English speaking classes

English speaking classes

The English-speaking classes are intended for the children of foreign families, or for the children, who have resided for longer periods abroad and who have begun their education in English. The purpose of the English-speaking education is to help the children to maintain their language skills aquired abroad and also to enable the children of international families, temporarily in Finland, to study in English.


The students who apply for the English-speaking classes should have an age appropriate proficiency in English and proficiency in Finnish. The students who don't speak Finnish, will first attend the preparatory instruction organized by the City of Jyväskylä.

 Before accepting the child to the English speaking classes the level of English and Finnish will be tested. The students need to be on the level A2 according to the European Language Framework (see the attached file). 

The students who don't have appropriate Finnish skills, will first attend the preparatory instruction organized by the City of Jyväskylä afterwards they can re-apply for the English classes. Students who stay in Finland less than a year and don't speak Finnish can join the English-speaking classes. In this case, the students are not taught Finnish at school.


The teachers are either native speakers of English or Finns fluent in English. Currently, there are not enough children to allow for teaching in groups for every age level and, therefore, students study in mixed-age groups. The child will be placed to the year group according to his/ her year of birth.

In Jyväskylä the English-speaking classes are located in Kortepohja Elementary School and Viitaniemi Middle School. Grades one to six are taught in Kortepohja and grades seven to nine are taught in Viitaniemi. Students for the English-speaking classes come mainly from Jyväskylä, but they can be accepted from other municipalities as well if the municipality covers the costs of schooling.

The teaching of subjects and assessment of student work follow the Jyväskylä municipality curriculum. However, English speaking classes have their own distribution of hours: for example, students study less Finnish and more English compared to peers. Students in the English-speaking classes are given social and educational services according to the Finnish social security system.

The main language of instruction is English: the theoretical subjects are being taught in English, but the key concepts are learned both in Finnish and in English. Finnish as a mother tongue –instruction and the instruction of other foreign languages is given through Finnish. Mainly in practical subjects, such as handicrafts or physical education, pupils might be integrated into the Finnish speaking classes. The overall goal of the studies is the student's fluent language proficiency both in English and in Finnish.