Western Europe

A Peek Into Several European Countries

Should English be Compulsory?

By Destiny Albritton

It’s unclear as to whether or not Portugal will be made a nation with two primary languages after unsure statements from Minister of Education, Nuno Crato. In early July minister Crato declared that English would no longer be considered an elective for students in primary school. Of course, he had his fair share of opposition from parents of students and educators alike. To keep the peace though, he decided English would be made mandatory for all primary school aged children to push fluency in English at an earlier age.

photo credits to portugal.gov.

photo credits to portugal.gov.

The criticism of Minister Crato is that he appears to be going back and forth in what he thinks is best for Portuguese students as far as their language skills go. It is unclear as to what degree he believes young citizens of Portugal should be able to speak English. It was recently announced that all primary schools in Portugal should have English lessons regularly, which is a very different statement than what we we heard in July. Minister Crato claims that before, because not all students attended the English lessons, the knowledge of the language varied so much the sessions were ineffective. If  the ministry of Education takes heed to Minister Crato’s push for the English language, the increase of funds required to make it happen would make the recent budget cuts to the ministry completely irrelevant. It appears as though no concrete decisions about the importance of young Portuguese citizens learning English will be made any time soon.

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One comment on “Should English be Compulsory?

  1. juliaavery
    October 11, 2013

    I think if countries such as Portugal, that are far less powerful than the U.S. and most other English speaking countries, want to thrive in the global economy it would be very beneficial for them to learn English.

    It is a bit hypocritical because if the theory of learning a powerful nations language was beneficial, the U.S. should require to learn Chinese languages.

    I support the idea of keeping cultures traditional and unique. I do not think that English should ever come first before the native languages in these countries. However, I do think learning English could potentially help them globally.

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This entry was posted on September 28, 2013 by in Portugal.
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