The aim of the reform is to expand the offer of languages equally across the city and to support cooperation between schools when language groups are formed. Parents’ wishes have also been taken into account by adding Spanish as one of the new languages.
The languages offered in Tampere include Chinese, English, French, German, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. The language offering varies somewhat by school pathway.
The same languages are now offered within each school pathway as A1 languages and as elective A2 languages. This makes it possible to merge A1 and A2 groups when necessary, which in turn makes it easier to form groups within the school pathway.
A1 language studies begin in the first grade. Elective A2 language studies begin in the third grade.
The formation of language groups requires that a sufficient number of pupils in the school have selected the language. A1 language groups are formed when there is a minimum of 12 pupils in the group. A2 language groups are formed when there is a minimum of 16 pupils in the group.
Tampere has been quite successful in diversifying language selections when compared to the national level. In recent years, about 35% of the age group chose a language other than English as their first foreign language. A large proportion of the groups have been formed successfully.
Language selection begins soon, families are notified through Wilma
The A language selections for pupils begin in February and March. Families will be provided with further information on language selection through Wilma.
The obligatory A1 language that starts in the first grade is selected when the child is in pre-primary education. The A1 language selection form is open in Wilma from 13 March to 2 April 2023.
The elective A2 language that starts in the third grade is selected when the child is in second grade. The language selection form is open in Wilma from 13 February to 5 March 2023.