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The dominance of English in independent schools threatens the Swedish language

The dominance of English in independent schools threatens the Swedish language

In my view, private independent schools are increasingly taking over school functions from municipalities. Today, these schools exist in many cities and locations across the country, and are tax-funded by school money anyway!

Many independent schools have English as the main language. A typical example is the International English School. Due to some inexplicable reasons, our mother tongue has been replaced by English here. Why? English is not an official language in Sweden. And the UK has left the EU since 2020. Hence English has lost its luster and importance in Europe.

I believe that schools that make English language teaching a business concept will threaten the development of the Swedish language in the long run. Sweden will continue to need well-educated young people who can understand and express themselves in our mother tongue.

This applies to all professional fields that require the use of language in communication with the public. It is regrettable that schools’ choice of language of instruction is not better regulated within the Swedish school system.

These issues have been debated for years and I believe now is the time to wake up to this important language policy issue. I have two questions for the politicians in Gothenburg: What do you think about English being the main language in many Swedish private independent schools? Also, will English become an official language in Sweden in the near future or, quite simply, our new mother tongue?

CG Bernbring

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