On the basis of a language proficiency study initiated by the European Commission, Estonian schoolchildren's command of English was the fourth best among the 14 countries that took part in the study; command of the other tested language, German, was poorer among Estonian young people, and they remained seventh in the study.
The study confirmed that Estonian schoolchildren's command of their first foreign language was at a good level, Tõnu Teder, adviser at the language department of the Ministry of Education and Research, told reporters. "But it is necessary to think how to improve the study of a second foreign language, because there is still a lot of room for development there," Tender added.
In addition to the command of a language, the study also examined some aspects of language learning. It was confirmed, for example, that learning a foreign language as early as possible would ensure better command of the language. Students who feel the need to learn a language achieve better results than students whose attitude to learning a language is reluctant. A somewhat surprising conclusion from the study was that independent use of a computer for language learning exercised a negative influence on the command of a language.
Estonian Schoolchildren Among Best Speakers of English in Europe