School tells us that the small one will ask to go to the loo in Spanish (or more likely, announce she's weed herself given her total disinterest in getting to the loo on time). The big one has been overheard speaking Spanish with his friends although he refuses to speak to the teachers in Spanish since he knows they speak English.
So it looks like the best way to heal 2016's divides may have to involve an increase in funding to a public service. But with a government in power that yells "cut!" more passionately than Steven Spielberg, this may be an unlikely scenario.
For many people the hardest part of learning a language isn't getting to grips with the grammar or the spellings, the conjugations or the colloquialisms. It's the embarrassment. More specifically, getting over it.
Two years ago I began learning Latin when I spied a grammar book on sale for 50p at my local train station (they do a recycling thing where second-hand books are sold for a small fee and the money goes to charity).
Our language courses need to focus on language fluency, perhaps by other subjects being taught in the language, thus killing two birds with the one Rosetta stone, so to speak. Starting to learn them a bit earlier wouldn't exactly hurt either. We already make such an effort to raise global citizens, children of the world - let's now make sure their voices can be heard, a
For anyone determined to perpetuate the myth that we don't need to learn foreign languages in the UK because 'everyone speaks English anyway', there's a clear wake-up call in this new research. Less than a quarter of managers in China and well under half in Brazil say their businesses use English on a daily basis.
Chinese Mandarin is clearly the number one language for native speakers, who number approximately 800 million. But when that figure is combined with non-native speakers, English wins out.