Mother tongue tuition

Does your child have a mother tongue other than Swedish? If so, your child is entitled to mother tongue tuition in school.

Mother tongue tuition is an optional course that parents/guardians need to apply for via the municipality’s e-service.

Please note that the e-service is in Swedish.

Mother tongue tuition is intended to support the pupil’s multilingual development and provide them with additional knowledge of their cultural background.

A child’s mother tongue is highly significant to their language, identity, personality and cognitive development. A good command of one’s mother tongue provides good conditions for learning Swedish, other languages and other subjects.

Classes may be held during the school day, if it is possible to fit them into the timetable, after school or as an elective language course. The purpose of teaching is to develop the pupil’s linguistic knowledge and to promote bilingualism and knowledge of their cultural background.

Children who are members of a national minority and wish to study Finnish, Yiddish, Meänkieli (Tornedal Finnish), Romany or Sami have extended rights to mother tongue tuition. There are two course syllabuses for these languages:

  • Mother tongue as a first language, which requires that the student can speak their mother tongue.
  • Mother tongue as a second language, for which no prior knowledge is required.

While mother tongue tuition is an elective course, once the child elects to take the course attendance is compulsory until such time as you withdraw them.

Each pupil receives 40–60 minutes of tuition per week. Teaching groups may include pupils from various classes and adjacent age groups.

What the law says

The right to mother tongue tuition according to the Swedish Education Act (SFS 2010:800) and Education Ordinance (SFS 2011:185)
A pupil is entitled to mother tongue tuition if:

  • one or both of their parents/guardians has a mother tongue other than Swedish;
  • the pupil has basic knowledge of the language in question;
  • the pupil uses the language on a daily basis at home*;
  • a minimum of five pupils in the municipality wish to have tuition in the language; and
  • a suitable teacher of the language in question is available.
    *Adoptive children are exempt from the requirement for the language to be spoken on a daily basis at home. The child does however require basic knowledge of the language.
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