What do Turkish citizens say about language learning?

  1. The vast majority of Europeans (83%) believe that knowing foreign languages is or could be useful for them personally. In fact, over half (53%) of the respondents perceive language skills to be very useful.

  2. 9 out of 29 countries covered in the survey indicated that over half of EU Citizens can hold a conversation at least in two foreign languages.

  3. 56% of EU citizens are able to hold a conversation in a language other than their mother tongue and 28% state that they master two languages along with their native language.

  4. 73% of EU citizens indicate better job opportunities as the main reason for the young to gain knowledge of other languages other than their mother tongue.

  5. Practically no one (0.4%) considers that it is not important for young people to acquire language skills. And, with regards English:

  6. English is perceived by Europeans to be by far the most useful language to know (68%). French (25%) and German (22%) follow next (Spanish ranks fourth with 16%).

  7. English remains the most widely-spoken foreign language throughout Europe. 38% of EU citizens state that they have sufficient skills in English to have a conversation.

  8. 77% of Europeans consider English to be the language that children should learn. Of course, such survey data can hide considerable variation between countries:

  9. 92% of citizens in Luxembourg  report that they can speak at least two languages apart from their native tongue

  10. 75% of respondents in the Netherlands report the same

  11. 44% of Europeans admit to not knowing any other language than their mother tongue.

  12. 67% of Turkish citizens report that they cannot speak another language than Turkish. The results of the 2010 language Eurobarometer survey should be available very soon – so I thought it might be useful to take a closer look at what Turkish citizens said in the last survey.


What do Turkish citizens say?From the Eurobarometer survey of 2006:

  1. 79% of Turkish citizens agreed with the statement that everyone in the EU should be able to speak one language in addition to their mother tongue

  2. 63% agreed with the statement that everyone in the EU should be able to speak two languages in addition to their mother tongue

  3. 33% are able to hold a conversation in a language other than their mother tongue (this was the lowest of all participating countries)

  4. 5% are able to speak at least 2 languages

  5. only 1% are able to speak at least 3 languages

  6. 95% believe that knowing foreign languages is or could be useful for them personally

  7. 72% consider English to be the language that children should learn

  8. When asked about the best age to start learning a first language apart from the mother tongue, 71% said ages 6 to 12

  9. 9% report that they have improved their language skills at primary school

  10. 49% agreed with the statement language teaching should be a political priority The “count” on whether language should be a political priority is not as strong as the result in the last referendum (!) – but it tells us a lot.

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