Published: 23 May 2019

Majority of comprehensive school pupils study English

According to Statistics Finland, English was the most commonly studied foreign language in comprehensive schools in the autumn term 2018. Seventy-four per cent of students in grades 1 to 6 studied English. The share of students studying English increased by three percentage points from the previous year in grades 1 to 6. Almost all students in grades 7 to 9 studied English. Nineteen per cent of students in grades 1 to 6 and 92 per cent of students in grades 7 to 9 studied Swedish as a foreign language.

Language choices of comprehensive school pupils in 2018

  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 256 783 16 898 14 . 273 695 74.0 .
Swedish 3 323 12 306 53 284 . 68 913 18.6 .
Finnish 19 015 1 151 11 . 20 177 5.5 .
French 3 402 4 191 17 . 7 610 2.1 .
German 3 282 11 313 16 . 14 611 3.9 .
Russian 1 117 1 102 0 . 2 219 0.6 .
Spanish 832 5 932 0 . 6 764 1.8 .
Italian 0 0 0 . 0 0.0 .
Sami 9 236 0 . 245 0.1 .
Other 442 149 13 . 604 0.2 .
Grades 7-9 English 166 060 12 785 206 80 179 131 . 99.5
Swedish 1 651 11 432 153 400 2 166 485 . 92.5
Finnish 9 095 1 300 211 2 10 608 . 5.9
French 1 614 3 490 193 3 653 8 950 . 5.0
German 1 680 7 786 242 8 714 18 422 . 10.2
Russian 512 1 427 0 1 726 3 665 . 2.0
Spanish 211 1 270 0 3 793 5 274 . 2.9
Italian 0 0 0 75 75 . 0.0
Sami 3 49 0 3 55 . 0.0
Latin 0 0 0 429 429 . 0.2
Other 167 20 23 42 252 . 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 10 per cent and French by 5 per cent of the pupils attending grades 7 to 9, mainly as an optional or elective foreign language.

A total of 370,020 pupils attended grades 1 to 6. 189,545 of the pupils were boys and 180,475 were girls. A total of 180,058 pupils attended grades 7 to 9. 92,100 of the pupils were boys and 87,958 were girls.


Source: Education. Statistics Finland

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

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

Publication in pdf-format (213.1 kB)

Tables

Appendix tables


Updated 23.5.2019

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Subject choices of students [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1056. Subject choices of comprehensive school pupils 2018. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 12.11.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/ava/2018/02/ava_2018_02_2019-05-23_tie_001_en.html