PROVIDING that you can speak English or Spanish you can travel the world and be understood. Spanish is rapidly gaining ground on English in the U.S. and if you are visiting California it is almost vital that you have some knowledge of the language. But once again the British education system has decided to play with the future of young British school children. Spanish is once again off the curriculum to be replaced by Arabic or Mandarin! What a good idea. Would-be bosses are crying out for Mandarin speaking employees in Britain. While in the Balearics children will soon be taught in three languages, Spanish Castillan, Catalan and English, in Britain teachers are busy trying to find some obscure language because some-one decided that the sleeping tiger will soon awake and everyone will have to speak Mandarin Chinese. When I visited China I was told by our English-speaking guide that the Chinese had gone into over-drive to learn English. But who cares it is only education. My advice to teachers is to get the basics right and perhaps British history could be taught, vital languages such as Spanish re-introduced and perhaps a bit more sport. Spain is the place where the vast majority of British people would like to settle so unless Spaniards start learning Mandarin we are going to have the same communications problems we have at the moment.
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