I worked in the hotel industry most of my life, so I’ve run across a lot of interns and people from other countries. One thing I noticed is the interns or workers I’ve run across from the Netherlands and Norway, Sweden and Denmark, tend to speak English VERY well when the arrived in America.
For instance, we had an intern from Greece and Belgium and while both had, what I would call a basic command of the English language, they had trouble speaking it. (I will say after a year in America, it was amazing how fast the folks from Greece and Belgium picked it up and became more or less fluent).
But the workers from the Netherlands and the Scandanavian countries seemd to have a near (if not total) fluency when they arrived. And this was the first time in an English speaking country for all of them.
This has been my experience wherever I am. My question is do they start teaching English earlier in the Netherlands and Scandanavia, or is it they are just exposed to it more or maybe my experience is just incorrect.
I can see in Belguim why English would take a backseat to learning either Dutch or French, (as whatever your native tongue is you’d want to learn the other official language first).
But I’ve noticed even when I go to online message boards, the users from Scandanavia and the Netherlands never seem to have the English problems others do.
I don’t mean this as a rap to other nations, I was just wondering if they teach English any special way or do people in those nations just have more exposure to English.