Poland and Polish Discussion Group and Forum

Welcome to the original English language Poland and Polish discussion group board. This message forum is a place where English-speaking Poles, foreigners (expats) living in Poland, and anyone with a genuine interest in Poland can discuss and read the views of others concerning Poland. Subjects include: Polish news and current affairs; Life in Poland; politics; genealogy research; Polish culture and history; advice and tips on visiting Poland; Polish property and investment issues. The aim of our group is to increase awareness of wonderful Poland using the English language and allow and foster the honest debate and exchange of opinions on anything vaguely related to Poland and Polish - positive, negative and/or neutral! To state the obvious: all opinions and views expressed on this site are solely those of their respective authors and are not necessarily those of anyone else! Messages consisting of ads will be deleted.

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Poland and Polish Discussion Group and Forum
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Re: What percentage of Poles speak English?

It depends where you are in Poland. In large cities like Warsaw, Łodz, and Krakow, many more people will be able to speak English. As a general rule, as the place gets smaller then the percentage of people who speak English will drop. Also younger people generally know more English than older ones.

My guess as to the percentage of Poles who can communicate at anything more than a very basic level in my nearest city (population 125,000) --- rather less than 5%.

Lots of Poles are learning English. Not so many are successful at it.

Re: What percentage of Poles speak English?

Simon's estimates are pretty good in my opinion. The number of people studying English has increased dramatically in the last few years, but they have not been that successful. Foreign langauges are now required from the first class of primary school. This has caused a variety of problems: the huge need for foreign language teachers = a lot of unqualifed people teaching a language; instead of a language being an elective, now it is a requirement = sullen, unmotivated children; a huge new market for publishers to expolit = quickly produced, poorly prepared materials.

I think as the amount of foreign language instruction has increased, the quality of foreign language use has decreased (in English at least). The students I had 10 years ago were much better all around than the students I see today. The exams from 10 years ago were much more challenging than the exams today.

Re: What percentage of Poles speak English?

In my town near Wroclaw I'd say less than 1% can use English at higher than elementary level.

5% is a very generous estimate for an average Polish city.

In Poland people speak Polish. Bring a Polish phrasebook and dictionary with you if you are planning a visit .

Re: What percentage of Poles speak English?

Not many.

You'll even struggle to communicate in English with some English teachers in Poland.

Re: What percentage of Poles speak English?

and so it's back to Claire's Quick'n'Easy Guide to assessing an English Teacher's ability.

Ask them to pronounce "pear"

Works every time

(p.s. Son has English classes twice a week in kindergarten ... when asked what he was doing in class yesterday, his reply involved "teddy beer"; this might need to become an extension of the 'pear test')

Re: What percentage of Poles speak English?

"The students I had 10 years ago were much better all around than the students I see today. The exams from 10 years ago were much more challenging than the exams today. "

I asked my wife about this. She agrees with your points. She also added the quality of teachers has dropped enormously in the last ten years as a result of the widespread 'dumbing down' of higher education.

Re: What percentage of Poles speak English?

Claire, did you tell you son that teddy beer is wrong?

Re: What percentage of Poles speak English?

that's an interesting question .... and for various reasons (some mine, some forced on me) I don't do that.

it ends up as a watery-sounding "How does Mummy say it?" and once he can trot that out correctly I just leave it.