Published: 24 May 2016

Two out of three students in lower level comprehensive schools 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 2015. 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 2015

  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 223 592 14 452 . . 238 044 66.2 .
Swedish 2 860 13 231 . . 16 091 4.5 .
Finnish 14 490 936 . . 15 426 4.3 .
French 2 942 4 449 . . 7 391 2.1 .
German 3 163 10 268 . . 13 431 3.7 .
Russian 1 113 2 084 . . 3 197 0.9 .
Spanish 442 1 450 . . 1 892 0.5 .
Italian 0 0 . . 0 0.0 .
Sami 3 221 . . 224 0.1 .
Other 408 52 . . 460 0.1 .
Grades 7-9 English 160 595 12 970 181 34 173 780 . 99.5
Swedish 1 519 11 555 147 963 144 161 181 . 92.2
Finnish 8 954 1 137 195 0 10 286 . 5.9
French 1 461 3 633 146 4 903 10 143 . 5.8
German 1 688 7 233 406 8 503 17 830 . 10.2
Russian 571 1 068 . 3 317 4 956 . 2.8
Spanish 76 1 034 . 2 781 3 891 . 2.2
Italian 0 0 . 135 135 . 0.1
Sami 0 63 . 7 70 . 0.0
Latin 0 0 . 400 400 . 0.2
Other 128 5 . 43 176 . 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 6 per cent of the pupils attending grades 7 to 9, mainly as an optional or elective foreign language.

A total of 359,461 pupils attended grades 1 to 6. 184,030 of the pupils were boys and 175,431 were girls. A total of 174,724 pupils attended grades 7 to 9. 89,660 of the pupils were boys and 85,064 were girls.

Data on the language choices of students studying comprehensive education elsewhere than at comprehensive schools (1,724) are published in the database table of these statistics.


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 24.5.2016

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Subject choices of students [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1056. Subject choices of comprehensive school pupils 2015. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 25.2.2020].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/ava/2015/02/ava_2015_02_2016-05-24_tie_001_en.html