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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Foreign Language Study

Overall, a median of 92% of European students are learning a language in school. Most primary and secondary school students across Europe study at least one foreign language as part of their education, according to Eurostat, the statistics arm of the European Commission. Of the 29 European nations for which data are available, 24 have a foreign language learning rate of at least 80%, with 15 of those reaching 90% or more of students enrolled in language courses. In three of the four countries with the smallest student populations – Luxembourg, Malta and Liechtenstein – 100% of students are reported to be learning a foreign language.
Meanwhile, far fewer K-12 students in the U.S. participate in foreign language education. Throughout all 50 states and the District of Columbia, 20% of K-12 students are enrolled in foreign language classes, according to a 2017 report from the nonprofit American Councils for International Education. New Jersey (51%) has the most students studying a language, followed by the District of Columbia (47%) and Wisconsin (36%). However, the vast majority of states have less than 25% participation, with only 9% of students studying a foreign language in New Mexico, Arizona and Arkansas. Spanish is overwhelmingly the most popular language studied, though the report also examined languages ranging from Chinese to Latin to American Sign Language.

Europe drastically outpaces U.S. in foreign language learning