The latest Eurostat figures show that English is, by far, the most popular foreign language to be studied in the EU. Nearly 98% of pupils learned English in lower secondary education in 2017.
English was followed by French (33.4%), German (23.3%) and Spanish (16.9%). However, in some Member States foreign languages other than English were also commonly studied.
For example, more than 50% studied French in lower secondary general education in Ireland, Italy, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Portugal and Romania.
German was studied by more than a half of pupils in Denmark and Poland, while Spanish was taken by slightly more than half of pupils in this education level in France.
Across the Member States, almost all pupils in lower secondary education learned two or more foreign language.