Suoraan sisältöön

Language immersion

Language immersion is a teaching method in which children learn the other official language by listening to it and using it in day care and at school. Language immersion daycare centres and schools in Helsinki use Swedish as the language of instruction. The education works towards a functional capability and strong language competence in the immersion language.
Early, complete language immersion may start during the year that the child turns four, at the earliest. Those starting language immersion education are not required to be able to speak Swedish, but they may use their own mother tongue, until they have the sufficient ability to use Swedish. The application deadline for language immersion education is 31 March, and families will be notified of the decision by the end of April.

An application is carried out normally on the early childhood education form. If the child is already attending early childhood education, the guardian may agree on a transfer application together with the child care location.

In the daycare centre, the staff only use the immersion language with the children, but they do understand Finnish. Children are free to use which ever language. Little by little, the children will start using the immersion language and they are also encouraged to do so. The meaning of words and expressions is complimented with facial expressions and gestures.

Prerequisites for language immersion

  • 4–6 years of age
  • Swedish is a new language for the child
  • one of the languages spoken at home is Finnish
  • the guardians are prepared to commit to the language immersion path in early childhood and basic education.

The language immersion path

Committing to language immersion means that the child completes the entire language immersion path. After daycare, the language immersion path continues all through comprehensive school. Swedish is the only language of instruction in early childhood and preschool education. Roughly 90 % of teaching is in Swedish in grades 1–2, approximately 70 % is in Swedish in grades 3–4, and roughly half of the instruction is in Swedish in grades 5–9.

Principles of being admitted to language immersion education

  • Children that are able to continue their language immersion education in language immersion classes are selected for language immersion.
  • Siblings are placed in the same unit, if it is possible in terms of the services offered.
  • In order to secure the language immersion path and to support parents in committing to the language immersion path, siblings of children attending the same language immersion daycare centre or grade one or two of language immersion school are given precedence in the selection. If there are more siblings than can be placed in the group, and no other practical solution offered by the daycare centre is possible, the selection is completed by drawing lots as a last resort.
  • If there are more eligible applicants than available places in the group after the primary selection, and no other practical solution offered by the daycare centre is possible, the selection is completed by drawing lots as a last resort.



23.03.2020 15:06