Most Common Languages in the World

The Most Spoken Languages in the World are not What is Most Taught in School and This is Why.

There are many languages spoken all over the world. It can be difficult to communicate with others if the languages spoken are not mutual. However, that is what makes learning new languages so important to learn and study in school. The question is what are the most commonly used languages? What languages do most people choose to study and why?

Most Spoken Languages in the World

According to a study done by Ethnologue (Simons, 2018), the top three languages spoken worldwide are:

  1. Chinese
  2. Spanish
  3. English

This may not come as much surprise because these languages make up the majority of the world’s population. WebCAPE has perfected these languages in placement testing as well as other common languages. These languages include Russian (ranked #8), French (ranked #14), German (ranked #15), and Italian (ranked #21). WebCAPE has placement tests for each of these languages.

Most Taught Languages in School

The most popular languages to learn in school are not expectedly what is most commonly spoken. “In terms of ranking, Spanish and French still lead as the two most studied languages.” (Goldberg, 2) This is partly due to the majority of English speakers wanting to learn Spanish as a second language to communicate with the people around them. France is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world which makes French a desirable language to learn.

The most popular languages learned in the world are ranked as follows:

  1. Spanish
  2. French
  3. ASL
  4. German
  5. Italian
  6. Japanese
  7. Chinese

WebCAPE offers placement testing for Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Chinese on this list because they are more often taught in schools. Universities can use WebCAPE placement exams for these languages to place students into appropriate class courses.

What WebCAPE has to Offer

In conclusion, WebCAPE offers Spanish, French, German, Russian, ESL, Chinese, and Italian. These are very commonly spoken and taught languages in the world today. WebCAPE helps organizations and universities to evaluate students, and employees, and place them into correct course language classes. This is helpful and convenient for analyzing students, or employees, fluency level in a specific language. This is important to utilize in our world today because many people want to learn new languages and need to be evaluated on what level they are at, so they can continue to improve.


Simons, Gary F. and Charles D. Fennig (eds.). 2018. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Twenty-first edition. Dallas, Texas: SIL International.

Goldberg, D., Looney, D., & Lusin, N. (2015). Enrollments in Languages other than English in United States Institutions of Higher Education, Fall 2013. Adfl,1-81. doi:10.1632/adfl.39.2.66

Get a FREE Trial

Get a FREE Trial of WebCAPE and see how it can help you at your institution or organization.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *