Immigrant Children To Get Mother Tongue Classes

Immigrant Children To Get Mother Tongue Classes

Published August 22, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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The City of Reykjavík is making preparations to set up mother tongue classes for primary school children of foreign origin.

According to an announcement posted on City Hall’s webpage, the School and Recreation Council has passed a measure to set up a workgroup whose purpose it will be to outline how immigrant primary school children will be taught their native languages. The group will be comprised of representatives from all the parties in City Council, directed by Social Democrat vice councilperson Sa­bine Leskopf.

The focus of the group will be to assess the need for children of foreign origin to learn their native languages, the education requirements that the teachers should have, course material and qualification. At the same time, the workgroup will be working closely with area teachers to get their feedback.

As reported, children of foreign origin have had inconsistent access to mother tongue classes. Some parents have reported that teachers force immigrant children to speak Icelandic with each other instead of their native languages, or have been banned from reading any materials in free time that are written in foreign languages. None of these parents would go on record for fear their children would face reprisals.

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