Educational options for speakers of minority languages

Pupils speaking a minority language have the right to special language teaching. They can also receive basic education at an upper secondary school through “combination classes”. And level 1 of upper secondary school (VG1) can be spread over two years rather than one.

Special language teaching

  • If your first language is not Norwegian or Sami, you have the right to special language teaching until you are sufficiently fluent in Norwegian to attend regular school classes.
  • If you face language challenges, you may have the right to take more than three years to complete upper secondary school.
  • The school will assess your fluency in Norwegian before a decision is taken on special language teaching. Assessments will also be made during the teaching in order to clarify when you are ready to transfer to regular classes.

To apply for entry to upper secondary school, the applicant must be legally resident in Norway. He or she must also have a leaving certificate from a Norwegian lower secondary school or be able to document corresponding basic education.

Rules for speakers of minority languages (in Norwegian, partly in English)

Educational options for speakers of minority languages

Pupils speaking a minority language can add to their basic education by taking “combination classes” at an upper secondary school. It is also possible to spread level 1 of upper secondary school (VG1) over two years rather than one.

Combination classes

Pupils aged from 16 to 20 who speak a minority language and have only lived a short time in Norway can add to their basic education at an upper secondary school. This option applies to Norwegian, mathematics, general science, English, social studies, physical education and educational choices.

   The following schools provide combination classes:

  • Askim upper secondary school – for pupils in inner Østfold
  • Frederik II upper secondary school - for pupils in Fredrikstad, Hvaler and Råde
  • Greåker upper secondary school – for pupils in  Sarpsborg
  • Malakoff upper secondary school – for pupils in the Moss region.

Combination classes have continuous entry

This means you can apply throughout the year.

   You can find out if places are available in these classes from the following contacts:

  • Askim upper secondary school: Contact: Lene Kolstad, rector, Delta group adult education. Mobile: 918 46 662. Tel: 06981
  • Frederik II upper secondary school: Contact: Hege Jeanette Machulla, special consultant in Fredrikstad Municipality. Mobile: 904 12 227
  • Greåker upper secondary school: Contact: Kjersti Lilleby, local authority coordinator for the combination class at Greåker. Mobile: 481 81 434
  • Malakoff upper secondary school: Contact: Hege Rytter Jakobsen, activity lead, Moss adult education. Mobile: 416 61 617

These options are provided through a collaboration between Østfold county council and the Askim, Fredrikstad, Sarpsborg and Moss local authorities.

Learning in combination classes

Østfold county council, in cooperation with certain local authorities, offers additional basic (primary/lower secondary) education to pupils who are 16-20 years old and have only lived in Norway for a short time. This opportunity is provided at selected upper secondary schools.

Features of the teaching

  • Tailored curricula with differentiated levels.
  • Curricula from the knowledge promotion reform for adolescents above year 10, possibly also the curriculum for basic Norwegian.
  • Participants can take certain subjects at upper secondary level, such as the exam in their first language (as an external candidate).
  • The programme can be provided for up to two years, depending on the individual participant’s educational requirements.
  • The participant’s right to upper secondary education is not affected by taking combination classes.
  • Participants will be included in and integrated into the school environment.

Purpose of the learning

  • Participants need more basic education to increase their opportunities for completing upper secondary studies.
  • Provides a customised learning environment together with young people of the same age.
  • Strengthens collaboration between local authorities and the county council with the aim of improving integration in the educational system.

The option covers Norwegian, mathematics, general science, English and social studies.

This offer is provided through a collaboration between Østfold county council and certain local authorities.

VG1 over two years

Pupils speaking a minority language can spread level 1 of upper secondary school (VG1) over two years rather than one in certain course programmes.

   These are offered at:

  • Greåker upper secondary school: health and youth Development

Greåker upper secondary school: health and youth development

Year 1, VG1

  • Focus on language teaching in all subjects: technical terms and abstract thinking.
  • Covers the curriculum for Norwegian aimed at pupils with a short residence in Norway – upper secondary level.
  • Language learning through work experience. Some programme subjects.
  • Concluding subjects: mathematics and social subjects.

Year 2, VG1

  • Covers regular VG1 classes except for common core subjects.
  • Covers the curriculum for Norwegian for pupils with a short residence in Norway – upper secondary level.

This programme is suitable for pupils

  • with the right to upper secondary education pursuant to section 3-1 of the Act, but who have only been resident in Norway for a short time
  • who want the qualifications which the course leads to
  • who are insufficiently fluent in Norwegian for their age, and are still in a learning phase with their second language.

How to apply / guidance / appendix

Appenix – guidance for the application to take combination classes:

Personal ID number: If you do not have an ID number, enter your date of birth.

Length of residence in Norway: EU/EEA citizens should enter the data and year of their arrival in Norway. Citizens of countries outside the Schengen area must document their date of arrival. Such documentation is a copy of the date stamp in their passport or a copy of the visa, where relevant.

Residence permit issued: Documentation required is a copy of a valid resident permit, possibly together with a copy of the letter of confirmation from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) which shows the date when you were granted asylum.

Asylum applicants: Documentation required is a copy of the asylum application.

Primary/lower secondary education in your home country: Documentation required is a translated certificate/transcript of marks which documents the scope of this education.

Primary/lower secondary education in Norway: Documentation required is a certificate/transcript of marks from your previous lower secondary school.

Background for wishing to take a combined class: You must provide documentation from your previous lower secondary school that you need more primary/lower secondary education. This assessment is related to your level of competence and fitness to begin and keep up with teaching at upper secondary level.