Only 7% of Colombians graduate high school with a basic or higher level of English, according to a new study.
According to a report by Andres Sanchez of Colombia’s central bank 93% of high school graduates speak no English, 5% speak basic English, 2% have an intermediate level and just 1% have advanced.
Sanchez found that the students who performed best in terms of languages attend bilingual schools especially on the Caribbean Coast and in the capital Bogota and have a calender B timetable, which means their long vacation is during July and August.
The report writer also said that one of the main causes of the poor standard of English among Colombian students is the lack of teachers in this subject area.
Caracol Radio reported that the president of Padres de Familia parents association Carlos Ballesteros blamed universities for not adequately preparing teachers of English and said that the curriculum should be revised to better prepare future teachers.
Ballesteros also said that the majority of calender B schools, are schools located in the higher income levels — strata five and six — so obviously these parents have the economic capacity to prepare their children in a bilingual environment, giving them an advantage in the competitive world.