Slovenians ambitious foreign language learners


EU statistics from 2011 showed that 30.8% of Slovenians were fluent in at least one foreign language, considerably above the 20% EU average.

The number of Slovenians fluent in several foreign languages showed a rising trend. In 2007, 34.6% of Slovenians spoke three or more foreign languages, while in 2011, the figure rose to 44.9%, far above the EU average, which at the time stood at 8.8%.

According to the Statistics Office, multiculturalism is encouraged in Slovenia's education with language workshops and by including foreign children in Slovenian kindergartens. In 2011, 3,799 kindergarteners were learning a foreign language as an extracurricular activity, which is four times more than in 2006.

The most recent data, released in 2014, showed that English and German were the top foreign languages taught at primary and secondary schools.

In primary schools, 97% of students learning their first foreign language, took English. Of those who were learning a second foreign language, 92% took German.

In secondary schools, on the other hand, 95% of students who were learning the first foreign language took English, while 68% of those who were learning a second foreign language took German.

The number of adult learners also showed a rising trend, as it increased by a third from 2013 to 2015. English and German ranked high in this regard as well.

The Representation of the European Commission in Ljubljana is organising various events for youths and foreign language teachers to mark European Day of Languages, which has been observed on 26 September throughout the EU since 2001.