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In which countries english is officially the second language?


Mameha
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3 hours ago, lushlala said:

I lived in Ferrara, and I absolutely loved it. I found it to be a pretty town with very warm people. They used to make me laugh though, when they'd compliment me on my 'nice tan'.....oh yes, my natural tan LOL

On a serious note....everywhere i went, I made friends. Most people seemed friendly and welcoming, and as is usually the case, the minute I started to speak in Italian, they opened up even more. It never mattered that my Italian was nowhere near perfect. In fact, they'd express how well I was doing in the short time I'd been there. I hope to return to Ferrara one day in the future :)

I ive in Rome and actually my boyfriend live in Ferrara! It's a beautiful city where people prefer to use bicycle instead of car, in fact it's called "the city of the bicycle" :D Anyway i'm happy to know that you met nice people! And i think that maybe you are a nice person too who can be friendly with anyone :) i'm glady to hear that there are nice people around the world (in my country and others.) :laugh:

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Aww @Mameha....thanks so much, you say the kindest things! I wish we had more people like you in the world :) What a coincidence, ei? Yes, I knew that Ferrara was  referred to as 'the city of the bicycle' because people there cycle everywhere. In fact, my host family was very surprised to learn I couldn't ride a bike. The lady then tried  to teach me, but we never got anywhere because my coordination is so bad, I was rubbish! We just kept collapsing in fits of laughter, so we gave up. So I'd take the little girl to school on foot, then pick her up when she finished. Oh man, I have VERY fond memories of Ferrara.

Before we moved to Ferrara, we were out in the sticks, just outside of Ferrara in a little place called Stienta......I LOVED it, too! 

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On 12/20/2015, 11:14:11, Blaveloper said:

Unless you consider North Korea, where anything that's even distantly foreign is banned.

And I have also been invited to both LINE and Skype by Japanese people before who told me they can't speak English and needed me to explain them some online instructions in Japanese.
And this wasn't just 1 or 2 of them, it has been a whole list of people!
Something closer to both of us would be France.
Lots of people in France either only speak very basic English or no English at all.
Only an obvious minority speaks English fluently there.

This is very weird. Here in Romania, at least, everybody speaks English. I mean, you can literally find very few people who don`t at least understand the language, even if they cannot speak it, and those people are all older generations. The younger ones all speak English very well. And the same was true back when I lived in Germany and Austria. Interesting..

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Hong Kong while not really a "country" uses English as their second language. First is Chinese (mainly Cantonese, but also Mandarin) and next is English. I just visited HK and tons of people spoke English there. Road signs and train stops are also announced in Cantonese, Mandarin, and English. 

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@lushlala i've never been in Stienta actually, i don't know all the countries in Italy, especially the ones in other regions :) anyway i'm really happy that you had a good time in Ferrara!

@Chris_A so Italy is one of the few European countries where not all speak english...i mean, here only young people know a little about it, and really not all... :rolleyes:

@Miya that's interesting, i knew that a lot of Asian countries didn't know english very well...but now you tell me this! :)

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@Mameha You're right. A lot of Asian countries have poor English skills. I live in Japan and no one here speaks English. Even their "English teachers" are unable to speak English fluently. Hong Kong is a bit different though because it used to be a British colony. So a lot of parents actually communicate with their children in English. Plus they start their English education really early. They start teaching English to kids when they're in kindergarten. In Japan, kids don't start learning English (speaking only) until the 5th grade... in my opinion, that's too late and puts them at a huge disadvantage. 

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4 hours ago, Miya said:

@Mameha You're right. A lot of Asian countries have poor English skills. I live in Japan and no one here speaks English. Even their "English teachers" are unable to speak English fluently. Hong Kong is a bit different though because it used to be a British colony. So a lot of parents actually communicate with their children in English. Plus they start their English education really early. They start teaching English to kids when they're in kindergarten. In Japan, kids don't start learning English (speaking only) until the 5th grade... in my opinion, that's too late and puts them at a huge disadvantage. 

I hope that in the future things will change actually...they should teach english to younger children because the sooner a kid starts to learn, better it is!

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This is the list of countries where English is the official second language:

1. India. About 23% of India’s population speaks English and this number is growing everyday.

 

2. Nigeria. More than half of the population in Nigeria speaks English.

 

3. France. 36% of Frenchmen speak English.

 

4. Philippines. An astounding 55% of the population speaks English.

 

5. Germany. Again, an astounding 56% of the population in Germany speaks English.

 

6. Netherlands. A small country but almost 87% of its people speak English.

 

I hope this helps!

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Here in the Philippines, English is widely spoken, and majority of the people in here can speak and understand English. Almost everyone can speak the language with varying levels of fluency. English media is also a huge part of our culture. Our radio stations mostly play English songs and our tv networks mostly air English programs.

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On 1/11/2016, 9:28:15, Mameha said:

I hope that in the future things will change actually...they should teach english to younger children because the sooner a kid starts to learn, better it is!

That's what I think too. But the problem with these Asian countries is the quality of English being taught. Their English teachers are simply not good enough and they have to hire teachers from overseas (me) to assist them. The problem is they don't have enough budget so not every school can have a foreign teacher. They need to get better teachers if they want their kids to know English. Starting at a young age, but having bad teachers still won't do anything for them. 

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Honestly, I don't think learning English at an as young as possible age would be a great idea.
I actually think it's a bad idea.

Children typically have to concentrate on many more subjects like maths, grammar, history, geography, etc., and their brains are much smaller than our adult brains.
Not to mention 90% of the teachers teach children languages the wrong way (books that overwhelm you with too many vocabs per chapter, lessons are provided too fast to remember, only a few days to prepare for a test, almost no review of previous materials, etc.).

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15 hours ago, Blaveloper said:

Honestly, I don't think learning English at an as young as possible age would be a great idea.
I actually think it's a bad idea.

Children typically have to concentrate on many more subjects like maths, grammar, history, geography, etc., and their brains are much smaller than our adult brains.
Not to mention 90% of the teachers teach children languages the wrong way (books that overwhelm you with too many vocabs per chapter, lessons are provided too fast to remember, only a few days to prepare for a test, almost no review of previous materials, etc.).

Again, this is a matter of how we're teaching them. If we are exposing English to young children and letting them learn at their own pace, then starting young is a good idea. It's only bad when we (like you said) start drilling vocab and grammar into them at a young age. That's what makes children hate English. 

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@Miya

Note how I didn't say "all teachers".
Outside Italki, I can barely think of any teachers I've ever met who would encourage you to use spaced repitition or mnemonics.
Besides, I've hardly seen teachers who at least explain how to remember something (like "if the noun ends with an "a" in Spanish, the article is most likely "la"", but instead they tell you just to memorise it's "la playa" and not "el playa").
Generalising the problems on the other hand is bad too, there are still teachers who teach languages the right way, which is why I said 90% does it wrong.

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