Spain to Promote English with Subtitles

 With general elections just days ahead, Spain’s Partido Popular (PP) has proposed a plan to support education, and a significant aspect of the plan is to promote languages. The Partido Popular’s proposal, which has been called the Pacto de Estado por la Educación, consists of bolstering instruction in the sciences, investing in improving and standardizing teacher training, and strengthening language education— especially Castilian Spanish proficiency in the autonomous regions and foreign languages.

The proposal addresses the issue of official and co-official languages in Spain— a heated and controversial matter— by promising “the right of parents to have their children receive instruction in Castilian, respecting the plurality of our country and its co-official languages.”

While the proposal makes no mention of guaranteeing instruction in the co-official languages— Euskera, Catalan, Galician, Valencian— foreign language education is also a top priority for the PP’s plan. The proposal spells out a plan to grow the language assistants program to infuse the Spanish education system with more native speakers of world languages. However, the plan for promoting world language proficiency is not confined to the walls of the classroom; the PP is also calling upon the media to promote proficiency in English by banning dubbed programming on television, replacing the famous Hollywood mouths mismatched to overly dramatic Castilian dialogue with subtitles. Ideally, TV viewers would improve their English by having more exposure to the language aurally.

There seems to be a correlation between European countries with high levels of English proficiency and readily available programming with subtitles instead of dubbing. However, there is no empirical research to support subtitled programming.

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