JoGreen wrote:I know that the standard of education in Spanish state school varies a lot from town to town, and that opions vary on the subject, but what do you think is the oldest that a child can start at state school in Spain without prior knowledge of the language, and without any problems ?
As you say Jo, it will probably vary quite a lot. Even in our Town, the schools teach mainly in the regional language up to 7 years old and then slowly start to teach more subject in Castilian as they get older.
The problem here is that the school quite understandably assume that the children speak and read Castilian at home and hear it being spoken on the TV etc... BUT the next Town down the valley the school does not teach the regional language at all.
From what I understand (and as always I am happy to be contradicted here) the schools are controlled by the Ayuntamientos, who in turn are given a higher level of funding for embracing the local culture and language.
The bottom line being that a foreign child being placed in a school that taught mainly Castilian would probably do much better being placed there at a later age than a child at school being taught the regional language.