French pupils are the worst in Europe at foreign languages – bar the English!
A major study carried out by Cambridge University has found that only 14% of French pupils are good at their first foreign language, English. The only country where language learning is worse is Britain, where only 9% are good at their first foreign language, French.
Elsewhere in Europe, around 42% of pupils are good in their first foreign language – and 20% competent in their second. The Swedes, Dutch, Maltese and Irish are the best at languages while Poland and Belgium join France and Britain near the bottom of the table.
Not surprisingly, lack of motivation to learn a foreign language is blamed by the report's authors
for Britain's poor showing since an ability to speak English is pretty much a necessity everywhere these days and is the first foreign language taught in all the other countries in the survey.
France is likely to boost pupils' language prowess faster than Britain by introducing language learning from a much earlier age.