Monday

27th Jan 2020

Scandinavian pupils top the class in English

A comparative study, due to be published today, shows that young students from Scandinavian schools are top of the class when it comes to writing, reading and understanding English, according to AFP.

The report - which ranks 12,000 children aged 15-16 from Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Sweden, France and Spain - shows that Swedes and Finns are outperforming their European rivals.

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  • Swedes get top marks in English tests (Photo: European Commission)

But there is a very poor report for French pupils, whose level of English has dropped since 1996, both in writing the language and understanding it.

In 1996, France was still ahead of Spain, but has now slipped down to bottom of the class and its pupils are "clearly inferior to thoses in the other six countries", according to the report.

The results of the survey "allow us to ask some fundamental questions about English teaching in France", concludes the report.

Croatia's EU presidency optimism beset by problems

Croatia wants to focus on economic development, connectivity, internal and external security and a globally more assertive Europe over its six-month presidency - but Brexit and the next budget negotiations may put pay to that.

Spain poised for first coalition government since Franco

Spanish caretaker prime minister and Socialist Party (PSOE) leader, Pedro Sánchez, is expected to win the second investiture vote on Tuesday - after he lost the first attempt on Sunday in an extremely tight result.

Catalan support for Sanchez breaks Spanish deadlock

Catalonia's largest separatist party to abstain during the upcoming confidence vote in the Socialist-led government in exchange for promises of political dialogue. Meanwhile a Belgian judge has suspended an arrest warrant for Carles Puigdemont.

Austria's Kurz strikes coalition deal with Greens

Austria's ruling conservatives have agreed to form an unprecedented coalition government with the Greens after months of negotiations - in a deal that could foreshadow similar partnerships in Germany.

Catalan party: release leader after MEP 'immunity' verdict

The European Court of Justice (CJEU) ruled on Thursday (19 December) that imprisoned Catalan leader, Oriol Junqueras, enjoys parliamentarian immunity as MEP, in a legal victory for the separatist movement which saw nine of its leaders jailed earlier this year.

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Wilmès becomes first female PM of Belgium

On Sunday, Sophie Wilmès was appointed as the new prime minister of Belgium - becoming the first female head of government in the country's history. She replaces Charles Michel who becomes president of the European Council.

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