More studying at English language schools in Sweden

The number of schools teaching in English alongside Swedish has increased in Sweden, with a surge in students studying at the International English Schools (IES) over the last 10 years.

More studying at English language schools in Sweden
The International English School in Täby. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

According to new numbers reported by newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD), In the 2008-2009 academic year there were 5,400 students at IES schools, while in the 2017-2018 year there are 24,000. A number of other schools offering teaching in English have also opened in Sweden in recent years.

Half of the teaching at the schools takes place in Swedish and the other half in English.

Researchers warn however that students may not learn as effectively if they are not taught in their mother tongue, with Linnaeus University Swedish lecturer Annika Andersson arguing that it is more effective to learn new ideas in the mother tongue first then translate them to a second language.

Because new concepts are constantly introduced in schools it is not possible to say that teaching in English works better from any particular age, she added.

According to the English Proficiency Index (EPI), Swedes are the second best in the world when it comes to speaking English as a second language, behind only the Dutch.

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