English is a hard language to learn. No doubt about it, but this is kind of bad:
“A recent survey by Mexicanos Primero, an education NGO, found that four-fifths of secondary-school graduates had “absolutely no knowledge” of English, despite having spent at least 360 hours learning it in secondary school. English teachers were not much better: one in seven had no English whatsoever.”
The article details the usual problems, too much focus on written grammar, no conversation, teaching to the (written) test.
I learned Spanish the fast but very hard way, by moving to Mexico and taking a job that required me to speak it all day long!
About a month before we started work, Robin and I enrolled in a spanish language school in our neighborhood of Polanco. Robin tested into the very top class. I was put in a class where they showed you pictures of a cat, you said “gato”, and they gave you a cookie!
But forced immersion worked and I was soon getting through teaching 90 minute economics classes (though unscripted Q and A in that first semester was really terrifying to me).
If any of you are looking for a less intense way to learn some Spanish, I’d suggest the cool, free, Duolingo app.