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Sami Languages in Education: Comparative Case Study of Finland and Sweden


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Sami Languages in Education: Comparative Case Study of
Finland and Sweden
Madoka Hammine

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Sami Languages in Education: Comparative Case Study of Finland and Sweden

  1. 1. Sami Languages in Finland and Sweden LangOER Conference University of Lapland PhD Candidate Faculty of Education Madoka Hammine
  2. 2. “Policies for OER in less used languages: are nations and regions using lesser used languages side-lined?”
  3. 3. Sami Languages The Sami languages are Finno-Urgric languages (such as Finnish, Hungarian and Estonian) spoken in the Sami region in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. According to the UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Language in Danger, all of the Sami languages are considered endangered. Comparison: The Number of Native Speakers of Sami Languages 10 Sami Languages and their areas If we compare the number of languages, Sweden is more multilingual than Finland
  4. 4. Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities Article 12 The Parties shall, where appropriate, take measures in the fields of education and research to foster knowledge of the culture, history, language and religion of their national minorities and of the majority. In this context the Parties shall inter alia provide adequate opportunities for teacher training and access to textbooks, and facilitate contacts among students and teachers of different communities.  The Parties undertake to promote equal opportunities for access to education at all levels for persons belonging to national minorities. Article 14 The Parties undertake to recognize that every person belonging to a national minority has the right to learn his or her minority language. In areas inhabited by persons belonging to national minorities traditionally or in substantial numbers, if there is sufficient demand, the Parties shall endeavor to ensure, as far as possible and within the framework of their education systems, that persons belonging to those minorities have adequate opportunities for being taught the minority language or for receiving instruction in this language. Paragraph 2 of this article shall be implemented without prejudice to the learning of the official language or the teaching in this language.
  5. 5. European Charter  of Minority Lan guages Article 8 – Education 1       With regard to education, the Parties undertake, within the territory in which such languages are used,  according to the situation of each of these languages, and without prejudice to the teaching of the official  language(s) of the State: a i to make available pre-school education in the relevant regional or minority languages; or              ii        to make available a substantial part of pre-school education in the relevant regional or minority languages; or             iii         to apply one of the measures provided for under i and ii above at least to those pupils whose families so  request  and whose  number is considered sufficient; or            iv      if the public authorities have no direct competence in the field of pre-school education, to favour and/or  encourage the   application of the measures referred to under i to iii above;         b    i      to make available primary education in the relevant regional or minority languages; or               ii     to make available a substantial part of primary education in the relevant regional or minority languages; or              iii     to provide, within primary education, for the teaching of the relevant regional or minority languages as an  integral part of the  curriculum; or              iv       to apply one of the measures provided for under i to iii above at least to those pupils whose families so  request and whose  number is considered sufficient;           c   i      to make available secondary education in the relevant regional or minority languages; or               ii       to make available a substantial part of secondary education in the relevant regional or minority languages; or              iii      to provide, within secondary education, for the teaching of the relevant regional or minority languages as an  integral part of   the curriculum; or              iv      to apply one of the measures provided for under i to iii above at least to those pupils who, or where  appropriate    whose   families, so wish in a number considered sufficien
  6. 6.      Pre-School Education COMPARISON 1.considering that all municipalities in Sami homeland in Finland provide Sami education at pre- school level, Finland provides better pre-school education for Sami pupils.  Sweden on the other  hand, fails to offer Sami pre-school education in preschool level in several municipalities, which  should be covered on the basis of framework convention.  2.In terms of material preparation, although there is still a huge demand of producing teaching  materials in Skolt Sami language,  Finland also provides better practices since the Sami  Parliament produces teaching materials in all Sami languages even for pre-school level.
  7. 7. Compulsory EducationSweden Three possibilities (1)Sami School; -Pupils, who attend a separate state-run “Sami school” (Sameskolan) during  their  compulsory  school  years  until  the  end  of  year  6,  stay  at  schools’  accommodations during their education.  -The  National  Agency  for  Education  has  established a special syllabus for Sami tuition in the Sami School. Government states that there were six Sami schools. (2) Sami integrated primary school; -some municipalities in Swedish Sami administrative areas do not have Sami schools.  In  such  areas,  they  have  integrated  Sami  language  education  into  primary schools.  -after the year 6 at a Sami school, integrated Sami teaching is organized for  Sami pupils from year 7 to 9 (from age 13-14 until age 15-16).  -The schools that have integrated Sami teaching have between  two to four hours of Sami per week (Government report 2013) In such cases, pupils study other subjects in ordinary teaching syllabus in Swedish language.  —Compulsory schools with mother tongue tuition of Sami language.  -held 30 minutes to 1 hour every week outside usual school hours.  -In order to receive mother tongue tuition in Sami, a pupil  have to the basic knowledge of the language, as well as with the perquisite of municipalities to  provide mother tongue tuition if a substantial teacher is available , which is  an obstacle for a Sami speaking pupils to receive adequate education in their  mother  tongue  since  there  is  currently  a  serious  lack  of  Sami  language  teachers in Sweden. Finland NO SAMI SCHOOL Sami  pupils in  Finland  do not have a separate system of education.In  Finland, currently, for all three varieties of Sami languages (North Sami,  Inari Sami and Skolt Sami), compulsory school education in Sami language  is available systemically in Sami administrative area.  LANGUAG REVIVAL THROUGH EDUCATION The number of students participating in teaching in Inari Sámi serves as an  indication  of  successful language revival: the number of students has regularly increased since the 1990s,  LACK OF TEACHERS In  all  municipalities  of  Sami  homeland, the lack of the teachers is  reported  as  a  serious  problem.  In  such  an  area,  often  only  the  lower  classes are arranged in Sami. EDUCATION FOR PUPILS OUTSIDE SAMI AREA Another problem which Sami population in Finland has been confronting  is  the  education  for  children  who reside outside Sami home land. Statistics reveals that in 2007, 59% of the Sami aged 11-17 years and more than 60% of the Sami aged 18-24 resided outside Sami homeland.  One of the reasons of this is because the Sami Language Act of Finland  does  not  obligate  municipalities  outside  of  Sami  Homeland  to  provide  teaching of Sami.  Also, for those children who reside outside Sami homeland, the amount of  teaching hours that are regulated by the law is only two hours per week  (Keskitalo et al, 2014). 
  8. 8.        Compulsory Education COMPARISON 1. Compared with Sweden, Finland does not have a separate school or a separate syllabus specifically for  Sami speaking pupils at compulsory level. the Swedish system might be beneficial to keep the languages and traditions alive. With this regards, the Swedish system could result in preservation of Sami culture and  languages.   2.the problem of Swedish system is its inconsistency. for Sami pupils because some pupils who cannot attend  Sami schools can receive education in Sami only for a couple of hours per week. The amount of time is not  sufficient for proper language acquisition for pupils especially for endangered languages, especially in most  cases of Sami children, their home language may not be Sami.  3.In both Finland and Sweden, pupils who are outside Sami homeland municipalities and who cannot attend  Sami schools
  9. 9. High School Education COMPARISON 1.In both countries, there is a tendency that towards the upper school grades, Sámi language instruction decreases (in all Sámi languages). 2.Comparing the two countries, at the level of secondary education, Sweden organizes systematic organization for Sami pupils, providing them with opportunities to choose the Sami industries program or the Sami civic program. This creates a way for Sami pupils to participate in further education if they wish.
  10. 10. University EducationCOMPARISON 1.Considering the availability of mother tongue examination in Sami languages, Finland has better practices in terms of the examination for higher institutions, although in reality, Sami children have to switch to Finnish to take other subjects of matriculation examination. 2.In Finland, there are three universities which offer teaching of Sami, covering three Sami languages. Finland also offers Sami languages in its capital city, at the University of Helsinki. In Sweden, there are currently only two universities which offer Sami languages as a subject of study. Under the current system, students in Sweden, cannot take Ume Sami language or Pite Sami language courses at any university in Sweden. 3.A lack of systematic teacher training system in both countries. Both countries should establish training systems for teachers of Sami languages. The Swedish municipalities are only obligated to offer mother tongue tuition if a sustainable teacher is available..In reality, since there is a lack of systematic teacher training at university level, it is surely impossible to establish Sami teaching in schools.
  11. 11. Sami Language Institute in Inari
  12. 12. Sami Languages in Inari Virtual School on the Internet  One year course  Sami teacher teaches a group of students who are interested in Sami  Students live all over Finland (all over the world) Chilrden’s program on Radio 2671152  Different Sami languages are used.
  13. 13. Kuati project •Represent “one identity” as Sami, crossing national borders •Radio programs which uses three Sami langauges
  14. 14. Interviews Interviewer 1: ...because the same teacher teaches the same class.... And because we have different books....and some classes were in Finnish, for example, physics was in Finnish......and basically our history book in Sami was terrible so I my mother chose to teach us with a Finnish book.....
  15. 15. Policies for OER For the case of Sami languages, it is useful because.... 1. There are different Sami languages, crossing the borders of four countries. 2. Recently, many Sami people live outside the Sami area, where no administrative obligation is required for teaching the language to children
  16. 16. Thank you very much. Madoka Hammine (Faculty of Education, University of Lapland) Contact: / Skype: madokahammine Phone: +358 44 911 7432