Decline in popularity of foreign languages with Norwegian students

School educationLanguage learning in the Norwegian educational system begins in early elementary school. Photo: Element5Digital / Unsplash

The number of upper secondary school students taking specializations in foreign languages, such as German, French, or Spanish, is on the decline according to figures collated by the Norwegian Directorate of Education.

Language students declining, mathematics numbers multiplying

The study of foreign languages by Norwegian students is declining, according to figures collated by the Norwegian Directorate of Education. The figures, obtained by the newspaper Klassekampen, show that only 1,117 students have taken a foreign language in the third semester this school year. In comparison, over 10,000 students specialized in Mathematics courses, R2 and S2.

French, German, and Spanish are normally the most popular foreign languages taken by Norwegian students. Yet the study of these languages appears to be in serious decline. Only 0.4% of students, just 198 out of 40,000, took French in study-preparatory education programs during the last school year.

Less study in earlier schooling, pandemic restricted opportunities

Steinar Nybøle, head of the National Center for English and Foreign Languages ​​in Education, says that the situation is dramatic right across the schooling system. “An important reason why fewer people specialize in Spanish, German, and French in upper secondary school is due to the fact that the number of pupils who choose a foreign language in primary school is record low. This is connected,” he told Klassekampen.

Nybøle also felt that the restriction of travel during the pandemic has restricted class trips abroad and general travel opportunities accounted for some of the declining popularity of foreign languages.

Source : © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayEducation

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3 Comments on "Decline in popularity of foreign languages with Norwegian students"

  1. As English keeps having a wider position through out internet , that s a normal outcome that pupil’s interest to other languages drop

  2. It seems to me Russian and Mandarin might prove to be far more useful to Scandinavia youth than any of the languages mentioned.

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