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'Immigrant kids need more schooling': Sweden

The Local/og · 8 May 2012, 12:08

Published: 08 May 2012 12:08 GMT+02:00

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In a statement released on Tuesday by the Government Offices of Sweden (Regeringkansliet), Jan Björklund, the Minister for Education and Erik Ullenhag, the Minister for Integration, revealed plans to attack issues facing the 70,000 foreign-born students in Swedish schools.

Björklund pointed out that it is ”unfair” that students who have recently arrived to Sweden are being compared and rated against Swedish students.

“If you write a national exam after just a few years in a Swedish school, it’s obvious that you won’t pass,” Björklund told the TT news agency.

The government also intends to remove the students who have lived in Sweden for four years or less from the grading statistics.

”It’s not reasonable to evaluate the performance of a school based on how many of the foreign-born students have reached the objectives in Swedish. After a few years, it’s reasonable that they pass, but not from the beginning,” Björklund told TT.

Key issues regarding these foreign students, who make up nine percent of Sweden’s primary school student population, revolved around how to integrate the children and raise the quality of their education by considering lesson priorities and additional compulsory schooling.

“For recently arrived children, schooling is the key to integration. Students today are older when they come to Sweden. It puts greater demands on the Swedish schools that receive them,” wrote the government in the statement.

Only 63 percent of the foreign-born students passed their final high school exams in 2010, a trend the government indicated is worsening.

The government highlights that more children are coming from different countries today than in past years, and that the age at arrival in Sweden has become older.

Foreign-born students in the ninth grade today have, on average, been in Sweden for 4.5 years. In 2001, the corresponding figure was six years.

To combat these growing trends, Tuesday’s reform packet highlighted that integration will be aided from an earlier stage.

Students will be tested upon arrival, whereas students are currently put into schools based purely on their age, with no consideration of their abilities.

Furthermore, the children’s knowledge of the Swedish language will be measured regularly during their first years at school.

Foreign-born students may be kept in school until they are 18, with more lessons given when needed.

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There is also an intended reshuffling of priorities in terms of subjects learnt. For example, Swedish could be placed as a priority for students without a solid grasp of the language.

The plans are intended to come into effect by 31st December this year at the latest, following a review by a government commission.

Other measures planned by the government include an increased concentration on pre-schools.

Nearly one in five students speaks a language beside Swedish at home, and the government intends to increase the teachers’ knowledge of language developments. This is planned to come into total effect by the 15th of February, 2013.

The Local/og (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:55 May 8, 2012 by JulieLou40
If you write a national exam after just a few years in a Swedish school, it's obvious that you won't pass," Björklund told the TT news agency.

After a few years, it's reasonable that they pass, but not from the beginning," Björklund told TT.

Make your mind up, Björklund.

And for the record, my son learned Swedish to an excellent standard (in less than a year), and now attends a regular Swedish school, where he is amongst the brightest kids in the class.

Don't tar all immigrant children with the same brush. I think the minister will find that those foreign born kids who have received plenty of education before they come to Sweden, will learn Swedish fast and then progress just as well as their Swedish peers in school.

I resent the fact that, while well-meaning, this man could possibly stick his big nose into a perfectly fine situation and force my child to be kept back until he is 18. Hmm.
13:03 May 8, 2012 by Abe L
There isn't exactly a shortage of well educated people in Sweden either. In fact, the shortage of less educated people makes us pay premium for simple services that are dirt cheap in other countries.
13:04 May 8, 2012 by Freelife
I think, this is a good step. Of-course the minister is not speaking about every immigrant child.

Some immigrant children or young people whom I have met in Stockholm speak worse English than Swedish kids. I heard, they even don't speak proper Swedish since they speak some other language at home.

I appreciate the minister's efforts; specially "Students will be tested upon arrival, whereas students are currently put into schools based purely on their age, with no consideration of their abilities." and "Swedish could be placed as a priority".
13:16 May 8, 2012 by JulieLou40
Yes I agree that that bit was good, however, he possibly doesnt even know that some kommuns put the immigrant kids straight into a special language school so that they get their Swedish to a good standard BEFORE they are put into a regular school. This of course negates his whole point about monitoring their Swedish ability, as it is only once that is very very good that they are moved from the language school and into the regular system.

I am aware that not all kommuns operate this system (luckily Luleå do), however you would think he would know about it, which doesn't come through in the article.
13:28 May 8, 2012 by byke
I see this as yet another cop out by the government.

In a way to simply help offset the ever increasing statistics showing that the education system is not only failing students. But its directly linked to government bungling.

"Swedish" as a language is a single subject.

If children are slower at this particular subject, then why insist that other subjects are taught in it? This only hinders the child at the expense of their other education subjects.

And that is part of the problem.

Since Sweden brought into effect its language laws of 2009 which in simple terms is no more than linguistical apartheid - it has done nothing to improve the lives of children or adults living in Sweden and clearly breaches the EU human rights laws. And only helps create an even more divided nation based on cultural background for a 2 tier society not based on educational background, but cultural.

Furthermore if a child doesn't speak Swedish ..... why on earth do local authorities insist in sending these children to schools which have more English taught? just because a 6 year old child is from somewhere other than Sweden doesn't mean they have English down as a second language ..... odds are they can just about speak their own mother tongue .... let alone anything else.

Björklund is a political incompetent who is clearly not qualified to be in the position he is in. And if pushed ... I wonder how long it would take before he switched over to the Sweden Democrats #TradingPlaces
13:35 May 8, 2012 by foxxychick1978
iam really proud of my 13 year old daughter we have lived in sweden since dec 2011 and sje as just done the swedish natinol tests the school did ask her is she would like to take the tests in english ( our main language)or swedish she choose to take these tests in swedish she pasted all but 1 the 1 she failed (teaches expected her to fail by lots od poins ) she failed by 2 points :D i know all children are different though .all 3 of my children school age in sweden went striaght to main steam schools where there learnt swedish now i just after learn but im findidng it extemaly difficult
14:01 May 8, 2012 by JulieLou40
@ #6: You say English is your main language??
14:34 May 8, 2012 by crankpot
my son was 7 when we moved here.. learned swedish in 4 months.. placed him in school the second day we were here.. if the school system (and parents) would focus more on them learning swedish, than it being swedish as a second language, and all these classes in mothers languages that they offer during schools hours, perhaps these children would learn the lingo a bit better.. they get all the mother lingo at home, they don't need it in the school system..

my neighbours are from poland.. he came over here 5 years ago to work. wife came 1 year ago with 8 year old kid.. she took swedish sfi for children.. kid now in school, but doesnt follow the other children in class.. she is taking ' swedish as a second language' then 3 days a week, during school time, comes a polish lady to school and learns this child how to write and stuff so she keeps up her polish.. did i mention that the father CANNOT SPEAK A WORK OF SWEDISH.. mother does a bit of english and that is how they are getting by.. the company he works for has a polish boss who can speak swedish, but only deals with them in polish...is this right?

perhaps sweden should look at other countries and how they run the school.. US.. you learn english.. not polish, arabic, french, klingon, or jabber.. move the the country and learn the bloody lingo.. just my 2 cents..
14:49 May 8, 2012 by muscle
@Julie: I am happy for your kid. But I think I read in some previous posts of yours that your partner is a Swedish. If it is true , this might have played a big role in helping your kid learn swedish. And it actually is the best solution (forced or manadatory integration with Swedish society).

We have seen in sweden, many immigrants are reluctant to join the swedish culture. Joining the culture does not mean adopting the bad habbits, but only adopting the good habbits. The immigrants should be FORCED to communicate with Swedish nation instead of communicating or integrating with their own nation. This should be done untill they are fluent in language. Other ways of learning the language will not help in fluency and may actually give rise different accents in Swedish!
14:52 May 8, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
SFI should have a Swedish language learning program on TV on a non-cable channel that is broadcast many times a week at a time when people with normal working hours could view it. Would help both newly arrived adults and their children. 'Sesam gata' or something along those lines.
14:53 May 8, 2012 by libertarianism
Hopefully solutions will be in place before the Centerpariet imports its goal of 30 million immigrants to Sweden.
14:56 May 8, 2012 by JulieLou40
@ muscle: Yes, my sambo is indeed Swedish, but the big problem we have with that, is that he has spoken to us in English for so long, that it's automatic now, and even after asking him a million times, he still doesn't speak to us in Swedish. So I think I can confidently say that my son learning Swedish was more down to his fast learning at the language school.

Wish the same was true for me, however. But as I get no help at home, and plus am not surrounded by people speaking Swedish all day (like my son was/is), I am really struggling with the language. But I keep on trying!
14:57 May 8, 2012 by byke

I am afraid you are mistaken, the US doesn't have the same Lingusitical apartheid language laws as Sweden. Schools in America don't just teach in English, but allow other languages too (like Spanish) so the child is not always put at a disadvantage by needing to learn a completely new language to be entitled to education.

And the official language of Sweden has a total of 6 or 7 languages (not 1).

Do you speak Yiddish? (since its an official language of Sweden)

just my 2 cents..
14:58 May 8, 2012 by muscle
@JulieLou40: In that case i THINK it has to do with the age as well. We adults might find it hard to learn something, while the younger the kid, may learn faster (no hesitation, more fun, more friends, focused on one thing which is Studies etc.)

Just a thought! Not sure though
15:05 May 8, 2012 by JulieLou40
@ muscle: Yes, I agree. I have read somewhere that children's brains are like sponges, and have the ability to soak up lots of new things, languages etc. However, once you reach adulthood, it's apparently a lot harder, damn it...
15:19 May 8, 2012 by byke
Why is the focus on education automatically based on learning Swedish?

It doesn't matter what language a child speaks for them to be able to learn.

Maths is still maths, regardless if its taught in swedish, german, french, english etc ... as are ALL other subjects. With the exception to "Swedish".

But this justification by the government to restrict education to those who don't have a suitable level of "Swedish" to allow them to have education in subjects that don't require such is criminal.

At least Sweden gets this 2 tier slave society they have been after for such a long time.

"Work will set you free"
15:19 May 8, 2012 by crankpot
byke, my mistake.. perhaps thats where all the problems are then.. every country has 100 official lanuguages instead of one or 2, like canada, english or french, or both.. how will it be here with every bloody lingo under the sun being taught, then the the people from iran what their own school so there is another lingo being taught.. or in malmo where they want the police to learn arabic so they can communicate better.. your in sweden.. learn the language...
15:30 May 8, 2012 by byke
Also lets keep language in perspective.

Swedish is a MICRO language which has absolutely no value on the world stage.

How does the forcing of such a subject, often with detrimental effects over other subjects or reduced participation in those subjects to ensure a child is fluent in swedish benefit that child?

A child will learn a subject, irrespectively.

But putting the subject of "Swedish" over all the others, based on its actual value is ludicrous.
15:36 May 8, 2012 by foxxychick1978
@julie yes english is my main languge as we are from england but yes my writen english is rubbish due to me have dislexia
16:45 May 8, 2012 by Uncle

"Swedish is a MICRO language which has absolutely no value on the world stage.

How does the forcing of such a subject, often with detrimental effects over other subjects or reduced participation in those subjects to ensure a child is fluent in swedish benefit that child?"

Swedish is not just a language. It is the psychological stability of the kid in the swedish environment. It is self esteem, cultural integration. It is humour, it is communication with the opposite sex etc.

If the family is here just for sucking a bit of benefits and then emigrating to England or US, then I do not see any reasoning to make it easy on them. If they are to stay here, then there is even less reasons to allow the kid to learn Swedish geography in French, English or some other "Macro" language.

Language is the MOST important factor for an immigrant, even if he immigrated to live with some african tribe.
16:54 May 8, 2012 by byke


I haven't read so much JINGO BS in a long time.

I love the part where you try to use fear mongering of "sucking benefits".

Seriously, all thats missing from your comment is a german 1940's characterizational drawing of a jew and star of David.
17:05 May 8, 2012 by StockholmSam
Posts #1 and #2 by JulieLou and Abe are spot on.

I have been a middle-school and high-school teacher in Stockholm for nearly a decade now. Every class I have taught has had a multicultural student body. The bell curve of grades is always the same: most of the kids completely failing the class are immigrants, the majority of Swedes are at the G-VG (D-C) level, and the brightest of all are predominantly immigrants. The Swedes generally do not see the value of trying to work hard for the top grades and are content to skim by just to pass. The failing immigrants are not stupid, they are not giving wrong or weak answers; they are disengaged and perhaps depressed and simply not showing up for class. Their experiences outside of school have precluded them from succeeding. The immigrants who are at the top of the class are light years beyond their Swedish counterparts, yet they are from the same countries as the failing immigrants. The difference is the parents and the family's economic situation. Successful, highly educated parents from Iran will usually have academically inclined children.

And as Abe said, Sweden's free schooling has priced its labor market so high that companies find it hard to compete globally on price if they manufacture in Sweden. The unions (which I support) have also played a role in this, of course.

Another problem I see is how Swedish society has empowered recent generations of young people with a sense of entitlement by telling them how special and talented they are, and how they will do great things. We shield kids from reality. Then, when they flunk out of school and are then asked to work low-wage jobs, they think they deserve better than that when in fact they don't.
17:28 May 8, 2012 by Douglas Garner
@byke... regarding some of your earlier comments... you obviously have limited experience in teaching children new languages and limited knowledge about language education in the states.

Each State has it's own education program, which is further governed at the local independent school district level. Hence, there is no consistency.

Second, the younger the student, the faster they learn the language and meld into their group of friends. If they have a local language speaking parent, they are far more likely to be exposed to native speakers and cultural activities. If they are restricted to their own native tongue (such as arabic or english) communities, their adaptation to Swedish will be much slower and more difficult. The problems continue beyond language as virtually all homework assignments are given in Swedish. So, not only does the non Swedish speaking child struggle in class to follow instruction, he may not have parents who can support his learning of maths, science, social studies, etc.

For those foreign born students fortunate enough to attend a multilingual school that also uses English as a teaching language, they may be able to utilize their English skills whether learned in their home country, by watching tv or movies, or playing internet games. It will usually provide them with at least one subject in which they will not fall behind and situations on which they will be on a more even basis.

My US born daughter will be entering grade 6 at an international english based school next year. We have had her in a regular communal school the past 4 years and while she compares with them in Swedish ability at this point, she has made limited progress in written English. While I think we made an OKAY choice, if we had a multilingual choice at year two or three, she would clearly be miles ahead at this point as she lost an academic and intellectual year due to language. I am confident that she will thrive in the expanded environment.

Regarding keeping children in school until 18... unless a child "drops out" of school, that is the norm in the states. If we could keep them all in school until 18 we would have a much better prepared workforce and less children/young adults on welfare.
17:54 May 8, 2012 by byke
@Douglas Garner

In regards to your comment.

If one was as limited in knowledge as you claimed.

Then how is that our children are fluent in both languages, and that we made the active decision not to use a Swedish state or Swedish "bilingual" school from grade 1. Yet you have, and now you are having to make radical adjustments?

The saddest part for your daughters sake is the fact that some of the most important learning years have been lost in the subject of English. Such as Grammar and Comprehension which could be very hard for her to catch up with.

I truly hope the latest change you make will benefit your daughter.

Just a shame you didn't do it earlier.
18:26 May 8, 2012 by sfk
@ foxxychick1978

You should have lenguage review funtion in your word. It is maybe better to check spealing before showing of that you are native speaker.
19:17 May 8, 2012 by libertarianism
I thought that the general understanding now was that children (and adults?) learn better in their native language. Children will pick up math/science/etc. concepts better if these concepts are taught in the child's native language.

I thought some kids in Sweden were learning this way, but then also adding an additional Swedish class to their workload, so that they actually have more courses than the average Swedish student. Maybe I'm mistaken... seems that it's been some years ago that I heard/read this.
20:10 May 8, 2012 by scrawler
Long live English. !! In a period of five years major of the technical studies will be in English even in Sweden too.

This for elementary, high school...bla bla.. What about Univ ? do they solve Newton law of motion in swedish ? Do they solve differential calculus in Swedish. Still major of the innovation and invention is from US. After five years definitely I believe English should have reach nook and corners of this planet.

You should look some alternative way to preserve Swedish language rather being Swedish apartheid.

First it's nothing do with education system if you impose everybody has to study Language shouldn't be a barrier to intellectual person.

Finding contingency way to preserve and motivate immigration to learn Swedish is the ideal way I believe instead of labeling them for all crimes which occur in Sweden.

I don't know why such animosity with English? IDK about Swedish school education system but I can say about University level education is not up-to the mark of World standard.

I always force myself to speak Swedish to improve my uttal but my circle so rude none motivates me to speak in Swedish rather they are keen in improving their English vocabs.
20:15 May 8, 2012 by muscle
@byke: You may need to study a bit

Its not about just Swedish, its a language which is common in Sweden, and which most of the people in Sweden understand. Language acts as trust building factor. WE the IMMIGRANTS MUST learn the common language to integrate instead of complaining about why we need to learn Swedish.

I am a research software engineer, ALL of the research papers that I have read related to my work, are in English. all the documentation in office is in English. YET the people are Swedish and wish to speak swedish among themselves. If I wish to be successful within the organization, I need to be productive, which in turn requires informal and formal communication within the group. And I need the language to integrate myself within the culture of the group.

Its important for ages and everyone in every country to be fluent in the local language of the community they work with and in.

you really need to learn a lot about these things.
20:38 May 8, 2012 by towns
I can't believe some of the comments on here, like this one:

"Swedish is a MICRO language which has absolutely no value on the world stage."

Are you serious? I'd like to see you go to the indigenous people in North America, the Sami in Northern Fenno-Scandinavia or the Livonians in Latvia for example and tell these people to their faces that their languages are insignificant. All of these peoples are trying to hold onto their their endangered languages which is a vital element of their cultures and you are dismissing them simply because "they aren't macro languages?" Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken native language in the world, but I'd like to see how good it would do you if you moved to say, Iceland or Switzerland.

If anything, I'm GLAD Swedish people don't speak English more than they do, and I say this as someone who speaks English as their native language and who had to learn Swedish!
20:52 May 8, 2012 by Uncle

What I loved about your arguments is that you did not provide counterarguments. You just wrote that it is BS, because it is BS. Then you threw some Holocaust in, just for a good measure...

You know why I loved it? Because I understood who YOU are and why you think that coming to Sweden and not learning Swedish language in school is reasonable, while thinking anything else is racist.

I am sure that a brilliant career awaits you here. Just don't forget to whine about them racist swedes who do not accept the creme-de-la-creme immigrants to work.

I would even say that the fact that swedes even speak non-English language is racist and a clear sign of apartheid by itself. I would even say that the fact that they are calling themselves Swedes and not English/American is a clear support of Holocaust and massacre in Darfur. Any other opinion is equal to being a sturmbanfuhrer in SS.
21:01 May 8, 2012 by towns

You're on a roll! Both here and on the climate change article, keep it up!

If anything Byke just proved how true Godwin's Law is.
21:38 May 8, 2012 by Migga
Swedish isn`t the problem. Swedes and Sweden does well on a global level, even with swedish as a native language and english as a second. It`s one of the most innovative country in the world when it comes to science and industry. I`m not saying that the swedish school is the best in the world but it does ok. So what has changed?

Everyone commenting here that their kid has done well makes me laugh. Do you really think this article talks about your kids? No. The largest immigrant groups today are different then before. They are no longer coming from the west or europe. Today immigrants are coming from countries like Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan. Countries where kids don`t go to school. How do you think they will do when coming here? That`s what this article is about, not kids from the western world. And the swedish schools are not prepared to handle these new groups.


@ StockholmSam

So the swedes are lazy and the best are immigrants? Except for the few that have personal problems?
21:53 May 8, 2012 by Simonastoica
This because emigrants should feel that they don't belong in Sweden? I don't think so; swedish people are simply afraid of immigrants and they will never recognise the true value of a brilliant immigrant brain - don't you ever think that you are better than us - sound familiar?; you should have thought of that before bringing all kind of nations who just spend money from taxes paid by swedish people - and this simply because they have large families, many children etc-

The true value comes from knowledge and hard work, not from begging (!)

I finished SFI at D level in just three months- treat this as a simply comment...
22:27 May 8, 2012 by muscle
I dont know how when the comments became a bit racist . anyway, just to clear I have met many SWEDES, who are having many children. One family that I know about has 8! And even 5 or 4 children isnt very uncommon. True there are swedes who dont want to get married or dont want to have more kids... yes it was my belief as well, but i have met many families who have large families as well OK.

As for the Sweds getting affraid of emmigrants, I really dont think so. I consider it their politeness if they dont say anything on face (well most of them). We the immigrants are on the wrong here. Just now, there were idiots outside, who were going on motorbikes without silencers and were acting like @ssholes. Even me, an immigrant, feels like beating the hell out of them, why shouldnt Swedes feel the same. But they avoid us.

I say it all the time and I will say it again, we should not complain how are the sweds or what they do or how good or bad their system is...it is their country they have the right to live the way they want. No buddy forced us to come to sweden, but we did. And now complaining that sweds are afraid or dont want to mingle with us, is wrong.

By the way, clearing just SFI isn't enough for integration. SFI ONLY teaches you the semantics of Swedish language. In order to be fluent, understanding their culture, integration... requires your own efforts (the govt can not make you do that) and this is where the immigrants are way down on the ladder.

(With the word IMMIGRANTS i refer to all of the NON-Swedish nationals, or nationals who are not Swedish by birth).
22:35 May 8, 2012 by Uncle

"swedish people are simply afraid of immigrants and they will never recognise the true value of a brilliant immigrant brain "

Oh, yeah. The immigrant kids are getting worse grades on average because it is the fault of SWEDES!

Them racist Swedes were not considerate enough to provide Calculus and Roman history books in Tajik and Urdu, neither did they bother (in their nazi nature) to provide qualified examinators in Lurish and Baloch.

It is all because they know how amazingly brilliant these nations are! After all, these nations achievements in the areas of nano-technologies, supercomputer software development and orbital communications are undeniable, when they are allowed to work in their own language... Hell, only the Nobel prize medals are used all over Kirghistan and Somalia as paper weights...

It is not that their parents have zero drive to encourage their kids to study (especially girls), not that the older kids are demanded to take care of the younger, while the father sits in the sofa and watches football, not that these children success in studies is seen as "trying to be better than the family" and not that they are used as labor in their parents pizzerias from the age of 14. No, no. Those are the evil Swedes who are guilty!


Thank you. It feels like a good day :)
03:38 May 9, 2012 by Jeff10
Dear Immimgrants:

Don't come to a country to make it the same as the country you fled. Instead, think about why you fled your country of birth.
06:02 May 9, 2012 by crankpot
in the end.. it just comes down to the same crap.. dont know the language, means, no job, no intergration, no nothing except welfare, then these immigrant children will be passing it down to their children and the cycle will never be broke. The school system is not making it easier for these children to grow up here, only harder.

if we moved to any other country in this world, we would have to learn the language, and thats just a fact of life.. you think if we moved to an arabic land or finland or rome, we would get by on our english? yeh we would for a few min. and thats it.. you want to fit in, get a job, have a great life, learn the language..they left their countries for one reason or another.. wanted a better life, then deal with it and learn to fit in..
06:08 May 9, 2012 by Douglas Garner
@byte... I agree with your comments regarding my daughter. Putting her in the communal school initially was the only option as the international school in our community was not yet open to younger children. We had the opportunity for year 4, but her relationship with friends and very convenient location of the communal school (which by the way is the same one Mommy attended when she was a child) made the who situation emotionally charged.

The biggest disappointment I experienced was the very poor quality of English language support through the modersmål progam. Her English teacher was not even a native English speaker and was difficult for me to understand. Materials were poor or unavailable...
08:51 May 9, 2012 by Puffin
I think that the important thing here is t recognise that these proposals are not aimed at Western expat children who have regularly attended school in their own countries prior to moving to Sweden

I think that it is a positive step to recognise that for many children - especially those that move from war torn areas or those who have not attended school regularly prior to living in Sweden- and especially those moving as teenagers. For those children it is probably unrealistic to think that they are going to meet the requirements of the year 9 Nationella Prov in the core and other subjects after a year or two in Sweden - yet this has lifelong consequences for the kids unable to move onto any of the national academic or vocational qualifications at 16 as they have failed several subjects and are left in individuella programmet when an extra year or 2 may have made all the difference.
10:24 May 9, 2012 by mafketis
Here's a simple way to predict the educational success of immigrant children in Sweden.

Look at education in their home country and attitudes toward education (especially secular education). The worse the secular education system then the better the chances that their culture does not especially value education (or value the kind of education they'll get in Sweden).

I would be interested in counter examples if anyone can provide them....
13:06 May 9, 2012 by Migga
@ Puffin

Exactly! And sure it may have consequences later on but that`s life. I don`t wanna sound nasty but that`s the reality for most. And the public school must serve the public, not the few.
13:16 May 9, 2012 by byke
@ Douglas Garner

With the following response only meant with the very best intentions for your daughter (and yourself) please be very aware that many schools in recent years have started to open or rebrand themselves as "international schools" especially in the Stockholm region.

The increase in "bi-lingual" or "international" branded schools has not just been to appease the international community, but have become especially vogue for all Swedish parents who hope that sending their child to one of these rebranded school will be better than what is often regarded as mass failure in the school system in Sweden. Plus many just like the idea of saying their child goes to an "English" or International school.

With what many see as a greater emphasis on English. However, while this often to sold to parents, the fact is the school curriculum in Sweden doesn't allow for greater emphasis in an academic way in relation to regular all swedish schools. The main difference being that some classes are taught exclusively in English and this in turn helps get more native speakers enrolling in the school, and more social talk in English. But increased academics in comprehension or grammar is not part of the swedish curriculum, regardless of the name of the school. Some newer schools have also started to claim they are "IB" schools. And if they do, ask if they are certified? As I think you will find they are not, or the common response is "not yet ... but we are hoping to be". But given the budget schools have to work with, I think if you ask the same question X amount of years down the line ... you will get the same response.

Such schools do nothing to help native English speakers, who already have a good grasp of the language, and only benefits Swedes who want their child to be greater exposed to an international groups of children hoping it will rub off and improve their own childs second language.

While I am not saying this new school won't be better than what you have already, it may still fall far short from what you are looking, hoping or expecting for. especially by international standards.

The only way around this is to send your child to a school that is not governed by the state. And the only way to achieve this is to send your child to a private international school as they are not governed by the same regulations or authorities and often have a special license.

Whatever happens, good luck.
00:56 May 11, 2012 by TheWatchman
I don't get why Swedish isn't required learning for immigrants. I don't plan on ever living in Sweden, but if I did, I sure as hell would start learning Swedish. Why should the immigrants force the new country to adapt to them? The idea that immigrant kids need more schooling is laughable at best. No amount of schooling will make someone who believes their culture is the only right one and should dominate the new country, want to adapt. Why would they? They're given the right to do+say what they want. There's no reason for them to adapt to Swedish culture when their own culture is taking over.

For example, immigrants from East Asia keep their own customs such as respect for elders in conversation (maybe just Korean, I don't know enough Japanese), but adhere to our Canadian ones too. It's not the case in Sweden, and no amount of 'schooling' can change that.
02:01 May 11, 2012 by Smartone
I do like the idea where you are going to live, you must learn the language of that country! However, Swedish language skills can not be compared with professional education such as doctors, engineers, scientist, chemist, accountant, and I.T professionals.

Look at the statistics most of the professional jobs are taken over by immigrants not because they are on rise. The reason is that there are not enough Swedes who have professional qualification rather they are into music, media and sports education.

Last but not least good and bad people are everywhere, so you can't simply make your judgement on the basis of some bad elements!Therefore, I would say immigrants should not be targeted for everything that goes bad. Their role in the Swedish society is far better if one look from a broad picture!


Swedes are learning Chinese and immigrants in Sweden are learning Swedish....what a joke?
04:57 May 11, 2012 by Lunneia
This is utter BS! Everyone knows the Swedish educational system sucks, and nothing can save it! With every kid aspiring to be a punk-rock star and a tattoo artist, the future is very bleak! Its even more hopeless in a society where more emphasis is placed on high school graduation than on getting a PhD!

I really pity immigrant kids who end up messing their academic orientation in their bid to fit in. Foe what? For nothing in life but that black and white cap they give them after high school! That said, i was surprised to learn that there were many more African students in the ivy leagues than European students. That is why It still beats me as an African why someone would learn Swedish! there are way many other competitive languages globally.
12:15 May 11, 2012 by kenai
I WARN SWEDEN, a lot of criminals and desperate people from Romania and a lot of gipsy people will for sure enter in Sweden as EU members and steal and rape as much as they can, just like they are already doin in Italy, this is Important, Sweden must close the borders and send back all the immigrants from this nation, here in Italy it's impossible to live anymore, and in Sweden, where all poeple trust each other, and where all doors are open and all houses have no security at all, it gonna be even worse, this people will end the life as we know it.

13:54 May 11, 2012 by Simonastoica
"I WARN SWEDEN, a lot of criminals and desperate people from Romania and a lot of gipsy people will for sure enter in Sweden as EU members and steal and rape as much as they can, just like they are already doin in Italy, this is Important, Sweden must close the borders and send back all the immigrants from this nation, here in Italy it's impossible to live anymore, and in Sweden, where all poeple trust each other, and where all doors are open and all houses have no security at all, it gonna be even worse, this people will end the life as we know it.


Who are you to talk for an entire nation??? Have you ever been in Romania, do you know the history and traditions of this country? grasp some websites, learn and ,after this, you can talk and make judgments. Have you ever heard something about Aurel Vlaicu, Spiru Haret, Iuliu Maniu, Titu Maiorescu, Mircea Eliade, Emil Cioran, Eugen Ionesco, Ana Aslan, Victor Babes, Ioan Cantacuzino, and I could fill enough pages; don't treat a whole nation through some individuals that bothererd you at some point.

Or, even better, move to Sweden...
18:49 May 11, 2012 by Iftikhar_Ahmad
The western values suggest equality and freedom for all, that means society must allow religious freedom. The Jews and Christians have Kosher meat and Church schools, yet when Muslims simply ask for the very same teatment. the Islamphobic secular right wing jump up and down, screaming that somehow western values have been attacked.

Sharia courts are for Muslim community not for any body else. The Jews through out Europe have their own religious courts. Similarly state funded Muslim schools are for Muslim children. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school.

There are hundreds of state as well as Church schools where Muslim children are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be designated as Muslim community schools.

Bilingual Muslim children need bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. A bilingual teacher has the ability to teach bilingually and explain complex concepts to children who have limited understanding of English. Learning in their first language 'raises their self-esteem, self-respect and strengthens their identities in western culture.

A report has found that bilingual children are far more likely to get top-grades pass in all subjects. Too many schools miss out on the opportunity to ensure bilingual pupils develop their skills in languages other then English. Children using first language other than English have a some important academic advantages as this bilingualism enables children to develop cognitively. It can also improve 'intercultural understanding'.


18:52 May 11, 2012 by Migga
No wonder immigrant kids need more schooling if they don`t attend certain classes because of their religion; http://www.thelocal.se/40788/20120511/
11:43 June 21, 2012 by sureiam
S W E D E N .............................closed society ! No matter what Immigrants do in this God damn country...........shall NÈVER be accepted, feel homely ! Swedes fear changes.........Learn from Danish and Norwegians... and Stop nagging about the God damn "language" Mr so callled "Minister"
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