Spain, above the average in language study in Primary
Slightly less than six percent (5.8%) of Primary students in Spain study two or more foreign languages at school. This figure, although it may seem low, is above 4.6 percent of the European Union average, according to the data published by Eurostat last week.
According to these figures, a total of 17 EU countries have fewer primary school students who study two or more languages at school that in the case of Spaniards, including the Netherlands and Denmark, where they only study a foreign language.
In fact, that students study two foreign languages is very minor throughout the European Union: less than two percent of students from Belgium, Portugal, Lithuania, Slovenia, Austria and the Czech Republic, as well as Germany, France, Bulgaria, Romania, Malta and Hungary.
The Eurostat data, which correspond to 2013, indicate that in Italy, only 2.4% of primary school students study two or more languages at school, percentage that is 5.3 percent in Slovakia. On the opposite side is Luxembourg, where 83.8% of students learn two or more languages at school. This country is followed by Estonia (32.8%) and Greece (25.9%).
Learn a foreign language
77.1% of primary school students in the EU study a foreign language at school, a percentage that rises to 93.4% in the case of Spanish students. On what language do they learn, the answer is almost unique: the predominant foreign language is English, which 99% of Spaniards learn, followed by 5.4% who learn French as a second language and 77.1% of Europeans on average.
The second language that is most common to learn among Europeans is German, studied by 3.2 percent, although 100% of Luxembourg's primary school students have it as their first foreign language. Together with Luxembourg, only Belgians study a foreign language other than English as the first language, in this case Dutch (16.7%).
Spanish, which in many countries is studied with interest, does not have many followers in the old continent: the only primary students from other countries who choose to study Spanish as a second foreign language are Swedes (5.2%) and Portuguese. (0.1%).
Languages in secondary
With regard to the secondary stage, among these students with ages between 11 and 15 years English is still the predominant language studied at the institute. 95.6 percent of Europeans (17.1 million) study it on average, a percentage that goes up to 99.4% in the case of Spaniards.
On this occasionSpanish is a well-studied language: it is the fourth most studied language among secondary school students in the European Union, who study 2.1 million students, 11.6% of the total. It is located behind the French, which study 4.9 million students or 27.4% and the German, who study 2.9 million or 16.3%.
Behind the Spanish we find ourselves with the Russian, which learns half a million high school students in the EU, 2.7% of the total and Italian, who study 200,000 students, 1% of the total.
Those who learn more Spanish as a foreign language in high school are Swedish (43.5% of students choose this language), followed by French (37%) and Portuguese (24.1%), although 21.3% of Italian students also study it and 14.4% of Italian students. % of the Irish.
Angela R. Bonachera