English is, by far, the most popular foreign language to be studied in the EU. Nearly 98% of pupils learned English in lower secondary education in 2017. English was followed by French (33.4%), German (23.3%) and Spanish (16.9%). However, in some Member States foreign languages other than English were also commonly studied. For example, more than 50% studied French in lower secondary general education in Ireland, Italy, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Portugal and Romania. German was studied by more than a half of pupils in Denmark and Poland, while Spanish was taken by slightly more than half of pupils in this education level in France.
Across the Member States, almost all pupils in lower secondary education learned two or more foreign languages. Take a look at our colourful and easily understandable infographics on our “Themes in the spotlight” page to discover the foreign-language learning of each EU Member State.
Source: Eurostat table educ_uoe_lang01
This news items marks the European Day of languages celebrated each year on 26 September.
For more information:
- Overview of Education and training statistics