Belfast Telegraph

More foreign languages for students

Ireland's new Irish from Eastern Europe have been keeping close ties with their homelands, it was revealed today.

The number of non-curricular EU languages being offered to Leaving Certificate students has almost doubled over the last five years.

The State Examinations Commission (SEC) revealed that more than 1,000 students sat 15 different languages - up from nine in 2005.

The most popular of the new foreign languages was Polish, with 451 students taking the higher paper and a 10% A1 success rate.

Top marks went to the 57% of students sitting the higher level Russian paper who secured an A1. Another 207 sat Lithuanian, 121 studied Romanian and 96 took an exam in Latvian.

Slovakian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Swedish, Czech, modern Greek, Finnish and Estonian were taken by another 97 pupils.

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