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Swiss concern over spread of English

Swiss schoolchildren are lucky to have 373 bilingual programmes running in their country, according to a recent study that comes from the University of Geneva. 

And, as reported by, four-fifths of those programmes are for students in the final years of secondary school, where it’s not even mandatory. The second languages in those areas of the country that are multilingual, such as Bern, Valais, Graubünden and Fribourg, are usually one of Switzerland’s four national tongues: German, French, Italian or Romansh. But in monolingual areas, English has been creeping in and is now the most common second language in those areas.

The study’s authors are concerned that the spread of English could erode the prevalence of Switzerland’s mother tongues and are calling on the government to find ways to squash this possibility. One has been quoted as saying that there is a “danger of an Anglicisation of the Swiss education system”.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock
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Liz Granirer
Liz Granirer
Liz has been a journalist for many years. She is currently editor of EL Gazette and has previously edited the magazines Young Performer, StepForward and Accounting Technician; been deputy editor on Right Start magazine; chief sub editor on Country Homes & Interiors; and sub editor on easyJet Traveller, Lonely Planet and Family Traveller magazines, along with a number of others.
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