The Helsinki school network is designed so that a variety of languages can be studied in all five school districts. The school language selection can be found on school webpages.
According to the City strategy, Helsinki considers language learning an important aspect of education. All pupils and students have opportunities to learn languages, and the schools offer a broad selection of languages. In addition to this, pupils in Helsinki can learn more of the compulsory A1 and B1 languages than is required by the national requirement in terms of hours.
The objectives of language studies in Helsinki:
- Language studies are participatory and motivating.
- All areas of language skills are practised determinedly.
- Evaluation is always encouraging.
- Digital tools are used to enhance learning.
The studies in an A1 language, meaning the first foreign language or a second domestic language, start in the first grade.* The A1 language is studied for 2 hours a week in 1st and 2nd grades. In the early language studies, the learning is focused on activities, games, play, the joy of learning and the development of oral skills.
Studies in the second compulsory language start in the 6th grade. In addition to this, the pupils may learn an A2 language starting from the 4th grade and a B2 language starting from the 8th grade.
*Pupils who started school before 1 August 2018 will study according to the previous language programme. They will only start studying an A1 language in the 3rd grade.