PISA in Focus

PISA in Focus is a series of monthly education policy-oriented notes designed to describe a PISA topic in a concise, user-friendly way.

English Also available in: French

The socio-economic gap in foreign-language learning

Teaching foreign languages has become a major goal for many education systems around the world. In today’s increasingly interconnected world, speaking multiple languages improves employability, fosters respect for people from other cultures, and gives young people direct access to content that would otherwise be inaccessible, including literature, music, theatre and cinema. For the first time in 2018, PISA asked students whether they studied foreign languages at school and how much class time they had on foreign languages per week. Results show that learning foreign languages is widely available to 15-year-olds in today’s education systems. However, these opportunities are not evenly distributed among students of different socio-economic status: students in advantaged schools have more opportunities to learn foreign languages than students in disadvantaged schools.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error