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Placing English Speaking Kids in Swedish Schools

Moving from the UK to Stockholm

NickyO
post 21.Jun.2017, 12:51 PM
Post #1
Joined: 21.Jun.2017

We are thinking of moving back to Sweden after being in the UK for 6 years. Our twins are 7 years hold and while their father is Swedish and they were born in Sweden, there Swedish is limited to understanding the basics in Swedish and replying in a mix of English and Swedish. We would like to put them into a Swedish school straight away but I am worried about how they will adapt and if they would really struggle. Any experience or suggestions in this regard would be greatly appreciated. Thank You!
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laura
post 21.Jun.2017, 09:45 PM
Post #2
Joined: 21.Jun.2017

If your children have been educated in the UK, they probably can read and write already? They might be completely bored in their first year of Swedish school in that case, so the challenge of adapting and finding their feet in Swedish would be good for them, when what they are learning in school might be far too basic for them? My children learned to speak Swedish fluently in a matter of months, it was their third language, we are not native Swedes, they never heard a word spoken before they came here. I wouldn't worry about language. Why would you *NOT* want them to become fluent in Swedish? They are half Swedish anyway?! The easiest way to feel at home in a new country is to speak its language. smile.gif

Just to add - while they might be comfortable in an international English speaking school - the trouble will start with extra curricular activities, swimming lessons, tennis, soccer, ice hockey, innebandy - whatever takes their fancy. My children move seamlessly between their Swedish world and their home world and I wouldn't have it any other way. They are independent, outgoing, chat to anyone they meet at playgrounds etc, if they couldn't speak Swedish, their world would be so much smaller.

What they gain linguistically is at a price in terms of what they haven't learned in school, because everything starts later here, but I have let that go, for them to feel integrated where they live. Its summer now, they play outdoors, know all the children in our neighbourhood, call hello to children and adults we meet, they occupy a comfortable place in Swedish society I completely envy. Acquiring full fluency in a language is never a bad thing!

If you were doing this the other way around, moving from Sweden to the UK, they would face a far bigger challenge, going into a class of seven year olds, who have been learning reading, writing, since reception class? The timing is perfect, I think they won't get double whammied academically and linguistically, their challenge will be acquiring all their Swedish vocab! It's perfect timing to try a year of Swedish school and if you feel that yes, they have become fluent in Swedish, but, no, they are bored in school, because they know a lot of the material already, you can move them later. But immerse them in Swedish, for sure.

Good luck!
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Gamla Hälsingebock
post 21.Jun.2017, 09:49 PM
Post #3
Joined: 21.Dec.2006

Children are extremely adaptable when it come to language, they don't have years of habit to overcome...Your children will be all right...
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Savage
post 22.Jun.2017, 09:23 AM
Post #4
Joined: 11.Mar.2016

As mentioned, the kids should eventually adapt.

But as mentioned, they will also need to dumb down for a while until children of similar age can catch up with them. There is an average of 1 and a half years difference in curriculum levels between Swedish and many other international standards.

Just google "Sweden Pisa" and see for yourself.
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NickyO
post 22.Jun.2017, 09:40 AM
Post #5
Joined: 21.Jun.2017

Thank you so much for your encouraging words! They have already been at school close on 2 years and yes they can read and write and do maths etc. I'm hoping since they have been around the Swedish language since they have been born and Farmor only speaks Swedish to them this will help! I've moved all around the world myself but this is the first time making a move when we have to consider the kids education at the same time! Important and exciting all at the same time! Thanks once again for your encouragement!
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Singleparenting
post 12.Jul.2019, 05:05 AM
Post #6
Joined: 9.Jul.2019

QUOTE (laura @ 21.Jun.2017, 09:45 PM) *
My children move seamlessly between their Swedish world and their home world and I wouldn't have it any other way. They are independent, outgoing, chat to anyone they meet ... (show full quote)


This sounds wonderful! It's also so contrary to what I read about 'unfriendly' people - clearly kids are friendly. May I ask what city and area you live in? I'm seeking places to live where my 3 year old can have friends to play with!
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GamlaSkogHisingHope
post 12.Jul.2019, 10:56 AM
Post #7
Joined: 20.Nov.2016

QUOTE (Savage @ 22.Jun.2017, 09:23 AM) *
As mentioned, the kids should eventually adapt.But as mentioned, they will also need to dumb down for a while until children of similar age can catch up with them. There is an ... (show full quote)


Indeed. Keep them in your English school as long as possible and once you move to Sweden try to give them some additional tutoring to keep them interested - they'll be way of the natives academically.
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