Adapted language education for pupils from language minorities

Primary and secondary schools are obliged to offer adapted language education in Norwegian to pupils who do not have sufficient proficiency in Norwegian and cannot follow the teaching in Norwegian.

Three forms of adapted language education

  • Adapted education in Norwegian: Norwegian education adapted for non-native speakers.
  • Bilingual subject teaching: The subjects are taught in Norwegian and in the pupil’s mother tongue by bilingual teachers. The purpose is to make it easier for the pupil to understand the subject teaching and to improve his/her Norwegian learning.
  • Mother tongue instruction: Teaching of the pupil’s native language. The purpose is to improve the reading and writing skills in the mother tongue, so that the mother tongue can be a support for the Norwegian learning. Mother tongue instruction may take place at another school facility.

The aim of adapted language education is that the pupil will become sufficiently proficient in Norwegian as soon as possible so that he/she can follow the normal teaching. Adapted education in Norwegian is the primary tool for learning Norwegian. Mother tongue education and bilingual subject teaching may be given to pupils who cannot follow any instruction in Norwegian, for example pupils who are newly arrived in Norway.

Newly arrived non-native speakers

Specially adapted Norwegian education for newly arrived non-native speakers is organised according to the pupil's age and school background.

1st and 2nd grade

The pupil attends an ordinary class at the local school.

3rd to 10th grade

The pupil attends a group specially adapted for language training. These groups are at selected schools.

The local school refers the pupil to the language centre "Språksenteret", which in turn refers the pupil to a group suitable for the pupil's age and level. If the pupil (aged 15 years or older), the pupil's parent(s) or legal guardian(s) do not accept a group specially adapted for language training, the pupil will attend an ordinary class at the local school.

Specially adapted language-training groups

There are three education alternatives for pupils from the 3rd to the 10th grade.

  • Introductory class ("mottaksgruppe")

Children with education from abroad, may attend an introductory class ("mottaksgruppe"). They are taught Norwegian and other basic subjects until their Norwegian language skills are at a level where they can follow ordinary teaching.

  • Intensive language training at the language centre "Språksenteret"

Intensive language training at the language centre "Språksenteret" is an alternative for pupils from the 5th to the 10th grade who have attended schools of good quality and who are well trained in languages and different subjects. A prerequisite for this course is that the pupil and their parents are motivated for intensive learning.

  • Literacy class ("alfabetiseringsgruppe").

Children with no or very limited education from abroad, may attend a literacy class ("alfabetiseringsgruppe"). The aim of these classes is to give the pupils literacy skills and basic Norwegian skills.

Information about the rights for pupils from language minorities (PDF)

Youth born before 2003

Language training

Newly arrived pupils, aged 16 - 18 years, will have their language skills assessed by the service centre "Oslo Voksenopplæring", and be offered language training accordingly.

Call Oslo Voksenopplæring if you have any questions.

Upper secondary school

The deadline for submitting an application to special courses for newly arrived non-native speakers is February 1st. You will find more information about upper secondary programs at