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Martes, 2 de septiembre de 2008 - 11:07 GMT
Británicos no aprenden otros idiomas
Estudiantes en clase (Foto: Archivos/ BBC)
Los jóvenes británicos sueñan en trabajar en el extranjero, pero no les interesa aprender otro idioma.

Young Britons shy away from learning languages

Two out of three teenagers in Britain are keen to work abroad but most of them don't speak foreign languages. Government figures show that 58% of 11-18 year olds in the UK have no foreign language skills, and this has a negative effect on the economy.

Tom Burridge reports:

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Fact or fiction? Most British people are lazy when it comes to learning a foreign language.

VOX POPS: - Fact. - Why do you say that? - 'Cos we don't need to. 'Cos everybody else speaks English. - Fact. Foreigners make it too easy for you because they speak English when you're abroad.

Those views on the streets of London are backed up by figures out this week. The British Government found that 58 percent of 11-18 year olds in the UK do NOT speak a second language. However two thirds of teenagers in Britain want to work abroad when they're older - the countries of choice being Italy, Spain, France or China. The British Government admits there is a problem - that not enough young people continue learning a second language when they leave school. Teresa Tinley from the country's national centre of languages says it has big implications for the economy:

TERESA TINLEY: We are in a competitive global market and we need to be able to speak to our customers and our potential customers. Our trade is very much geared towards English-speaking countries. Our research shows that our exports are suffering.

The research is seen as further evidence that most young people assume they can get by in a foreign country by speaking English - something the authorities in London want to change.

Tom Burridge, BBC

 Listen to the words

fiction
ficción o invención

backed up
(estas opiniones están) respaldadas o comfirmadas

out
(las cifras) presentadas o ofrecidas

admits
(el gobierno) reconoce o admite (el problema)

big implications
grandes repercusiones o consecuencias

potential customers
clientes potenciales

geared towards
(nuestro comercio) está dirigido hacia (países de habla inglesa)

further evidence
aún más evidencia

assume
(los jóvenes) suponen o asumen

get by
(los jóvenes suponen que) se las pueden arreglar (hablando inglés)



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