Posts tagged 09/04/2011
Speaking in Tongues

The Americans, the French, and the English, are criticized regularly for their overall mastery of foreign languages.  The very low level of mastery, that is.  There is plenty of self-criticism around this failing, as well.  It is indeed likely that if you consider the educational resources of these countries (compared to the poorer countries of southern Europe, for instance) and correct for size of country, the expected level of second language acquisition is low.  But I have not seen any data.  Regardless, each country has its own explanation for this presumed fact.  They range from the biological through the geographical to the ideological.

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