What subject is most important in your school?

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by taked4700, May 6, 2009.

  1. taked4700 Senior Member

    japanese japan

    Let me ask you what subject is regarded as the most important in your school.

    In other words, what subject is allotted most class hours in school?

    In Japan, English takes more class hours than any other subject.
    Last edited: May 6, 2009
  2. Frank78

    Frank78 Senior Member

    In Germany it´s really difficult. At our "Gymnasiums" (comparable to A-Level in Britain) the pupils can pick 2 main subject in their last 2 years there. This should be something they want to study later. Which subjects you choose varies from state to state. Where I live German (or better: German literature) was compulsory 5 hours a week. The 2 other subjects are up to the pupils. It can be English, French (or any other language the schools offers), Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Chemnistry. Those ones you pick take 5 hours a week, those ones you don´t pick 3 hours.

    Then you have other mandatory subjects (2 hours a week): geography, social studies, P.E., art, music and some others

    Altogether a student has 35-40 hours a week.
  3. federicoft Senior Member

    Italian language and literature in Italian secondary schools - four or five hours a week in any secondary school type.

    Then there are distinctive subjects, depending on school type. They are Latin and Greek in "liceo classico" (four and three hours a week respectively); math in "liceo scientifico" (five hours a week); history and philosophy in both of them (four or five hours a week altogether).

    English usually takes three hours a week. In a particular school type with emphasis on foreign languages ("liceo linguistico"), students can choose a second and a third foreign language as well, which take three hours each.
    Last edited: May 6, 2009
  4. RaLo18 Senior Member

    English and math take most of an Israeli pupil's week.
    At junior high school, each pupil have about 5-6 weekly hours of English or math, and 2-3 weekly hours of other subjects (Hebrew, history, biology, literature etc.).
    At high school, each pupil have to choose two main subjects (called מגמות, megamot). Each megama is taught about 5-8 hours a week. Math and English are taught about 5-7 hours a week. Pupilis also have about 5-6 mandatory subjects, each taught about 1-3 hours a week.
  5. Valeria Mesalina

    Valeria Mesalina Senior Member

    Santiago de Compostela
    Spanish, Spain

    In Spain the most important subject is Maths. Or maybe it´s the one that most pupils find more difficult to learn and that´s why they get far more lessons.

    That is just where I am living now; as every state within the Spanish state has its own Law, it may be different somewhere else.
    Last edited: May 7, 2009
  6. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    In Austria in primary education the most important subject is native language (German) - obviously because children need to learn to read and write; and second is maths.

    In secondary education you have at the beginning a few "Hauptfächer" = main subjects: English, German, Maths - all about equally important; but later students specialise (on languages, economocis, technical subjects, arts/music, etc.) - it is impossible then to speak of a "single" most important subject.
    The only thing higher levels of education have in common is that whatever you are specialising on, English still is an important subject (while Maths and German may become marginal).
  7. tomzenith

    tomzenith Senior Member

    English - Britain
    Sadly, in the UK, the short answer is everything except foriegn languages.. The 'core' subjects (English, Maths, Science) get taught the same all the way through to 16 (normally around 5 hours a week), then you choose subjects to continue doing after the age of about 14 - history, geography, a technology, IT, music and foriegn languages.
  8. Revontuli

    Revontuli Senior Member

    In Turkey, people tend to give more importance to maths or science classes. They somehow seem more prestigious.

    The funniest one is that if you want to study languages, people will just say you're crazy and will have no job in the future or take you as an idiot who has no ability in maths and that's why prefers languages.

    No matter what, I of course chose to study languages and have more chance than many people to find a job. Besides, as there are no enough classes of languages for those who study the core subjects (in the third year of high school, you choose a specific class) and they just focus on them, when they graduate, they have difficulties for not knowing English well enough.
  9. Miguelillo 87

    Miguelillo 87 Senior Member

    Mexico City
    México español
    Well here in Mexico it's like Germany, since primary school 'til secondary (6yrs old to 15 yrs old) the most important subjects are Spanish and Maths. You have them daily. English, history, natural sciences,etc are just 3 per week.

    In high school it depends on the high school you are, but anyway Maths and Spanish is always there.
  10. mirx Banned

    Maths is the most important. Out of 6 semesters you may have Spanish in 3 or 4, but Maths sticks with you like a leech.
  11. Earth Dragon Member

    USA- English
    I the United States, math and English are the only subjects that students have every year from Kindergarten (age 5) to their senior year in high school. (age 18)
  12. swift

    swift Senior Member

    Spanish – Costa Rica (Valle Central)
    Hello Taked !

    Thanks for this interesting thread !

    In Costa Rica, there are four basic subjetcs and most people consider these are the most important: Maths, Science, Social Studies and Spanish.


  13. Wilma_Sweden

    Wilma_Sweden Senior Member

    Lund, Sweden
    Swedish (Scania)
    In Swedish primary schools, (age 7-16), Swedish, English and Maths are considered the most important subjects. I haven't found any figures showing the amount of time allocated to these subjects.'

    In secondary education (age 16-18), the core subjects (compulsory for all), apart from English, Swedish and Maths, are : social studies, religions, nature studies, arts/music, and physical education. These subjects together are allotted around 30% of the total time. The rest of the time is dedicated to in-depth subjects which vary according to your choice.

    Great metaphor! :D
    (I was allowed to ditch Maths after my first year of high school, in favour of Latin, which to me was the ultimate liberation from a long-time heavy burden! ;) )

    Last edited: May 8, 2009
  14. Nanon

    Nanon Senior Member

    Entre Paris et Lisbonne
    français (France)
    In French primary schools (5 years), French is the most important subject in terms of number of teaching hours (10) followed by math (5). But the skills that are achieved (readking, writing and counting) are considered of eaual importance.

    In secondary schools, for 5 years (collège + classe de 2e), French as 4:30 hours and math 4 hours in average. During the two last years of secondary (1e, terminale) there is a specialisation in either science, literature, or economics and social sciences. The importance of the subjects and the number of hours allotted to each differ accordingly. Other options such as technical, art or sports sepecialisations are also available.

    English (now compulsory as a foreign language, the other one is optional) is studied throughout the 7 years of secondary. It is considered an important subject (the Minister of Education once declared that he wanted all pupils to be bilingual in French and English!) but most of students will not end school with much more than basic communiction skills.

    There was (and remains) a strong belief that math was the most important subject because if would open you all the doors to all scientific and business careers, while students that were not good or lazy at math were oriented "by default" to literature and languages sections and would not be able to "become employable".
  15. María A

    María A Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Castellano (Argentina)
    In Argentina the secondary education (age 15-18) is called Polimodal, and you can choose between three (or more, if it's a technical school) modalities: natural sciences, humanistics, or economics. We have almost equal hours for each subject and Enlglish takes two hours per week in all cases, same as Physical Education and Philosophy. Then, some subjects have more or less hours depending on the modality, for example, in economics you have three hours of Language and Literature but in natural sciences you only have two.
    There are also subjects that change. When you are in 2nd year of humanistics you have Psychology, Communication and Pedagogy (two hours for each one) while in nature sciences you have Biology, Biotechnology and Physics.

    All the subjects are obligatory and can not be changed, the only options you have are the modalities. There isn't a "most important subject" really.
  16. chics

    chics Senior Member

    Catalan - Spanish
    In Spain, in primary school there are two (or three): maths and native language(s).

    They are followed by natural sciences (geology, biology, phisics, chemistry...), foreigner languages (usually English or, less common, French), geographie and history of humans and of art. Since 12-14 years old there are also subjects as philosophie or literature (as a subject by itself, not contained in "language").

    The subjects with less hours are gimnastics, music, informatics, drawing and plastique, arts, latin (age 14-15), religion (not compulsory), civisme or ethics (not compulsory).
  17. wathavy

    wathavy Senior Member

    Nagano Japan
    Hi, taked4700.

    Are you sure on that?
    At least my kid's curriculum show math and Japanese as many as English.
    Or did I overlook that?

  18. Miguelillo 87

    Miguelillo 87 Senior Member

    Mexico City
    México español
    Every student take this class? Is it compulsory? What kind of religion?
  19. mirx Banned

    As far as I am concerned, they are taught the development, doctrines and philosophy behind mainstream religions. Once again, Scandinavian systems are one step ahead compared to Americans' systems. Teaching religion in a non-biased or prejudiced way.

    Wilma, correct me if I am wrong and enlighten us more.
  20. Miguelillo 87

    Miguelillo 87 Senior Member

    Mexico City
    México español
    Totally different from us; I studied in a catholic school all my elementary grades; as a fact I presented my frist comunion when I was in 4th 'cause I had this class
  21. acemach Member

    Malaysia - English & Mandarin
    In Malaysian public schools:
    Primary (Elementary) level: depends on whether it's a Malay/Mandarin/Tamil medium school. That language will be given the most time. (About 2.5 hours a week) In all schools Malay, English, Science and Math are compulsory.

    Secondary schools: With a handful of exceptions, all public secondary schools are Malay-medium. Throughout the 5 years here, Malay is the single subject allocated the most time (about 4 hours a week), though if you choose to enter the Pure Science stream in the final 2 years, you will study 3 science subjects (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, 8 hours a week total) and 2 Math subjects (Modern Math, Additional Math, 6 hours), all of which are taught in English.

    Sadly, there is the perception here too that the sciences are worth more than art subjects. Nearly all good students enter Pure Science. But unlike Revontuli or Nanon, it's more because Art classes really are a refuge for poor students. All part of the system, which would take volumes to explain.

  22. Macunaíma

    Macunaíma Senior Member

    Um ninho de mafagalfinhos
    português, Brasil
    In Brazil, Portuguese and Maths are the main subjects from elementary school through to the "Ensino Médio" (the last stage of mandatory schooling here, before further education). During the three years of "Ensino Médio", History, Geography and Biology come to the foreground of the curriculum. Foreign languages are neglected in our educational system as a whole, with two hours a week at most in public schools. The most studied language is English, but there's not a mandatory language: some schools choose to teach French, Spanish, German and even Japanese.
  23. Miguelillo 87

    Miguelillo 87 Senior Member

    Mexico City
    México español
    A friend of mi sister who was portuguese told us, Spanish it's really important...more than english. Is that true?
  24. Macunaíma

    Macunaíma Senior Member

    Um ninho de mafagalfinhos
    português, Brasil
    Perhaps in Portugal, I don't know. In Brazil, despite some attempts by the government to promote the teaching of Spanish, very few schools actually teach other languages than English, and the reason for that is that there are more teachers trained in English than in other languages (or at least that's what the schools plead). Since schools have the autonomy to decide, I think it varies from region to region. German and Japanese, for example, are only taught in cities and regions where the population is mostly descended from German or Japanese settlers. These are exceptions.
  25. mirx Banned

    But I am aware of some Brazilian regions where the influence of Spanish as a language, is greater than that of English. Portoñol, they call it, right?
  26. Miguelillo 87

    Miguelillo 87 Senior Member

    Mexico City
    México español
    But I think this is used more in Uruguay than in Brazil
  27. Macunaíma

    Macunaíma Senior Member

    Um ninho de mafagalfinhos
    português, Brasil
    Portuñol is how we refer to a precarious attempt at communication between Portuguese and Spanish speakers, languages which are, to a certain extent, mutually intelligible (well, we seem to understand Spanish with more ease than Spanish speakers understand Portuguese, but that's another subject). Even in Brazilian border regions Portuguese is the universally spoken language.
  28. Mate

    Mate Senior Member

    Castellano - Argentina
    Moderator note:

    Gentlemen, please let's keep this thread on topic.

  29. Perseas Senior Member

    In Greece the most important subject is Greek. For example, in Γυμνάσιο (ages 12-14) students do Ancient Greek 5 hours per week (both by translation like the Homeric epic poems, and in the original classical Attic language like texts of this era) , also Modern Greek 5 or 4 hours per week (literature and language) and Maths 4 hours per week.
  30. Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Hauts-de-Seine, France
    English (Ireland)
    This even continues to university, I was astonished to hear of friends who took LEA (Langues Etrangères Appliquées) having to complete French modules in first and second year! On the plus side, French people (though there are certain notable exceptions) generally speak their language very well and utter few of the grammatical monstrosities that you'll often hear out of the mouths of English speakers.

    In Ireland, Maths and English are the two most important subjects, with Irish coming just behind (at primary school level). During secondary school you can generally specialize in one direction or another, but Maths remain compulsory, as do English and Irish (though you do have the opportunity of studying any of the aforementioned subjects at "Higher" or "Ordinary" level. Obviously, if you take an "Ordinary" level course, your class hours will be substantially reduced, given the lower level of difficulty involved).
  31. McBabe Senior Member

    English- British
    In the UK (and most likely other places) I think it vastly depends on the kind of school you go to. I went to a private school, where typically science subjects are favoured. I am Scottish, and in Scotland English is the subject which is compulsory to the highest level (to 'Higher' level, in the 2nd last year of secondary school). If you wish to do English, maths, biology, chemistry and physics to Higher, and 3 sciences to Advanced Higher (final year exams), no-one bats an eyelid! I however was questioned at every stage for my choice of doing 3 languages Highers alongside English (and another arts subject) and 3 languages AH and another language Higher was questioned all the way!
  32. SãoEnrique

    SãoEnrique Banned

    French France
    In France it is a big mess, because nobody learns the same thing except the tongs English and eventually Spanish. We are separated by sections that I find silly.
  33. L'irlandais

    L'irlandais Senior Member

    Dreyeckland/Alsace region
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    Hello SãoEnrique,
    The original post asks about most hours allotted to a subject ; France is hardly a big mess on that front.
    The core subjects Nanon pointed out in post #14 are quite similar here in Eastern France.
    German as a second/third language choice, (rather than, say, Spanish) makes sense here in Alsace.
  34. Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Hauts-de-Seine, France
    English (Ireland)
    Is German compulsory in Alsace L'irlandais? I imagine many students would have grandparents who are Alsatian German speakers and would read les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace auf Deutsch, etc.
  35. ilocas2 Senior Member

    In Czech Republic on elementary schools it's Czech language and maths.
  36. xmarabout

    xmarabout Senior Member

    French - Belgium
    In Belgium (at least the French speaking schools), in Primary schools (up to 12 years old) you have a good balance between French, Mathematics and "Eveil" ("awakening": a mixed of sciences, history, geography, etc.). In secondary school, you continue to have French (4-5/hours a week) and Mathematics for everybody (4 hours a week) and a second language (Dutch - other national language, German - national language as well but mainly in the eastern part of the country or English) then the pupils can start to choose some "options", kind of specializations: mathematics, latin, greek, economics, sciences, social sciences, third language, etc or more related to a future job: dietary, electricity, art, data processing, .... And of course, during the whole cursus they will have lessons (1/2 hours/week) of geography, history, sciences, moral philosophy or religion, sports.

    It is very similar in Northern part of the country (Dutch speaking area).
  37. Angelo di fuoco Senior Member

    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    On the other hand, just read the French they sometimes write on the net: many spelling and grammar mistakes due to the mute letters: awful.
  38. LiseR Member

    Well, definitely Maths and Latvian language and literature.
  39. NewtonCircus Senior Member

    Dutch (Belgium)
    It all depends on the stream you are in actually. Level and subject streaming was, and still is I believe, an essential part of the education system in Flanders (Not a good thing in my opinion if you take into account how much the local and global environment has changed) and the choices you make at the age of 12 more or less determine your profession later in life.

    When I was in secondary school (12-18 years of age) there were streams with 8, 6, or 4 hours of mathematics a week. Year 6 of my stream was called Industriele Wetenschappen (Lit. Industrial Science. Basically meant to become an engineer) and consisted of:

    Mathematics: 8 hours
    Physics: 4 hours
    Electrical & Mechanical Engineering: 6 hours
    Chemistry: 2 hours
    IT/Programming: 2 hours
    Mother Tongue (Dutch): 3 hours
    English: 2 hours
    French: 2 hours

    Year 1 is generally common and had a more balanced mix of subjects including Biology, Geography, History, Art, Technology... but due to this streaming effect there are already considerable differences in the 2nd year. Needless to say that that for Year 6 some have a completely different mix of subjects including Latin, Biology, Accountancy, Political science, etc.

    Mother tongue in the Year 1 was I believe 6 hours/week but was reduced gradually over the course of these 6 years. At the time our school also allowed us to choose between French and English as 2nd language (Which I believe is no longer possible nowadays), and French/German/English as 3rd language depending on your 2nd language.
  40. chifladoporlosidiomas Senior Member

    San Francisco
    English (US)
    I'm surprised that there's only one American here!

    Well, in California (public) high schools for students who want to go to college it looks like this:
    English 4years
    Math 3years (4 recommended)
    US History and Civics/Government 2years (one year each)
    Natural Sciences 2years (3 recommended; minimum 1 biological and 1 physical, usually biology and chem)(must have labs)
    Arts 1 year
    Foreign Language 2years (recent change from one to two)
    Physical education 2years (can sometimes be waived)
    And the rest of your classes are electives

    However, the most prestigious classes are the sciences classes. They receive ungodly amounts of funds and support. If you want people to see you as 'intelligent' then you take AP Bio (college-level biology for highschoolers).

    Foreign languages are only filled, usually, with students who want to make their college application look better. :/ And rare is the student who leaves a foreign language class being able to converse in the target language. :(

    And in college it's kind of the same thing for the first two years (GE/lower division) and then in the last two years you focus on your major (upper division). And the sciences/engineering prestige still lingers...
  41. L'irlandais

    L'irlandais Senior Member

    Dreyeckland/Alsace region
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    Hi Pedro,
    Months too late. Sorry I missed your question. I don't think it's compulsory, German is the usual second language, for economic reasons rather than historic ones. Getting a job in nearby Germany or in Basel is tempting ; a little like going to work in London, lured alot of us away from Ireland's green shores. (Sort of "Malgré l'historique entre les deux pays".) Here's a little background on the topic : The teaching of German in the primary schools of Alsace. (In French)

    The DNA* in German, is hard enough to get hold of at the Newsagents, probaly best to suscribe directly to their offices to get a copy regularly.
    *Notice that their website is available only in french.
  42. Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Hauts-de-Seine, France
    English (Ireland)
    Thanks for that.
    You can consult German content on DNA's website here.
  43. Sedoso

    Sedoso Senior Member

    the most important subject(s) is(are) portuguese and english and biology there are other...but for me are only these. thankS
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  44. Angelo di fuoco Senior Member

    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    Biology, not maths?
  45. L'irlandais

    L'irlandais Senior Member

    Dreyeckland/Alsace region
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    Hi again,
    I searched long and hard for that Deutsche Nachrichten button, without sucess.
    They're not alone in offering news in German. Only I suspect the German readership count isn't as high as one might think.

    English being by far the prefered second language for on-line newspapers here in France.
    For example : Le Monde diplomatique in English. (22 papers offering English, a couple of Spanish versions & a Basque language paper to boot.)
  46. Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Hauts-de-Seine, France
    English (Ireland)
    I suppose it'd be mostly the generations born in the 1920s and 1930s that would be reading it now; though I did have a colleague from Alsace who told me that her uncle (born in the early 60s) spoke poor French, much preferring Alsatian dialect and/or Hochdeutsch; however he was a farmer from a rural area, so I suppose his case would not be typical.
  47. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    In India, maths and the school's primary language (could be English, Hindi or any of the other Indian languages) are the two most important subjects, considered by way of hours spent on them. If general perception is the criterion, then maths and all physical science subjects are the most important ones, as most parents consider languages and social sciences to be irrelevant for their child's future.
  48. Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Hauts-de-Seine, France
    English (Ireland)
    Save English, of course?
  49. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    No, not save English, since many Indians speak English (the Indian variant) 'naturally', even before they've started going to school; also, most children already speak very good English with a vocabulary that outpaces what they learn in school.
    English becomes important only when students are applying after high school or after graduation to a US university, wherein they need to prove their English abilities through some standardized test. This becomes an issue for those students who have studied in vernacular-language schools for most of their lives.
  50. Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Hauts-de-Seine, France
    English (Ireland)
    Could you quantify that, if possible, greatbear? I know that many Indians speak some English, but a natural sounding variety would surely be the preserve of a tiny minority outwith extensive schooling?

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