Studying a voluntary foreign language in basic education

In Lappeenranta, all pupils start English as their first foreign language, also known as the A1 language. In the 4th grade, you can start studying a voluntary A2 language. In this case, you can choose between French, German or Russian. In addition to German, French and Russian, pupils of Kesämäki and Kimpinen comprehensive schools can also choose Spanish as their voluntary A2 language.

Good language skills and knowledge of foreign cultures are an advantage both in leisure time and in an increasing number of jobs. Everyone benefits from versatile language skills, regardless of their educational background or occupation. When seeking employment, strong language skills are a clear advantage for applicants, especially if they are proficient in languages that other applicants do not know. The affinity for learning foreign languages is at its strongest at school age. Language learning started in childhood produces better results than that started in adulthood. Starting language learning in primary school guarantees a long period of time to learn vocabulary, grammar and culture as well as practise speaking.

When considering the choice of a voluntary A2 language, it is worth taking into account the experiences your child already has in studying one foreign language (English). Taking another foreign language increases the number of weekly lessons, so the child’s own interest helps in learning the language. It should also be noted that in secondary school, A2 language lessons are mostly taken from the quota of optional subjects. Therefore, the choice of a voluntary A2 language in primary school may reduce the choice of optional subjects in secondary school.

Studies in languages started in primary school continue in secondary school. If the pupil’s primary school does not offer the possibility to further study the A2 language that the pupil has previously started, the pupil will be admitted to a secondary school where it is possible to study said A2 language.

In addition to A languages, a B1 language which begins in the 6th grade is studied jointly in schools. The B1 language is the second national language. In Lappeenranta, this is Swedish.

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In accordance with the decision of the Children and Youth Committee, education in a voluntary A2 language always begins if there are at least 16 pupils who have chosen the same language. The A2 language teaching group may also be set up jointly between several schools, and it may also meet in the premises of a secondary school.

The initial size of the group may be smaller if resources are available for setting up the group. Similarly, local government collaboration areas can set up language groups using their own resources, even if the number of pupils were slightly lower.

If a school receives a small number of language selections, it will be determined whether pupils can be taught remotely.

If the pupil changes schools due to a language selection, the new school becomes their secondary school. The prerequisite for granting a secondary school place is that the guardian is responsible for transporting the pupil and for any costs incurred. If the pupil has been granted school transport to their primary school, the guardian may also submit a separate application related to the transport costs to and from the secondary school. Transport assistance is granted at the most according to the cheapest bus ticket product available up to the transport costs to and from the primary school. Any assistance will be paid retroactively.


In addition to the B1 language, it is possible to choose a voluntary B2 language in grades 7 to 9. In Lappeenranta, in grades 7 to 8, the voluntary B2 language in all schools is Spanish, French, German and Russian. In addition to these, schools may offer the opportunity to study other foreign languages as well. Groups will be set up if a sufficient number of pupils register and the school has a qualified teacher.

Pupils will choose their languages in the spring before teaching begins. For more information, contact your school’s teachers and headmaster.

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