Published: 20 May 2020

Share of pupils studying English is growing in the lower grades of comprehensive schools

According to Statistics Finland, studying English grew in grades 1 to 6 in 2019. Eighty-three per cent of students in grades 1 to 6 studied English. The share of pupils studying English increased by nine percentage points from the previous year in grades 1 to 6. Almost all students in grades 7 to 9 studied English.

Language choices of comprehensive school pupils in 2019

Grades Studied language 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 1-6 English 289 992 18 013 38 . 308 043 83.0 .
Swedish 3 775 11 927 52 521 . 68 223 18.4 .
Finnish 20 005 1 183 1 . 21 189 5.7 .
French 3 965 3 894 20 . 7 879 2.1 .
German 3 649 10 800 18 . 14 467 3.9 .
Russian 1 100 1 016 . . 2 116 0.6 .
Spanish 1 031 6 762 . . 7 793 2.1 .
Italian 0 0 . . 0 0.0 .
Sami 4 220 . . 224 0.1 .
Other 382 132 0 . 514 0.1 .
Grades 7-9 English 168 922 13 158 85 69 182 234 . 99.5
Swedish 2 023 10 879 156 379 3 169 284 . 92.5
Finnish 9 266 1 341 213 2 10 822 . 5.9
French 1 643 3 321 97 3 428 8 489 . 4.6
German 1 774 7 608 301 7 346 17 029 . 9.3
Russian 534 983 . 1 448 2 965 . 1.6
Spanish 230 2 137 . 4 326 6 693 . 3.7
Italian 0 0 . 75 75 . 0.0
Sami 2 51 . 1 54 . 0.0
Latin 0 7 . 373 380 . 0.2
Other 178 47 6 63 294 . 0.2

According to the updated curriculum for basic education, starting from the beginning of 2020 all pupils start studying their first foreign language or a second national language at the latest in the spring of the first grade.

Eighteen per cent of pupils in grades 1 to 6 and 93 per cent of pupils in grades 7 to 9 studied Swedish as a foreign language.

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 nine per cent and French by five per cent of the pupils attending grades 7 to 9, mainly as an optional or elective foreign language.

A total of 371,102 pupils attended grades 1 to 6, of whom 189,974 were boys and 181,128 girls. Grades 7 to 9 had a total of 183,063 pupils, of whom 93,684 were boys and 89,379 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 20.5.2020

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Subject choices of students [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1056. Subject choices of comprehensive school pupils 2019. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 6.6.2020].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/ava/2019/02/ava_2019_02_2020-05-20_tie_001_en.html