Sweden to expand teaching of minority languages

The Swedish National Agency for Education, or Skolverket, is to expand the teaching of Sweden’s five national minority languages (Yiddish, Finnish, Meänkieli, Sami and Romani Chib) in Sweden’s schools.

Previously, only the Sami language had a specific curriculum for native language courses, but now the other minority languages will also receive their own curriculums, so that more young people can learn the languages.

According to Helena Karis, new rules mean that children who want to learn one of the five national minority languages will no longer have to speak the language at home to qualify for teaching in the language, but some link to the community will still be needed.

They are now also in the process of creating teaching materials for each subject, but one thing that is yet to be solved is the shortage of teachers qualified to teach the languages in schools.

“We’re working to increase the number of teachers”, she told Radio Sweden.

Related stories from around the  North:

Canada: Losing their Words (Video documentary), Eye on the Arctic

Finland:  English language dominance worries language teachers in Finland, Yle News

Greenland: (VIDEO) The importance of perserving the Inuit language, Eye on the Arctic

Norway:  Sami character keyboard app released, Barents Observer

Sweden: Foreign language speakers overtake number of Sámi and Swedish-speakers in Finland, Yle News

Russia:  More students in North Finland opting to study Russian, Yle News

United States:  Alaska bill to be signed recognizing indigenous languages as official state languages, Alaska Dispatch

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