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Test sites named for Swedish language-learning bonus

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12:36 CEST+02:00
Thirteen Swedish municipalities have been chosen to participate in the first phase of a plan to reward newly arrived immigrants who perform well in state-funded language classes.

Back in March, the government put forward a proposal to offer cash bonuses as an incentive for students enrolled in Swedish for Immigrants (Svenska för Invandrare - SFI) courses to complete their studies faster.

Specifically, the programme would allow students who pass the most advanced level of SFI within one year to receive between 6,000 and 12,000 kronor ($780 to $1,550).

Before implementing the proposal nationwide, however, the government has asked the Institute for Labour Market Analysis (Institutet för arbetsmarknadspolitisk utvärdering – IFAU) to evaluate the plan by carrying out a pilot project in a limited number of municipalities.

Earlier this week, IFAU informed the government it had picked 13 municipalities to participate in the trial, as well as an additional 15 municipalities to make up a control group.

Participating municipalities will receive extra funding to support efforts to improve the quality of SFI courses as well as money to offer bonus payments to SFI students who meet the necessary requirements.

Municipalities in the control group, on the other hand, will only receive the quality improvement funds.

The IFAU proposal now goes back to the government, which will have the final say on which municipalities are eventually chosen for the pilot project, which is expected to start in early 2010.

The following municipalities have been proposed to participate in the trail:

Borås

Halmstad

Huddinge

Karlstad

Katrineholm

Luleå

Nacka

Sollentuna

Stockholm

Trelleborg

Uddevalla

Växjö

Örnsköldsvik

The proposed control group includes the following municipalities:

Gävle

Gothenburg

Haninge

Helsingborg

Härnösand

Jönköping

Kalmar

Landskrona

Nyköping

Solna

Södertälje

Trollhättan

Täby

Uppsala

Västerås

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