Before you begin working your way to foreign language fluency, it helps to understand the culture behind the language you’re learning. After all, language exists to help a group of people express their ideas and beliefs. Spain is an old country with a rich history and culture. As you begin your Spanish language program, gaining a strong grasp on this history, the values, and the etiquette will help you rapidly achieve success. In particular, Spanish speaking nations place a great deal of value on their education system, making sure that everyone in the country has access.
There are a higher number of language schools in Spain and Latin America. There are also eager students taking language classes to learn English. The desire to learn English might be fostered by the high number of tourists in Spain and Latin America each year or the trade relations that existed between Spain and Latin America and English Speaking neighbors. There are also thousands of Spaniards and Latin Americans crossing the border every year to be employed in the US. Surprisingly, only a few Latin Americans and Spaniards have mastered English. Despite the compulsory English classes that kids have to take at primary and secondary school levels, their mastery of English is still poor.
In border towns, tourist resorts, and in most major cities, there is a host of people with good command of English. In indigenous communities and rural areas, however, it might take a while for you to find someone who speaks comprehensible English.
The interest to study English is advantageous in that people who are learning the language will use a few words on you. This will give you a chance to teach them a few more words as they teach you a few Spanish words to make your life easier while there. If you are interested, there are also schools that offer Spanish lessons to expats. By sharing the language, it becomes easy for all to live harmoniously.
The education system in Spain and Latin America mirrors some bits of the American system. Kids are offered compulsory free education, which starts at “primaria,” primary school. This is for kids from six years to twelve years. The government plans to expand free education offer to touch on pre-schoolers who are three and four years.
From primaria, kids join “secundaria,” which is equivalent to junior school, from age thirteen to fifteen. Secondary schooling is obligatory. They then proceed to “preparatoria,” which is the equivalent of high school. This is where students are prepared to join colleges and universities. This level is not compulsory for the students. Granted, most students leave after this level and some even leave before this level and never get the chance to go to college.
Private and public schools follow the curriculum set by “Secretaría de Educación Pública,” which is the ministry of education in Spain. School days run from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Private schools, however, offer extra subjects and teach for longer hours. There are after school classes in private schools in a bid to better the quality of education and give parents value for their money.
There are other training institutions that those who never get to qualify for university join. Technical colleges teach handy skills to be applied out in the world. University education is no different from universities in other countries – there is research, projects, and lectures. After studying in Latin America, you can work in any part of the world.
In Spain and Latin America, given the scarcity of farming land, most people are in the corporate world. Education is, therefore, highly prized. The government offers free education for 6-year-olds to 15-year-olds. However, public education is poor and there are high rates of dropouts. The education is also stalled by the union of teachers, “Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación,” which has been dogged by corruption.
Due to the quality of studies in public schools, some parents have made it a goal to send their kids to good private schools. Private schools can be small with kids being taught in a single room and others are large and exquisite colleges where kids are dropped by chauffeurs. There are also “colegios bilingües,” bilingual schools, which teach in Spanish and in English. As an expat or Spaniard elite, these schools are there for you.
In the city, there are adult education private schools, which cater for the education needs of those who return to school late. These can be working adults or unemployed people. These colleges offer night classes, teaching basic courses in English.
For the middle and upper classes, education is seen as the key to a good life. They will, therefore, strive to ensure that their kids attend school, get a good university to do their bachelors, proceed and do masters or MBA in a recognized university, and further their studies as needed. In the past few years, the rate of enrolment in universities and colleges has increased.
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