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Finnish or Swedish as a second language instruction

  • Service
  • Helsinki
  • Public service

Finnish or Swedish as a second language and literature (Suomi/ruotsi toisena kielenä ja kirjallisuus, S2) instruction is provided for pupils who do not yet know enough Finnish or Swedish to study the Finnish or Swedish language and literature (suomen/ruotsin kieli ja kirjallisuus) syllabus.

The pupil will study according to the S2 syllabus, either completely or partially, instead of the Finnish or Swedish language and literature syllabus. Studying the S2 syllabus will not increase the pupil’s number of lessons.

The instruction is not remedial teaching or special needs education.

How to get S2 instruction:

1. The teachers notice that the pupil needs S2 instruction and discuss this with the child’s parents and carers.

2. The child’s parent or carer decides on the S2 syllabus and fills out the S2 instruction form.

The S2 syllabus supports the pupil in their future education, which will be provided in Finnish or Swedish.

The pupil will continue to study according to the S2 syllabus until they are able to study according to the Finnish or Swedish language and literature syllabus.

To whom and on what terms

In addition to immigrants, the instruction is also intended for returnees and adopted children who need support in their linguistic development.

The child’s parent or carer decides on the S2 syllabus and fills out the S2 instruction form.

The service is free of charge.

Background information

Instruction of Finnish of Swedish as a second language may be given to students with an immigrant background whose Finnish or Swedish skills have not reached the native level in all areas of language proficiency. The objectives and contents of the instruction are different from first language instruction. The abbreviation S2/R2 is often used for this instruction.

The objective of the instruction of Finnish or Swedish as a second language is to strengthen the student's plurilingual identity and lay a foundation for functional bilingualism.

Basic information

The service is provided byCity of Helsinki
Responsible for the serviceCity of Helsinki
Area Helsinki
Available languagesFinnish, Swedish
Text edited by: City of Helsinki
Updated: 9/24/2020