After five years the new edition is finally here! Introducing Eurydice Key Data on Teaching Languages at School in Europe – 2017 Edition.
Pupils in primary education have started learning their first foreign language at an earlier age and are continuing with it throughout the years of compulsory education. The numbers of lower secondary students learning two foreign languages is up compared with ten years ago. And most countries now have provisions to support migrant children who need to learn the language of their host country. These are some of the main results of a report on 'Key Data on Teaching Languages at School in Europe' published in May 2017 by the European Commission’s Eurydice network. Less positive is the fact that the level of ambition for learning a second foreign language is still remarkably low. It is also worth noting that more than half of language teachers in Europe have travelled abroad for professional reasons, many of them with the support of funding from EU programmes such as Erasmus+, the EU Programme for education, training, youth and sport.
Tibor Navracsics, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said:
"Speaking several languages is becoming an essential skill in Europe, not only for finding a job but also for participating in society. We need to make better use of innovative teaching methods and new technology to improve young people's language learning experience."
The Eurydice report, which covers EU Member States and some other European countries, combines evidence from various sources with in-depth analysis on language learning and teaching.
The new report contains a wealth of interesting background data. Europe is a continent of considerable linguistic diversity, and the complexity is increasing with recent migration flows. Did you know that more than 60 languages are officially recognised in different European Union Member States?
Figure A1: State languages and regional, minority or non-territorial languages with official status, 2015/16