Almost every country in the world is inclined to learn a foreign language. In Croatia, things are rather extreme in this regard, but for the best. How? ‘Or’ What? Let’s find out.
What the numbers suggest
Data from 2015 suggests that 97% of lower secondary children in Europe take compulsory English lessons. The French and the Germans follow this figure closely with 34% and 23% respectively. However, they may not be a compulsory foreign language subject. Next come Spanish, Russian and Italian at 14%, 3% and 1% respectively.
And when it comes to learning a foreign language, Croatia takes the crown in Europe.
More than 99% of children in Croatia learn English at school. Only Cyprus, Luxembourg, Austria and Malta have a 100% record in teaching English to their school children. Other countries like Spain, France and Italy rank below Croatia in terms of teaching English as a foreign language to school children.
However, Croatia takes the crown when it comes to learning foreign languages, not just because it is fascinated by English. The country wins this crown because of the number of foreign languages students in its curriculum can learn.
Popular foreign languages in Croatia
About 80% Croats speak a second language. English is by far the most popular foreign language in the country. Almost 60% of the Croatian population speaks English. Most of them are familiar with it, mainly due to learning English as a foreign language at school.
Languages such as German, Italian and Spanish are also popular in this region of Europe. Croats are also increasingly interested in learning French and Russian. Given the popularity of French as a global language, it’s easy to see why many schools are pushing for it to become a foreign language option in their curriculum.
How Croatians learn foreign languages
Schools are the main sources for Croatians when it comes to learning foreign languages. Lately, however, people are turning to online platforms for this, especially students.
Learning a new language means learning new words, vocabulary, the meaning of the words they learn, how to translate into another language, etc. Schools cover most of these things. And whenever students get stuck, they can use the internet for help. Students use different homework and homework help platforms to search online help in spanishFrench, German and many other languages.
Tutors help them with homework and test answers, ensuring that students can produce quality answers. This helps students learn better and get good grades.
Moreover, students can also learn a new language on their own through these online platforms. For example, if someone wants to learn Spanish or needs help with their homework, they can visit these sites for additional help. Online Spanish tutors will come to their aid and help them improve in the language.
Explore new avenues
Croatians like to move forward with changing times. This is why you will always see them exploring new avenues in almost every aspect of their lives. This also includes their fascination and desire to learn new foreign languages.
Croatians are increasingly interested in French and Russian, as we discussed above. However, they don’t want to stop there. The citizens of the country turn to languages like Arabic, Swedish and Norwegian. Learning Slavic languages is easy for Croatians, but they struggle when it comes to Arabic and Japanese.
There is a particular fascination with Chinese as a foreign language in Croatia at the moment. As one can easily guess, the reason for such fascination is strictly economic. China is currently one of the largest economic markets superpowers in the world. And soon they could take over the United States as the largest economy in the world.
Although this takeover could still take at least another decade, the Croats are preparing early. And they know that to attract and do business in China, they must first welcome the country’s language.
By 2020, China had already invested over $250 million in Croatia. Although this is a significant amount, it is nowhere near some of his biggest investments in Europe. The Chinese have invested billions in Germany, the UK and France. Croatia are also aiming to make it into these ranks. Therefore, it puts so much emphasis on Chinese as a foreign language.
Over time, we will see Croatia adopt new trends in foreign languages and use more modern learning methods. Many of these changes will directly affect the country’s education system. And as we have seen in many past cases, this trend will greatly benefit them.