Article Details

Article Details

Key data on teaching languages at school in Europe

Author: European Commission
Publisher: European Commission
Date of Publication: September 2012
Series Title: Key Data

Key messages:


  • Children are starting to learn foreign languages at an increasingly early age in Europe, with most pupils beginning when they are 6-9 years old.
  • The amount of teaching time students receive has not significantly increased. Indeed, teaching time dedicated to foreign languages is rather low compared to other subjects.
  • An increasing number of pupils now learn two languages for at least one year during compulsory education. 
  • English is by far the most taught foreign language in nearly all European countries, with French, Spanish, German and Russian following far behind.


University of Strathclyde Education Scotland British Council Scotland The Scottish Government
SCILT - Scotlands National centre for Languages