While the Canary Islands are not one of the regions with the highest implementation of the teaching of a second foreign language in High School (Baccalaureate), this subject is beginning to make headway in primary schools, where one in three children study two foreign languages, a rate that is only surpassed by Andalusia.
The percentage of High School pupils studying a second foreign language varies widely in Spain: from 61.7 % in Andalusia to just 6 % in Catalonia and the Basque Country, with the lowest percentages. This is reflected in the statistics on non-university foreign language teaching in 2021-2022, published this Wednesday, by the Ministry of Education.
The study of at least one foreign language is compulsory in Primary, Secondary and High School or Baccalaureate, although it is also very widespread in the second cycle of Pre-school, specifically in the 2021-2022 academic year, 85.9% of its students had contact with a foreign language. English is studied by almost all pupils as a first language, though.
Second language, fewer pupils in Secondary School and Bachillerato in a decade
The study of a second language in secondary education has remained largely unchanged: in 2021-2022 it was 40.6%, 1.3 points lower than a decade ago (41.9%); and in Baccalaureate it reached 22.5%, compared to 24.1% in 2011-2012.
Moreover, the teaching of a second foreign language in Primary Education is beginning to be significant in some Communities, especially in Andalusia (40.3%), followed by the Canary Islands (36.8%), the Region of Murcia (30.7%) and Aragon (27.5%).
In High School, the percentage of students studying a second foreign language is uneven, between the Community of Andalusia (61.7%) and the rest of the territories, which are headed by Comunidad Foral de Navarra (22.1%), Galicia (20.1%) and La Rioja (18.6%).
Catalonia (5.9%) and the Basque Country (5.7%) have the lowest percentages, followed by the Autonomous City of Melilla (11.6%), Castile and Leon (12.5%) and Ceuta (12.5%).
46% of primary school children received part of the curriculum in another language
The statistics of the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training show that 46.6% of primary school pupils received part of the curriculum in a foreign language last year, essentially English. On the other hand, 85.9% of children in the Second Cycle of Pre-school (3-6 years) had some school activity taught in a foreign language, an increase of more than ten percentage points in ten years.
From primary school onwards, the study of a language (essentially English) is compulsory and therefore generalised. At this stage, the possibility of studying a second language (mainly French) is introduced; this subject was taken by 14.9% of primary school pupils, 40.6% of secondary school pupils and 22.5% of Baccalaureate pupils.
More than 325,000 people enrolled in language schools
As for the Official Language Schools, 325,328 people enrolled in them last academic year. The most studied language was English, with 207,256 students, followed by French (42,449), German (25,425) and Italian (12,233). The co-official languages are also taught in these centres: 9,239 people studied Basque, 4,375 Valencian, 1,854 Catalan and 800 Galician.