QUICK CLASS 1: English speakers in Brazil – A2/B1

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Can you guess what percentage of the population speaks English in Brazil?



English speakers in Brazil

Most Brazilians don’t speak English.

According to a survey conducted by a British institution, only 5% of Brazilians are proficient in English.

Another international institution places English fluency demonstrated by Brazilian employees at multinational companies at number 67 out of 76 countries studied.

It is not difficult to understand why this may be a problem for the country. With foreign markets making English the common language of business, being able to speak it well is now a requisite for international recognition.

But Brazil’s problems with education don’t stop there. Statistics released by the country’s government reveal that some 8% of the population are illiterate and more than 20% are functionally illiterate, meaning they can read and write only basic information.

Although these numbers may seem bad, they are better now than they were a decade ago. The questions are: Is Brazil’s rate of improvement in education fast enough to keep up with other important emerging nations? How long will it take for English to become a real second language in the country? What do you think?

Activity: Match the words and expressions with their correct definitions:


a)     Most1) A person who is unable to read or write
b)     Survey2) Something that comes from other countries
c)     Foreign3) A change that makes something better
d)     Illiterate4) The majority of something
e)     Improvement5) To make progress at the same rate as others
f)      To keep up with6) To change into a different condition; to undergo a transformation
g)     To become7) A type of research that generally consults a group of people



Answers: a-4; b-7; c-2; d-1; e-3; f-5; g-6

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