Monday, July 14, 2014

Denmark's education: two foreign languages compulsory, third available.

Danish Folkeskole Education Obligatory subjects
The teaching in the nine-year basic school covers the following subjects which are compulsory for all pupils: Danish, Christian studies — including in the oldest forms instruction in foreign religions and other philosophies of life, PE and sport, and mathematics during the entire 9-year period;English and history from the 3rd to the 9th year; music from the 1st to the 6th year; science from the 1st to the 6th year; art from the 1st to the 5th year; social studies from the 8th to the 9th year; geography and biology from the 7th to the 9th year; physics and chemistry in the 7th to 9th year; needlework, wood- or metalwork and cooking for one or more years between the 4th and 7th year.[3]
The instruction in the basic school furthermore comprises the following obligatory topics: traffic safety, health and sex education and family planning as well as educational, vocational and labour market orientation. Optional subjects The second foreign language, German or French, must be offered in the 7th to 10th year. The following optional subjects and topics may be offered to the pupils in the 8th to 10th year: French or German as a third foreign language, wordprocessing, technology, media, art,photography, film, drama, music, needlework, wood- or metalwork, home economics, engine knowledge, other workshop subjects, and vocational studies. Furthermore, Latin may be offered to the pupils in the 10th year.
The teaching in the 10th form comprises the following subjects as obligatory subjects: Danish, mathematics, and English to an extent corresponding to a total of 14 lessons a week (i.e. half of the minimum weekly teaching time). Instruction must be offered in PE and sport, Christian studies and religious education, social studies and physics or chemistry. Furthermore, pupils who have chosen German or French as second foreign language in the 7th to 9th years must be offered continued instruction in that subject in the 10th year.
My Comment 
Ach du meine Güte, make all the excuses you like about the dismal state of languages education in Australia, but Denmark has just over a quarter our population in 43,094 square kilometres (16,639 sq miles)and does so much better. It's attitude of the society, and political will. And "just do it."