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Study finds better school outcomes for students learning languages

Students generally achieve better learning outcomes when they study a foreign language, according to a study by the National Board of Education and the National Education Evaluation Centre. The report found that primary school students who had studied English or Swedish had learning results that were either good or excellent.

Koululainen selaa kirjaa tukiopetuksessa.
Image: Yle

According to the study by the National Board of Education and the evaluation authority, students were more likely to complete their primary education with good or outstanding results if they had done long courses in English and Swedish as well as short or long courses in German.

Meanwhile primary school students who completed short courses in French and Russian achieved good learning outcomes, while their results suffered slightly when they completed long courses in the same subjects. However the report noted that their results seldom dipped below the satisfactory level.

Students who excelled in reading comprehension and oral tasks in different languages however, achieved outstanding learning outcomes. The report revealed that only students who were exposed to listening comprehension and writing for long courses in Russian and French failed to meet curriculum objectives.

A corresponding survey of students found that most found English to be the most useful language to learn, followed by Swedish and Russian.

The evaluation included more than 10,000 students, most of whom attend Finnish-language schools. Students attending Swedish-speaking schools achieved better learning results in English, French and German.

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