Foreign Language Studies
Contents of this page:
Languages (and abbreviations) studied in comprehensive school
- A1 language is the first foreign language pupils begin to study in grade 1 and continue to study until completing their basic education in ninth grade.
- A2 language is the first elective foreign language pupils can begin to study in grade 4 and continue to study until completing their basic education in ninth grade.
- B1 language studies begin in grade 6 and continue until the end of grade 9. The B1 language is usually Swedish unless a pupil has begun studying Swedish as their A1 or A2 language.
- B2 language is an elective foreign language that pupils can begin to study in grade 8. B2 language can for example be Spanish, French, German, Russian, Italian or some other language.
Different language studies
First foreign language - A1 language
Pupils select their first foreign language (A1 language) accordingly to the principals of the national curriculum before they begin studying in grade 1. Guardians will receive instructions on selecting the language from daycare centres.
The City of Oulu offers six A1 languages for pupils to select from: English, Swedish, German, French, Spanish and Russian. Each school must offer pupils at least two languages.
The pupil selects the A1 language from their local school selection. In order for a language group to be formed, a minimum of 12 pupils must select the same language. If a pupil selects a language other than English as their A1 language, selecting English as A2 language is highly recommended.
Elective foreign language - A2 language
Pupils can select a second foreign language (A2 language) that they begin to study in grade 4. The City of Oulu offers six A2 languages: English, Swedish, German, French, Spanish and Russian.
Not all schools offer all the languages in the language selection. The formation of an A2 language groups is coordinated by region. A language teaching group is established if a minimum of 12 pupils have selected the same language.
Pupils must study the selected language until the end of 9th grade. Studying can only be suspended due to pre-determined criteria.
A2 language lessons are not included in other elective subjects in grades 5–6, but pupils who have selected an A2 language have two extra lessons of weekly teaching. A2 language is studied in grades 4–6 for two lessons a week.
Also in the 7th grade, the number of lessons is two lessons higher than the average lesson amount. In grades 8–9, A2 language lessons are included in elective subjects.
If a pupil transports from one school to another during the school day in order to attend an A2 language lesson, necessary arrangements must be made to ensure safe transportation. This also applies to transporting directly from home to another school (first lessons of the morning) and/or home (last lessons of the afternoon). If the teaching arrangements require transportation by a vehicle, they will be reimbursed by a principal's decision.
Second domestic language - B1 language
Swedish is studied in all schools in the City of Oulu in grades 6–9. Swedish studies begin in the 6th grade if a pupil has not started studying it as an A1 or A2 language before.
Elective foreign language - B2 language
Schools can offer Spanish, French, German, Russian, Italian or another language as an elective language in grade 8.
A group is formed if there is a minimum of 12 pupils who have selected the same language. If necessary, schools work in collaboration to form teaching groups.
Sámi language teaching
Northern Sami and Sami culture can be studied as supplementary education for two weekly lessons in grades 1–9 in contact teaching in Kastelli School. If a pupil is already participating in contact teaching in Northern Sami, the teacher confirms each pupil's continuation in the studies.
Oulu is involved in a pilot project for distance Skolt and Inari Sami education from early childhood education and care to 9th grade. The pilot will continue until spring 2024. If a pupil is already participating in Skolt or Inari Sami distance learning, the group's teacher confirms each pupil's continuation in the studies.
Enrolling new pupils
New Sami language pupils are enrolled in Wilma system. The application for enrolling in Sami language studies for grades 1-9 is open in Wilma between 2 January and 24 March 2024.
Northern Sami-Finnish class in Lintulampi School
A Northern Sami-Finnish bilingual class in grades 1–2 started at Lintulampi School in August 2023. The pupils are integrated into Finnish-speaking general classes and receive at least a quarter of teaching in Northern Sami language. In addition, they study Northern Sami for two lessons a week.
Pupils who speak Northern Sami or have Northern Sámi ancestry, as well as pupils with a background in Northern Sami language nest or early childhood education and care can apply for the class.
The class admits new pupils for grade 1 in the beginning of the school year 2024-2025. Read more about the class and enrollment on Enrolling in School website and the Enrolling in Grade 1 section.
Lintulampi School Website