Published: 24 May 2018

English the most studied language in comprehensive school

According to Statistics Finland, English was the most commonly studied foreign language in comprehensive schools in the autumn term 2017. Among students in grades 1 to 6, in all 71 per cent and of students in grades 7 to 9 almost all studied English. Eighteen per cent of students in grades 1 to 6 and 93 per cent of students in grades 7 to 9 studied Swedish as a foreign language.

Language choices of comprehensive school pupils in 2017

  Compulsory language A1 Optional language A2 Compulsory language B1 Elective language B2 Total Share of pupils in grades 1-6 % Share of pupils in grades 7-9 %
Grades Studied language              
Grades 1-6 English 245 541 16 206 60 . 261 807 71.1 .
Swedish 3 311 12 454 51 019 . 66 784 18.1 .
Finnish 18 215 1 203 2 . 19 420 5.3 .
French 2 966 4 446 23 . 7 435 2.0 .
German 3 212 11 336 77 . 14 625 4.0 .
Russian 1 139 1 148 . . 2 287 0.6 .
Spanish 697 4 211 . . 4 908 1.3 .
Italian 0 0 . . 0 0.0 .
Sami 5 237 . . 242 0.1 .
Other 399 123 0 . 522 0.1 .
Grades 7-9 English 163 490 12 978 193 82 176 743 . 99.5
Swedish 1 533 12 036 150 789 6 164 364 . 92.5
Finnish 9 044 1 156 208 2 10 410 . 5.9
French 1 628 3 566 167 4 445 9 806 . 5.5
German 1 691 7 452 264 9 422 18 829 . 10.6
Russian 528 1 695 . 1 865 4 088 . 2.3
Spanish 169 1 104 . 3 489 4 762 . 2.7
Italian 30 0 . 108 138 . 0.1
Sami 2 52 . 5 59 . 0.0
Latin 0 0 . 400 400 . 0.2
Other 166 14 8 38 226 . 0.1

Nearly all pupils attending grades 7 to 9 studied both English and Swedish or Finnish either as mother tongue, or as a compulsory, optional or elective foreign language. German was studied by 11 per cent and French by 6 per cent of the pupils attending grades 7 to 9, mainly as an optional or elective foreign language.

A total of 368,027 pupils attended grades 1 to 6. 188,449 of the pupils were boys and 179,578 were girls. A total of 177,607 pupils attended grades 7 to 9. 91,049 of the pupils were boys and 86,558 were girls.


Source: Education. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Vesa Hämäläinen 029 551 2594, koulutustilastot@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

Publication in pdf-format (212.1 kB)

Tables

Appendix tables


Updated 24.5.2017

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Subject choices of students [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1056. Subject choices of comprehensive school pupils 2017. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 23.5.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/ava/2017/02/ava_2017_02_2018-05-24_tie_001_en.html