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Answers to questions regarding native language support

Who qualifies for native language support?                                                                                    Children who have a language other than Swedish as their mother tongue. The language must be used actively with the child by at least one parent or guardian in the home. The child should have basic and age-appropriate language skills. If these requirements are met, the child can usually get language support.

What should I do if I want my children to have native language support?
This is arranged through your child’s preschool. You ask the preschool staff to make a request for your child to receive native language support. Then the preschool manager sends a formal request for native language support to our office so that we can then register the child. The preschool is then contacted by a native language teacher who then evaluates the possibility of providing assistance.

Why is it important that a child has proficiency in their native language?
It provides the child with an opportunity to develop a stronger connection with their family and relatives. A strong mother tongue helps strengthen the child's command of Swedish. The EU has set eight key competencies that its citizens should possess; two of these involve the ability to communicate using native language and foreign languages. Cultural awareness is another attribute that goes hand in hand with language skills.

From what age can my child get native language support?
From the time the child starts preschool, depending on availability.

Where will my child receive native language support?
The native language teacher meets the child at their own preschool or at a nearby preschool. In some language groups, support is given at our centrally located premises.

How does a native language teacher work?
We work like all other preschool staff by drawing upon the official curriculum and other guiding documents. We actively participate in both the everyday activities of the preschool and those within the child's group. An intercultural approach helps to develop the child's ability to understand differences and helps to give them the tools to understand the world around them.

Who covers the cost?
Uppsala Kommun.

Is my child able to handle multiple languages simultaneously?
Children are able to embrace multiple languages.

What can I do to help my child to develop a strong mother tongue?
Use your native language consistently and speak the language a bit above the child's level so that their own language then becomes enriched. It is important to always use detailed and descriptive language such as saying; ”can you put the red car in the basket" instead of saying "put it there". Reading is also very important. Borrow books from the library! Meet with other people and children who also speak the same mother tongue.

When we speak at home; would it not be best to choose to speak Swedish because it is the majority language in Sweden, even though it is not our native language?
It is always best to speak your native language. It is the language that you feel the most comfortable with and can speak the best. You can express yourself with the greatest amount of variation, feeling and subtlety. In this way, the child will hear a full, rich language that it can quickly absorb.