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Cypriots Score High For One Foreign Language - Eurostat

Cyprus has one of the largest proportions of students studying a foreign language (English), with 59% of students taking at least one foreign language, said Eurostat in a survey covering findings from 2007.

The United Kingdom (65%),Austria (50%), Greece and Sweden (both 45%) were also on the top rungs of the language ladder.

On average in the EU in 2007, 60% of students in upper secondary education studied two or more foreign languages and one third studied one foreign language, while 6% did not study any foreign language.

Based on their own assessment of their linguistic skills, 28% of the EU population aged 25 to 64 in 2007 said they spoke two or more foreign languages and 36% one foreign language, while 36% said they could not speak any foreign language.

The European Day of Languages is celebrated each year on 26 September. The general objectives of this event are to alert the public to the importance of language learning, to promote the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe and to encourage lifelong language learning in and out of school. The EU recognised improving language learning in the European Union as a key factor in the Lisbon strategy and the Barcelona European Council in 2002 set the objective of ensuring that all pupils study at least two foreign languages from an early age.

The highest proportions of students studying two or more foreign languages in 2007 were found in the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Finland (100% of students in upper secondary education each), Slovenia and Slovakia (both 98%) and Estonia (97%).

In all Member States for which data are available, English is the most studied foreign language in upper secondary education, except for Luxembourg, where English, French and German are equal and Ireland and the United Kingdom, where French is most common.

The highest shares of those speaking no foreign language were found in Hungary (75%), Portugal (51%), Spain (47%), Bulgaria (44%) and Greece (43%).

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