Fall/automne 2004

« Le tournoi des langues » : L’enseignement des langues étrangères dans le système scolaire suédois, 1807-2003

Béatrice Cabau-Lampa
Maître de conférences (associateprofessor) depuis 1997 dans le département d’Études politiques de la Hong Kong Baptist University
Published October 1, 2004
How to Cite
Cabau-Lampa, Béatrice. 2004. “« Le Tournoi Des Langues » : L’enseignement Des Langues étrangères dans Le système Scolaire suédois, 1807-2003”. Historical Studies in Education / Revue d’histoire De l’éducation 16 (2), 229-55. https://doi.org/10.32316/hse/rhe.v16i2.332.


This paper analyses the various issues that influenced the foreign languages policy in the Swedish school system during the 19th and 20th centuries. In fact, language teaching has always occupied a dominant place in the Swedish school system, which remained elitist until the introduction of common compulsory basic schooling in 1962. Language teaching developed not only with different school system reforms in response to social transformations, but also with a succession of foreign influences. The first part of this article examines the development of the Swedish school system. Then, the status and organization of language teaching as a whole are analyzed, before examining the three foreign languages taught : German, French, and English. In conclusion, the article describes the current state of language teaching in Sweden.