Nils Øivind Helander

Functional bilingualism in Sámi and Norwegian. Challenges achieving the objectives of The Sami Curriculum for Knowledge Promotion in Primary and Secondary Education and Training


The aim of The Sami Curriculum for Knowledge Promotion in Primary and Secondary Education and Training is functional bilingualism. This has been the aim also of the two previous curriculum plans. Nor the previous plans or the existing one do define more closely what is meant by functional bilingualism. In my paper I will discuss what is said in the plan about bilingualism and relate it to the concept of being functionally bilingual both in oral and written language. 

As Sámi pupils also start learning English from school year one, a discussion about functional bilingualism in Sámi and Norwegian has to be compared also to the aims of the education in English. A definition of functional bilingualism has therefore to be compared also with the concept of plurilingualism.