Punjabi second only to English in Britain | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Punjabi second only to English in Britain

chandigarh Updated: Jun 22, 2012 23:48 IST

Punjabi is the most commonly spoken language among one million children who do not speak English as a first language in the UK, official figures have revealed.

According to figures released, which were part of an official census of schools taken in January, other widely spoken languages are Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, Somali, Polish, Arabic, Portuguese, Turkish and Tamil.

According to The Daily Mail, the figures revealed that record one in six pupils at primary schools and one in eight at secondary do not speak English at home.

A separate analysis released earlier this year showed how children who speak English as their first language are now a minority in more than 1,600 English schools.

The cost of educating a child with English as an additional language has been estimated to be about 30,000 pounds a year, against around 5,000 pounds-a-year for other pupils.

There are also sizable proportions of pupils who speak Shqip from Albania and Kosovo, Igbo from parts of Nigeria, Luganda from Uganda, Sinhala from Sri Lanka and Amharic from Ethiopia.

A department for education spokesman said, "English language skills are vitally important to ensure all individuals and communities can fully integrate into society.

"We provide schools with funding and teaching materials to help them support children with English as an additional language right through to secondary education."