Teaching of minority languages will be strengthened

The pre-school and primary school board has decided that minority languages will be introduced in pre-school classes according to the same model as pre-schools already have. The teaching of minority languages will also be extended to primary schools.

Utbildning och arbetsmarknad has conducted a study to review the possibilities of strengthening the work with national minority languages. The study shows that it is possible to transfer the approach currently used in pre-school to the pre-school classroom. The approach states that the focus should be on promoting children's language development in both Swedish and their mother tongue, and that children should have the opportunity and be encouraged to use both their languages on a daily basis.

The study also concludes that it is possible to increase the number of hours of mother tongue teaching for minority languages in primary school grades 1-9. The hours will be increased from 1 hour per week to 2 hours per week.

- Since 2018, Skellefteå municipality belongs to the Finnish administrative region and this will be another effort to strengthen minority languages in preschool and primary school. It is an important effort to be an inclusive municipality, says Henrik Bolin, head of the primary school department.

The cost of working with minority languages in preschool class is estimated at 20% of a part-time position for the three minority languages where there is a need. The languages in question are Finnish, Meänkieli and Sami. The increase in the number of hours of mother-tongue teaching in primary schools is estimated at SEK 1 to 1.5 million per year.

The work will start in the autumn semester of 2023 and will be financed in 2023 from the existing budget for primary schools, with costs for 2024 to be incorporated in the budget.

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