “La Inquisición” did it best to kill the infidel, and the ignorance did it best to stop learning.
And after that, we’ve spent the last four centuries pretending we were better than the rest, and history has put us in our place. However; we’re still to selfish and proud to accept it.
The only pedagogical study ever made in Spain was that of teaching Latin to scholars. The way a dead language is taught has nothing to do with the pedagogy of a living language which must be spoken.
After all the efforts, the Government, teachers and society in general led the same pedagogical method used for latin to be used in teaching French and English at schools.
And I am proud to say that from Primary to High School, a spanish students studies a language for thirteen years. After 13 years they cannot speak in that language. They have a certain knowledge, they understand written form, they get some words… but they cannot speak.
Sad, very sad really…