(01 February 2016) – In the EU, around 18 million lower secondary school pupils (or 98.6% of all pupils at this level) studying at least one foreign language in 2014. Among them, nearly 11 million (59.9%) were studying two foreign languages or more.
English was by far the most popular language at lower secondary level, studied by more than 17 million pupils (97.3%). French (5 million or 33.7%) came second, followed by German (3 million or 23.1%) and Spanish (2 million or 13.1%).
In 2014, all or nearly all lower secondary school pupils learnt at least two foreign languages in Luxembourg (100%), Finland (98.5%), Italy (98.4%), Estonia (96.3%) and Romania (95.6%). In contrast, fewer than 10% of pupils were studying two or more languages in Hungary (6.3%), Ireland (7.9%) and Austria (9.5%).
English is by far the main foreign language studied during lower secondary education in the vast majority of Member States. In particular, all pupils attend English classes in Denmark, Spain, Italy, Malta and Sweden.