Students who do not have sufficient basis in Icelandic

When students have been enrolled into Kvennaskólinn, the school counsellors and an Icelandic teacher survey the group to check whether it includes individuals who have been living abroad for the greater part of their life, either Icelanders or individuals of foreign origin who might need assistance in the Icelandic language.

The school does not offer any specific courses for this group of students, however, the teachers often notify the school’s counsellors or the administration that these students might need support in Icelandic. Often, the administration takes the initiative and asks a teacher of Icelandic to check whether the student needs support in Icelandic, subsequently the school seeks to comply with the needs of that individual. The support given can be in the form of extra-curricular teaching of Icelandic for individuals or small groups by an Icelandic teacher at the school, who is trained to teach Icelandic as a native language, not as a foreign language. This can involve helping the student read through the course material of a variety of subjects, with the focus on vocabulary and reading comprehension. The student counsellors might suggest that the student take a proficiency test (in MH) in their native language to use the credits as a substitute for other choice course credits or other foreign languages at Kvennaskólinn. These students might seek assistance from the school counsellors to find ways to maintain their native language in which case they are referred to distance-learning offered by other secondary schools, as foreign language courses offered at Kvennaskólinn are limited to Danish, English, French, German, Spanish and sign-language. These students are then able to have the courses assessed and credited should they wish to do so.

The National curriculum for secondary school states that secondary schools should provide

  • learners of foreign decent with teaching in Icelandic
  • support in Icelandic for learners of Icelandic decent who have been living abroad for an extended period of time
  • support with homework

Should the above services not be readily available at the school other solutions should be sought in cooperation with the learners and their parents.