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Instruction in the pupil's native language

It is up to the parents or guardians of the pupil of immigrant origin to define what the native language of the pupil is. Studying one’s native language is voluntary, but after choosing this option, attendance at the lessons is required.

Two weekly lessons of instruction in the mother tongue are provided through all basic education. These lessons are given usually after regular lessons either at the pupil’s own school or in another school.

The objective of the instruction in the native language is to make the pupils interested in their own language, to develop their thinking and to strengthen their self-esteem and identity. Studies in the native language create a basis for developing bilingual ability.

Pupils who are instructed in their native language have different backgrounds. Factors to be considered are, among other things, the length of time lived in Finland, the educational background in the country of origin and the language situation of the family. Therefore, each pupil needs an individual educational plan.

Instruction is given in groups with a minimum of four pupils. A written verbal assessment is given in grades 1-4, pupils in grades 5-9 also receive a numerical grade. The instruction follows the curriculum but each pupil also has individual objectives. Parents or guardians have an important task in encouraging their child to study. If needed, they are responsible for taking the child to the lessons.