Published: 24 May 2013

Majority of comprehensive school pupils study English

According to Statistics Finland, English was the most commonly studied foreign language on grades 1 to 6 of comprehensive school in the autumn semester of 2012. Sixty-six per cent of the pupils attending grades 1 to 6 studied English either as a compulsory or optional foreign language. The percentages of pupils studying other foreign languages remained at 5 per cent or below.

Language choices of comprehensive school pupils in 2012

  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 216 981 13 865 - - 230 846 66.3 -
Swedish 2 975 12 944 - - 15 919 4.6 -
Finnish 14 074 991 - - 15 065 4.3 -
French 2 393 4 565 - - 6 958 2.0 -
German 3 026 9 927 - - 12 953 3.7 -
Russian 964 1 260 - - 2 224 0.6 -
Spanish 255 944 - - 1 199 0.3 -
Italian 0 0 - - 0 0.0 -
Sami 1 184 - - 185 0.1 -
Other 252 34 - - 286 0.1 -
Grades 7-9 English 163 878 12 504 217 49 176 648 - 99.4
Swedish 1 603 11 246 151 032 2 163 883 - 92.2
Finnish 9 324 1 062 205 8 10 599 - 6.0
French 1 139 3 472 188 5 748 10 547 - 5.9
German 1 516 7 560 424 9 148 18 648 - 10.5
Russian 532 600 - 2 302 3 434 - 1.9
Spanish 0 427 - 2 585 3 012 - 1.7
Italian 0 0 - 67 67 - 0.0
Sami 1 33 - 13 47 - 0.0
Latin 0 0 - 474 474 - 0.3
Other 40 4 - 82 126 - 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 348,432 pupils attended grades 1 to 6. 178,723 of the pupils were boys and 169,709 were girls. A total of 177,764 pupils attended grades 7 to 9. 90,632 of the pupils were boys and 87,132 were girls.

Data on the language choices of students studying comprehensive education elsewhere than at comprehensive schools (1,650) are published in the database table of these statistics.


Source: Education. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Irma Suovirta 09 1734 3280, Maija Sikanen 09 1734 2292, koulutustilastot@stat.fi

Director in charge: Riitta Harala

Publication in pdf-format (236.3 kB)

Tables

Appendix tables


Updated 24.5.2013

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Subject choices of students [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1056. Subject choices of comprehensive school pupils 2012. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 22.7.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/ava/2012/02/ava_2012_02_2013-05-24_tie_001_en.html