“English is so fun. It’s a subject that I can use every day. I’ve truly enjoyed the lessons,” Markus Johansson, student at Källbrinksskolan in Stockholm’s Huddinge, told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.
Scores in English are on the rise due to the students’ increased interaction with the foreign language, which is inescapable for young Swedes who play video games and use the internet. And it’s done wonders for their report cards.
In fact, ninth graders earn higher points in English lessons than in Swedish. Recent nationwide tests showed that students achieved an average of 14.3 out of 20 in English, compared with 13.7 for Swedish and 12.7 for mathematics.
And results for English on a nationwide level for the ninth graders have never been so consistently high.
“Studies show that students find English to be relevant for everyday life. It’s a subject they can put to use immediately,” Sverker Härd of the Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket) told DN.
“The usability isn’t clear for other subjects. Our research shows that students don’t see the future value of learning mathematics or the sciences.”
The results have left teachers and education experts planning how to increase the appeal and applicability of subjects such as mathematics and science.