English, French and German still most common foreign languages studied at lower secondary level in the EU28 in 2012…… but Spanish learning has increased more.
In the EU28 in 2012, English was still the most commonly studied foreign language at lower secondary level, with 96.7% of pupils learning it, far ahead of French (34.1%), German (22.1%) and Spanish (12.2%). The importance
of English as a foreign language in the EU is also confirmed by its leadership in nearly all Member States. Since Croatia’s accession, there are 24 official languages recognised within the EU. In addition there are
indigenous regional, minority languages and languages that have been brought into the EU by migrant populations.
On the occasion of the European Day of Languages2, celebrated each year on 26 September, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, publishes data on language learning at school. The general objectives
of this event are to alert the public to the importance of language learning, to promote the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe and to encourage lifelong language learning in and out of school.