The City of Vaasa’s multicultural early childhood education and pre-primary education is organised in accordance with the national and regional plans in force to promote integration.
The activities are based on an equal and equitable approach to children. Early childhood education and care respects the diversity of children and supports their integration into a culturally diverse society.
Finnish as a second language (S2) in early childhood education and pre-primary education
Language is a tool for thinking, interacting, and learning. Language learning is shaped by the learning method, the learning environment, and the importance of the language. In early childhood education and pre-primary education, children from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds can practice and learn Finnish with support in all everyday language situations daily. A child’s Finnish language skills are regularly assessed through observation, documentation, and evaluation.
For learners of Finnish as a second language, the Finnish language is both a learning tool and an object of learning. The second language, the target language, is learned on the basis of the mother tongue. Therefore, the learner benefits from a strong command of their mother tongue. As far as possible, the child’s mother tongue is taught in pre-primary education.
The aim in early childhood education and care is that the child:
- – learns to understand and speak Finnish.
- – becomes an active user of the language.
- – acquires the skill of functional multilingualism.
Preparatory teaching for basic education
Preparatory education for basic education follows the core curriculum for preparatory education for basic education, the City of Vaasa’s pre-primary education plan, and the plans for Finnish as a second language.
This form of teaching is intended for six-year-old pre-primary school children from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds, who have not yet reached the level of developing basic language skills (A1). Preparatory education for basic education is taught according to the principle of inclusion in the pre-primary group of the child’s local daycare centre, in small groups based on specific criteria and, in some cases, as individual lessons on occasion. The child has the right to receive intensive, daily preparatory teaching in the various language situations of everyday life for the duration of one academic year (at least 9 months). The child is also offered lessons in his/her mother tongue, where possible.
The aim of pre-primary education is to develop a basic level of language proficiency (A1), which will enable the child to start primary education in general education.
Finnish as a second language teacher in early childhood education and care (S2 teacher)
The S2 teacher is an expert in teaching Finnish as a second language in early childhood education. The S2 teacher is responsible for supervising and teaching language learners in small groups and individually. They also support the group staff in assessing the child’s language proficiency level. They are nationally networked, train early childhood and pre-school staff, and plan and develop S2-teaching.