THE Balearics has the fifth worst level of English in Spain, that, to be honest is a disgrace. But, looking at the national picture, what is even more shocking is that regions which faired just as badly include Valencia, Andalusia, Murcia and the Canary Islands - some of the country’s tourism power houses.

While to the contrary, those regions far less dependent on foreign visitors such as the Basque Country, Castilla y León, Galicia, Aragón and Asturias, most of them in Northern Spain, passed with flying colours - work that one out. What is even more interesting is that Catalonia came out second best and this is a region obsessed with everyone speaking Catalan.

However, as I discovered some years ago when the Catalan argument was raging here in the Balearics and the Balearic teaching training college needed English nationals to take “speaking” sessions, the Catalan government pays for English language teachers to go on two-year training courses to the UK to learn the necessary skills - the Balearic government, equally obsessed with teaching Catalan when the left wingers are in the house are in the house, does not.

But, while government policy may be to blame, how on earth can a region so highly dependent on non Spanish speaking tourists, and to a certain extent residents, perform so poorly in the English language rankings. Is it poor government, laziness or ignorance?

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