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September 27, 2013


English reinforces its status as Europe’s ‘lingua franca’

study-English-in-EUNinety four percent of upper secondary students learn English as a foreign language, according to new data published by Eurostat yesterday (26 September) to coincide with the European Day for Languages.

French, German and Spanish come next in the ranking but are way behind.

French is studied by 19% of pupils in primary and lower secondary education, and by 23% in upper secondary. It is followed by German (9% and 21%) and Spanish (6% and 18%).

The dominance of English begins at an early age, with 83% of pupils adopting Shakespeare's language in primary or lower secondary education, up from 73% a year ago, according to Eurostat.

English teaching in secondary education is now almost universal, reaching close to 100% in almost every country. Portugal (47%), Malta (66.5%), Hungary (78.5%) and Bulgaria (88%) are the only notable exceptions.

A similar trend appears amongst adults aged 25-64, with respondents mentioning English as their best-known foreign language in almost all 28 EU countries. Bucking this trend, in the three Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Russian is more widely spoken than English, as is German in Luxembourg, and Czech in Slovakia.

Read the full article from EurActiv.

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