A quarter of Swiss citizens want English as common language

Will all Swiss elementary school pupils learn English as their second language soon? Keystone

One in every four people in Switzerland are apparently in favour of having English as a common language, and a majority say they want to see English taught as a first foreign language in elementary schools.

This content was published on September 24, 2000 - 12:30

The findings are the results of two opinion polls that were made public over the weekend.

The first one, the results of which appeared in the SonntagsZeitung paper, looked at whether English should become an official language in addition to the four other national languages.

The poll found that 27 per cent of people in the German-speaking cantons and 28 per cent in the French-speaking cantons want English to be the main language for communication between language groups.

Approximately a third of people polled said they were in favour of government ministers speaking English in television or radio addresses.

The second poll was carried out by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG SSR Idée Suisse) and the Geneva newspaper, Le Matin.

It found that more than 70 per cent of respondents said they favoured the teaching of English to elementary school pupils as their first foreign language.

The findings appear to confirm a move by canton Zürich to change its elementary school curriculum to favour English over other second languages.

swissinfo with agencies

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Sort by

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Discover our weekly must-reads for free!

Sign up to get our top stories straight into your mailbox.

The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.