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Digest of Education Statistics
2016 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest


Table 225.70. Number and percentage of high school graduates who took foreign language courses in high school and average number of credits earned, by language and number of credits: 2000, 2005, and 2009
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Language and number of credits 2000 2005 2009
Number of graduates (in thousands) Percent of graduates Average credits1 Number of graduates (in thousands) Percent of graduates Average credits1 Number of graduates (in thousands) Percent of graduates Average credits1
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
All foreign languages                                        
Any credit 2,487 (33.8) 84.0 (0.92) 2.5 (0.03) 2,295 (51.1) 85.7 (0.49) 2.5 (0.02) 2,599   (52.7) 88.5   (0.45) 2.6 (0.02)
                                         
Spanish                                        
Any credit 1,780 (31.9) 60.1 (0.90) 2.2 (0.03) 1,705 (42.2) 63.7 (0.66) 2.2 (0.02) 2,032   (45.0) 69.2   (0.70) 2.3 (0.02)
2 or more credits 1,369 (32.2) 46.2 (1.04) 2.6 (0.03) 1,344 (35.9) 50.2 (0.67) 2.6 (0.01) 1,638   (39.2) 55.8   (0.73) 2.6 (0.02)
3 or more credits 554 (26.3) 18.7 (0.90) 3.4 (0.03) 531 (20.1) 19.8 (0.57) 3.4 (0.01) 721   (30.2) 24.5   (0.78) 3.4 (0.02)
                                         
French                                        
Any credit 528 (21.5) 17.8 (0.73) 2.3 (0.05) 414 (14.1) 15.5 (0.49) 2.3 (0.03) 411   (16.1) 14.0   (0.47) 2.4 (0.04)
2 or more credits 398 (17.8) 13.4 (0.61) 2.7 (0.04) 309 (11.1) 11.5 (0.38) 2.7 (0.03) 314   (14.1) 10.7   (0.42) 2.8 (0.03)
3 or more credits 190 (12.1) 6.4 (0.42) 3.5 (0.04) 143 (7.2) 5.4 (0.25) 3.5 (0.03) 167   (10.6) 5.7   (0.32) 3.5 (0.03)
                                         
German                                        
Any credit 142 (17.2) 4.8 (0.57) 2.3 (0.08) 139 (10.0) 5.2 (0.36) 2.3 (0.04) 122   (8.6) 4.2   (0.29) 2.3 (0.06)
2 or more credits 104 (14.6) 3.5 (0.49) 2.8 (0.07) 102 (8.2) 3.8 (0.29) 2.8 (0.04) 91   (7.8) 3.1   (0.27) 2.8 (0.05)
3 or more credits 55 (8.6) 1.8 (0.29) 3.5 (0.06) 53 (4.7) 2.0 (0.17) 3.5 (0.04) 46   (5.3) 1.6   (0.18) 3.5 (0.03)
                                         
Latin                                        
Any credit 120 (15.3) 4.0 (0.52) 2.1 (0.08) 106 (10.4) 4.0 (0.36) 2.1 (0.05) 108   (10.6) 3.7   (0.35) 2.2 (0.07)
                                         
Italian                                        
Any credit 29 (5.5) 1.0 (0.19) 2.2 (0.20) 29 (5.3) 1.1 (0.20) 2.4 (0.16) 36   (7.0) 1.2   (0.23) 2.3 (0.18)
                                         
Japanese                                        
Any credit 36 (7.3) 1.2 (0.25) 2.3 (0.15) 30 (4.4) 1.1 (0.16) 2.1 (0.12) 28   (4.3) 1.0   (0.15) 2.5 (0.12)
                                         
Chinese                                        
Any credit 12 (3.1) 0.4 (0.10) 2.4 (0.20) 8 (2.1) 0.3 (0.08) 2.1 (0.23) 20   (4.1) 0.7   (0.14) 1.9 (0.13)
                                         
Arabic                                        
Any credit (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†)   (†)   (†) 2.8 (0.36)
                                         
Russian                                        
Any credit 10 (2.7) 0.3 (0.09) 1.9 (0.24) 5 (1.3) 0.2 (0.05) 1.5 (0.17) 3 ! (1.3) 0.1 ! (0.04) 2.4 (0.14)
                                         
Other foreign languages
                                       
Any credit 106 (12.0) 3.6 (0.40) 2.5 (0.17) 89 (5.9) 3.3 (0.23) 2.8 (0.10) 105   (10.6) 3.6   (0.37) 2.5 (0.18)
                                         
AP/IB/honors foreign languages                                        
Any credit 183 (23.9) 6.2 (0.81) 1.2 (0.04) 157 (10.3) 5.9 (0.38) 1.2 (0.02) 233   (15.9) 7.9   (0.52) 1.2 (0.02)
†Not applicable.
!Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
‡Reporting standards not met. Either there are too few cases for a reliable estimate or the coefficient of variation (CV) is 50 percent or greater.
1 Average credits earned are shown only for those graduates who earned any credit in the specified language while in high school. For these students, however, credits earned include both courses taken in high school and courses taken prior to entering high school. Credits are shown in Carnegie units. The Carnegie unit is a standard unit of measurement that represents one credit for the completion of a 1-year course.
NOTE: For a transcript to be included in the analyses, it had to meet three requirements: (1) the graduate received either a standard or honors diploma, (2) the graduate’s transcript contained 16 or more Carnegie credits, and (3) the graduate’s transcript contained more than 0 Carnegie credits in English courses.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2000, 2005, and 2009 High School Transcript Study (HSTS). (This table was prepared April 2014.)

2016 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest