(23 September 2016) – On the occasion of the European Day of Languages, celebrated each year on 26 September, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, publishes data on language learning at school.
English, which is mandatory in several countries, was studied in 2014 by an overwhelming majority of pupils at lower secondary level in almost all EU Member States.
French was the second most popular foreign language studied at lower secondary level in the EU.
German – the third most popular foreign language in the EU at lower secondary level – was particularly taught in Luxembourg (100.0%), Denmark (73.6%), Poland (69.0%), Slovakia (55.2%) and the Netherlands (51.1%).
Spanish was popular in Sweden (43.9% of lower secondary school pupils), followed by France (37.8%), Italy (22.0%), Portugal (20.8%) and Ireland (15.4%), while Italian was mainly taught in Malta (59.8%) and Croatia (11.6%).
Russian, the most popular non-EU language at lower secondary level in the EU (almost 0.5 million learners), was most commonly studied in the Baltic Member States.