I was reading one of the local daily newspapers which are given away free in Barcelona yesterday and one headline caught my eye; it said “Barcelona doesn’t speak English”. The article was talking about the low level of English spoken in Barcelona and Catalonia and went on to say that as much as 70% of the population in the Catalan capital didn’t speak it.
British consultants Cushman & Wakefield consider Barcelona to be the city in Europe with the most quality for living in but regarding setting up a business here Barcelona is relegated to fourth position behind London, Paris and Frankfurt but is ahead of Madrid which occupies seventh on the list as prime business locations.
It seems that the low level of English is not confined to just Barcelona and Catalonia but Spain in general. According to the Euro-barometer, Spain lies just fourth from the bottom of the list with only The Czech Republic, Hungary and Bulgaria bringing up the tail end.
Ramón Aspa, director of the Executive language Center of the prestigious business school ESADE in Barcelona said: “We shouldn’t be proud of ourselves, the level of English in Spain is lamentable”.
Hope now rests on the shoulders of Spain’s younger generation. The best level of English is generally appreciated within the ages of 16-24. Aspa also notes: “We’ve experienced a boom in the past two years regarding English teaching, the tendency seems to be changing”.