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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We often see advice given to families who post on the forum about relocating to Spain that it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for children to move to Spain once they have reached secondary school age.

I saw this report today about a Portugese student who arrrived in the UK less than a year before sitting her GCSE exams:-

Portuguese student who came to England a year ago gets straight As in GCSE's - Manchester Evening News

Of course she had been learning English at school for some years before moving, but then again many British students of that age would have been learning a second language too. But would they find it so easy to switch to a new school, with subjects taught in their second language, and if not, why not?
 

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Those coming to Spain, even if they have been studying Spanish in the UK, aren't likely to have a high level of Spanish.

One summer I did some classes with a 14 year old who had just arrived, was going to go to Spanish school, & had been studying Spanish for two years in the UK, albeit only an hour a week.

His Spanish was almost non-existent, although his mum was convinced that he was almost fluent (of course). The family returned to the UK by the following Easter, so I don't know how he got on.

For the majority at that age it's nearly impossible. Especially since so many will have English TV at home & won't be exposed to much Spanish outside the school gates. For English kids, it's too easy to mentally stay in the UK.

I did meet a 16 year old Russian lad quite a few years ago. He'd only been here a year & was doing really well at Spanish school - predicted to pass with good grades. He didn't know any Spanish at all when he arrived, though his mum had been here a while & did.

I think that's the main difference.... the outside influences. If they can't speak to anyone in their native language, & have no real access to it - thay learn Spanish so much more quickly
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I have seen articles in the Spanish press before saying that British children are held back at school because they tend to speak English at home, watch British TV and socialise with other English speaking people.
 

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She did well. That is just one though any stats for the X thousands of other immigrant children?
I think it's common knowledge that immigrant children tend to do well in British schools.

Even to the extent of improving results according to Michael Gove.

Immigrant children help to improve results in UK schools, Michael Gove has said.

London in particular has benefited from diversity in its population, the former education secretary added, with high expectations from immigrant families often helping to drive up school standards.
 

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Maybe how well migrant children do has something to do with the reasons behind the move - war, persecution, political rights or mum and dad wanting more sun. Maybe it is related to the work ethic of the family - parents who prepared to work hard to keep family afloat, siblings studying in evenings and at weekends to get good results, or the main objective being going to the pub/ bar as many nights a week as possible...???
 

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Maybe how well migrant children do has something to do with the reasons behind the move - war, persecution, political rights or mum and dad wanting more sun. Maybe it is related to the work ethic of the family - parents who prepared to work hard to keep family afloat, siblings studying in evenings and at weekends to get good results, or the main objective being going to the pub/ bar as many nights a week as possible...???
A little harsh, but you're probably right ...

My adult English class includes several parents who are doing it because they want to help their children with their English homework (all four schools in our town are now bilingual).
 

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The video below is now over 5 years old but I still think it has relevance both in learning a language and in achievement in general

 

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A little harsh, but you're probably right ...

My adult English class includes several parents who are doing it because they want to help their children with their English homework (all four schools in our town are now bilingual).
That maybe so but overall Spain's language skills are not rated so good. The worse are probably USA, UK. Canada etc. Most English speaking nations do not feel the need to learn another language. Let us not forget that due to colonialism many African nations are bilingual.

We only have a snapshot of one child, it is possible that one or more British children have done equally well in Spain. Spanish media tend not to do as many of these type of stories. We shall never know.
http://www.elmundo.es/sociedad/2017/01/12/5877581fe2704e79538b4666.html
 

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Globally, people who only speak one language are a minority (40%). These are mainly found in English-speaking countries. 43% of the world's population speak two languages, and 13% three or more.

The quality of English teaching in Spanish state and church schools is pretty poor from what I've seen,with out of date books and too much emphasis on grammar rather than comprehension, but things are improving. Lots of kids are paying to get B1 certificates after they leave; even though they studied it in school it's not good enough to get a job.
 

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Globally, people who only speak one language are a minority (40%). These are mainly found in English-speaking countries. 43% of the world's population speak two languages, and 13% three or more.

The quality of English teaching in Spanish state and church schools is pretty poor from what I've seen,with out of date books and too much emphasis on grammar rather than comprehension, but things are improving. Lots of kids are paying to get B1 certificates after they leave; even though they studied it in school it's not good enough to get a job.
Yes, the teaching in schools generally is poor, but as you say is improving.
I examine for KET, PET and First Certificate, a lot of it being in schools (so they are being trained for these exams by their school teachers and this is in both state and private education) and I rarely have to fail anybody, so a lot of children are leaving school with a world recognised qualification. Some children even do the Cambridge Advanced before leaving school and that's the one employers are usually on the look out for currently.
Unfortunately though, getting an exam qualification doesn't mean that you handle the language well: it usually means you have been taught how to pass the exam.:)
 
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