Flexible Education – bilingual subject instruction online
What is Flexible Education?
Flexible Education is web-based bilingual content instruction with support in Arabic, Somali and Tigrinya, as well as teaching in basic Norwegian with support in Ukrainian.
The following subjects are available in the languages Arabic, Somali and Tigrinya:
- Mathematics at year 8–10 level
- Natural science at year 8–10 level
- English at beginner level
Bilingual instruction in natural science and mathematics is adapted to pupils in lower and upper secondary education and participants in primary and lower secondary education for adults. Beginner-level English has been developed for participants in primary and lower secondary education for adults.
We provide instruction in basic Norwegian with support in Ukrainian for pupils in years 5–7, years 8–10 and for pupils taking upper secondary education.
Flexible Education is an arrangement for pupils and participants with short periods of residence in Norway who, due to limited knowledge of Norwegian, do not benefit optimally from ordinary teaching. Flexible Education aims to assist schools/municipalities in safeguarding pupils’ right to bilingual subject instruction where they have not been able to obtain bilingual teachers.
Read more about adapted language education.
Flexible Education is for
- pupils in primary and lower secondary education who have been granted a right to adapted language education pursuant to the Education Act (Section 2-8)
- pupils in upper secondary education attending introductory courses or combination classes who have been granted a right to adapted language education pursuant to the Education Act (Section 3-12)
- participants in adult education with a need for language adaptation and adapted education
How the teaching is organised
Flexible Education provides bilingual web-based instruction and access to bilingual subject content via the learning platform Digilær. Both pupils and teachers have access to the course content. Pupils participating in Flexible Education follow real-time instruction online with bilingual teachers who speak their mother tongue. Each school enrols in regular weekly teaching sessions in their subject(s).
The subject content in mathematics and natural science is linked to key topics in the curricula for years 8–10. The subject content in basic Norwegian with support in Ukrainian is adapted for pupils who have little or no previous knowledge of Norwegian. Beginner-level English with support in Arabic, Somali and Tigrinya is adapted for participants who have little or no previous knowledge of English.
Flexible Education is intended as a supplement to ordinary teaching, and the teacher at the local school has academic responsibility for their pupils/participants. Achieving the best possible academic outcome is contingent on good cooperation between the online teachers and the classroom teachers.
From project to permanent arrangement
Flexible Education started as a project to test how bilingual subject instruction could be provided via web-based solutions. Testing started in January 2017, and from autumn 2018 the project was continued as a two-year pilot project. Flexible learning began as a programme for pupils in lower secondary education, but is now also open to participants from primary and lower secondary education for adults and combination classes. From the school year 2020/2021, the Ministry of Education and Research decided that Flexible Education should become a permanent arrangement run and organised under the National Centre of Multicultural Education (NAFO). The arrangement was extended for the school year 2022/2023 with instruction in basic Norwegian with support in Ukrainian, and, from the school year 2023/2024, it will also include beginner-level English with support in Arabic, Somali and Tigrinya.
NAFO has nine bilingual teachers working in Flexible Education. The online teachers work both on teaching pupils and developing learning resources. We have cooperated closely with the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training on building and adapting the platform. We also collaborated with the Norwegian Centre for Science Education and the Norwegian Centre for Mathematics Education on, among other things, developing glossaries that provide simple explanations of key terms in maths and natural science. The glossaries were developed with the assistance of the Language Council of Norway.
News stories about bilingual subject instruction (in Norwegian only): Regjeringen satser på tospråklig opplæring over nett (regjeringen.no)
Lærer mer realfag med nettbasert tospråklig opplæring (utdanningsnytt.no)
Evaluering av piloten Fleksibel opplæring (udir.no)
In English: Tapping into the knowledge of newly arrived students – Norway (film)
Apply for participation in Flexible Education for the school year 2023/2024
Flexible Education in English, mathematics and natural science in Arabic, Somali and Tigrinya
The deadline for applying to start in the autumn semester is 15 May 2023. If we have the capacity to take in more participants after start-up, pupils will be admitted on an ongoing basis throughout the school year.
It costs NOK 3,500 per pupil per subject per year.
- Apply for admission to mathematics and/or natural science
- Apply for admission to beginner-level English
Flexible Education in Ukrainian
The application deadline and price for the autumn semester 2023 will be announced later. Check NAFO’s channels for information about the application deadline.