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9 Nisan 2014 Çarşamba

First Choice of Second Language

Different Opinions from different countries:

*in Mexico the first language is Spanish but the second language that you would have to learn is English, in almost all schools teach english, it could be because Mexico is border with USA and we are the commercial partners.
*In Canada we're bilingual English/French, so our second language (mandatory in school) is one or the other.

Exceptions are native children, who have the option of studying their native language (ie, Mohawk, Cree, Inuktitut) as a second language instead.

*We in Slovakia (Europe, next to the Poland, Czech, Ukraine, Austria, Hungary, if somebody doesn't know yet) theoretically don't have second language, everybody can choose mostly between English, German, French, Russian or maybe Spanish, but practically everyone is studying English (because it is "necessary" nowadays) and as the third language he/she usually chooses German or French. I remember in my primary school there were 3 first grade (6 years old kids) classes, in two of them you study English and in one German. And then in the fifth grade (10 years old kids) you take also the second one (so almost everyone has English and German). But I remeber also classes with Russian-German and no English. But in the high school (15-18/19) we have English and then you could choose German or French. I don't know about the other schools but it should be pretty much similar.
In the past (in the socialist era) we had to study Russian, but I missed it.

*Here in Brazil mostly school teach English since 1st grade.
Now the spanish language is obligatory in high schools.
It depends on the school you study the second language... when I was at elementary school I had spanish in grades 5 and 6, and english in grades 7 e 8. I heard that it teaches french in grades 3 and 4 nowadays.
At high school I "studied" (believe me, it's impossible to learn a language at schools... the basic maybe, but a higher level... maybe in some private schools) english, but there was the spanish option too... now, as I said, it's obligatory.

Some schools have a bilingual curriculum, so they teach, besides portuguese of course, english and german. And in some little towns, german and italian are spoken! So portuguese is their second language.

*In Finland, the Swedish used to be the obligatory second language in the secondary school, because there is a minority of some 5-6 % Swedish speaking Finns. However, nowadays, the English can be chosen instead as the secondary language, but in any case the Swedish is obligatory before you can begin your university studies.
The Finnish and the Swedish are both official languages of the Republic of Finland, determined in the constitution.

*In France, we do not have to choose one but two second languages (at least it was like this 8 years ago).
At the age of 10/11, we have to choose between english and german for the second language. Then at the age of 12/13, we have to choose between english, german and spanish (if you have chosen german, you have to choose english) for the third language. But at the age of 14/15, you will be able to choose if you want to continue your third language or not.
Nowadays it looks like children start to learn english before the age of 10 and that it is possible to choose a different third language like chinese or japanese.

*In Spain, it seems that there is only one second language that is english. I don't know if you can choose a third language. But it is special there because people also learn the local language (catalan in Barcelona, valenciano in Valencia, ...).

*In Romania the first foreign language taught in schools is usually English. It starts in the second grade (7-8 years old); than in the 6th grade (11-12 years old) it's introduced the second foreign language, usually French or German. So we continue to study 2 foreign languages until the end of high-school and further it depends on the profile of the university. Of course, French or German (or maybe even Italian and Russian, but rarely) can be the first choice of a scool as a first foreign language, but English is usually what the majority kids start learning in the elementary school.

*In Northern Ireland you start to learn a second language in the first year of secondary school (at the age of 11/12) usually French but some schools also have German, Spanish or Irish. Depending on the school you may start 2 languages then (ie French and Irish). There are also some schools (both primary and secondary) which teach everything through the Irish language although they still study English and in secondary at least one other foreign language, usually French.

In Japan (I teach English there) English is taught as a second language from the beginning of Junior High School (12/13) and is compulsory right through Junior and Senior High Schools. English is part of the exam students have to pass to get into university. Some schools also have some English classes in elementary school but this not compulsory and there is no assessment for it.
*In Poland the first foreign language in schools is practically English.
In the past Russian was obligatory same in Poland like in other socialistic countries around. So now, very many Poles still can use Russian.
Teaching second language starts in Poland in age 4-5 in kindergardens, paying by parents. So taht is a kind of privet lessons, but usually everybody pays for it. Than, in the school, since 7 years old childern have to learn English. There are some other possibilities, but if a child learn another language than English is like a third. English is usually what the majority kids start learning in the elementary school. Very many people learn German, French, Spanish, Italian and other European languages.
The interesting thing is, that many teenagers learn Japanes, Chineese, Koraen and other Asiatic languages what 10 or 15 years ago was quait impossible.

*In Serbia, some 70-80% of primary and high school students study English as the foreign language, some 15-20% study Russian, 10-15% French and 5-10% study German. I heard that now Italian can be chosen too.

This is different than the situation from some 10 years ago when 60% of students studied English, 25% Russian, 10-15% French and less that 5% German, and far different than the situation from some 40 years ago when more than 60% studied Russian, 20% English, 15% French and just above 10% studied English.
*In Israel, Hebrew is obviously the first language - and early on (I believe in third grade), English becomes a mandatory class until graduation from high school.

Some changes have been made recently, but there is some limited addition language requirement in high school. Usually Arabic is taught, and sometimes French. Somewhat recently, more languages are offered in certain areas - Russian where there are large Russian communities, Spanish for Argentinians and Amharic for Ethiopians.


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