This week's UK news: 22 February 2013
22 February 2013

UK teenagers worst in Europe at languages

English pupils came bottom in a 14 country survey of how good teenagers were at using the first foreign language they were taught in school. For pupils in England, this was French. Just 11 per cent of English pupils were good enough to be "independent users" in writing French, compared with 20 per cent of the pupils overall.
Under 10 per cent re in the top category for reading in another language, which was again the lowest in Europe. The best performers overall were in Sweden, Malta, and the Netherlands. There are plans to start language teaching at 7 in English schools from next year.

Woman can't stop hearing 60 year old song

A UK woman has stuffed three years of sleepless nights because an illness makes her constantly hear an old song.
Susan Root has a type of hearing problem which usually means sufferers hear high pitched noises all the time. However, she hears old songs, particularly one from 1953 called How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?
Doctors have tried hearing aids and other treatment but now say they cannot help. "I am probably going to be stuck with this hellish condition for the rest of my life," said Mrs Root.

1,700 applications for eight jobs

Managers at a coffee shop chain were amazed to get 1,701 applications to work at a new cafe in Nottinghamshire. There were just three full time and five part time jobs going at the new Costa Coffee store in the town.
Applicants included senior shop managers with more than 15 years experience.
Several well-known shop chains have closed down recently leaving their former employees desperate for work.

The man who cannot pass his driving test

It has been made more difficult to pass the UK driving test in recent years. Learner drivers now have to pass a theory test before proving that they can drive safely on the roads. The theory test includes a 57 minute multiple choice test, where 53 out of 50 questions must be answered correctly, and a danger perception test.
A newspaper has now found out that one man in London has failed the theory test 107 times. This is a record. The 28 year old man has spent GBP 3,317 trying to pass the test, which costs GBP 31 a time. The newspaper also found out that a 40 year old man took 37 attempts to pass his road test.

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