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Denmark: New report from working group. Foreign languages continue to be challenged in the Danish education system

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Denmark: New report from working group. Foreign languages continue to be challenged in the Danish education system

07 November 2022
dk
Country news

In 2018, the former government set up a working group as part of the national foreign language strategy. In a recently published report, the working group follows up on the effects of the initiatives implemented within the framework of the national foreign language strategy as well as the general development in the foreign language area.

The working group consists of stakeholders and specialists from the foreign language area. The working group is to provide a status of the area annually.

The working group examines the development in foreign languages across the whole education system – primary and lower secondary education, general and vocational upper secondary education, EUX, primary and lower secondary teacher training programmes, and university education. The working group focuses on five themes in the report:

  1. Problems regarding transitions in the education system;
  2. Which foreign languages the schools offer and which foreign languages the pupils choose in primary and lower secondary education;
  3. Which foreign languages the educational institutions offer and which foreign languages the students choose in upper secondary education and higher education, including the number of students that choose education programmes in foreign languages;
  4. The quality of the educational programmes in foreign languages and the students’ academic level;
  5. The labour market’s need of linguistic competences.

Overall, the working group finds that the foreign languages area continues to be challenged and the reforms of recent years have brought only a few improvements. Among other things, the working group’s report concludes that the variety of foreign languages taught is limited in most of the education system.

For instance, the offer of the foreign language subjects French and German in primary and lower secondary education is geographically uneven. It is possible to choose German in all the 98 Danish municipalities, whereas it is possible to choose French in 67 municipalities. In addition, the proportion of students with foreign language subjects at level A in upper secondary education has declined.

In addition to the status on the initiatives in the national foreign language strategy and the general development in the foreign language area, the working group presents a number of recommendations on measures aimed at strengthening the area.

More Information: Følgegruppens statusrapport for Strategi for styrelse af fremmedsprog i uddannelsessystemet 2021: Del I - Hoveddel.

Source: Eurydice Unit Denmark

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