Stragglers in language race

9th March 2001 at 00:00
EUROPE:While foreign languages are being taught at an increasingly younger age across Europe, pupils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are among the last to start.

The survey of EU members, 12 candidate countries and the three other members of the European Economic area - Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein - found language teaching minly starts at eight to 10.

Carried out by European education information network Eurydice, the study showed only Bulgaria, Poland and Slovenia start the first foreign language as late as English pupils - at age 11 - and most countries start a second mandatory foreign language in secondary school.

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