The news that we’re terrible at foreign languages is no shock. We already know we “speak English not very good,” and don’t need EU reminders.
The U.S. study-abroad programs I know in Florence do their best to protect their students from culture shock. But take away all risk and challenge from a study-abroad experience and you effectively remove any chance for a real intercultural exchange. Opt for 100 percent security and you kill what living and studying abroad should be about.
Typically, social drop-outs, the unemployed, immigrants and gypsies, get the “loro” label. The word is pronounced condescendingly to underline the deep difference between the them and the us, those on the margins and honest well to-do citizens.