Finnish or Swedish as a second language in basic education

Instruction of Finnish as a second language (S2) is available in all comprehensive schools according to pupils’ needs. S2 instruction is available in separate teaching groups or during the Finnish language and literature lessons of your child’s class.

Your child can study the Finnish as a second language and literature syllabus if:

  • their mother tongue is not Finnish, Swedish or Sami, or they have a multilingual background, or
  • their basic Finnish language skills are still developing, or
  • their language skills are not in all respects sufficient to study the Finnish language and literature syllabus. The teachers responsible for instruction will jointly determine the appropriate syllabus for your child. However, it is always the parent who decides on the choice of syllabus.

In Lappeenranta, Swedish cannot be studied as a second language, as the teaching language in all comprehensive schools is Finnish. If your child’s mother tongue is Swedish, you can enrol them in mother tongue instruction that complements basic education.


In addition to immigrants, the instruction is also intended for returnees and adopted children who need support in their linguistic development.


Contact your school’s headmaster for more information. The contact information is available on the school’s website.

Payment information

The service is free of charge.

Service background

Instruction of Finnish of Swedish as a second language may be given to students with an immigrant background whose Finnish or Swedish skills have not reached the native level in all areas of language proficiency. The objectives and contents of the instruction are different from first language instruction. The abbreviation S2/R2 is often used for this instruction.

The objective of the instruction of Finnish or Swedish as a second language is to strengthen the student's plurilingual identity and lay a foundation for functional bilingualism.