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October 2010
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Irish schoolchildren are the worst in Europe for learning foreign languages

Almost one-fifth of teenagers leave school without a foreign language, according to a new study.

The average secondary school student in Europe was learning more than one foreign language in 2008, but 19pc of their Irish counterparts left school without one.

Only 3pc of Irish primary school students learn a foreign language, lagging well behind the EU average of 79pc.

But the figures could be skewed in favour of non-English speaking countries.

The report, compiled by the EU’s statistical office ahead of European language day tomorrow, does not include the numbers studying Irish or English.

The Department of Education says that 81pc of secondary pupils study three languages — Irish, English and a European language.

– Sarah Collins in Brussels

Irish Independent

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