1.5 Language in kindergarten

Early and appropriate language stimulation is an important element in kindergartens. Communication, Language and Text is the subject area in the Framework Plan that kindergartens dedicate most time to (Sivertsen et al. 2015).

Fewer kindergartens screen the language skills of all children

Almost 60 per cent of kindergartens carry out language screening of children when parents or staff find this necessary, while 35 per cent routinely screen the language skills of all children (Table 1.2) (Haugset et al. 2015).

Table 1.2 Routines for screening language skills in kindergarten. 2008–2015. Per cent.

2008 2012 2015
Routinely screen all children 60 50 36
Routinely screen all children with a different language background than Norwegian 1 2 2
Screen the children’s language if parents and/or staff believe it is necessary* 33 42 58
Rarely screen children using language screening tools* 2 2 1,3
Never screen children using language screening tools* ** ** 0,3
Don’t know ** ** 0,2

Source: Haugset et al. 2015, Gulbrandsen and Eliassen 2013

* The following answer categories were used in Gulbrandsen and Eliassen: “No fixed routines applying to all children, but children are often selected on the basis of observation and evaluation by staff or parents” and “no fixed routines applying to all children, and only sporadic (infrequent) screening of the children’s language skills”.
** These questions have not been asked previously

1 out of 3 minority language children are offered special language stimulation

15,500 minority language children are offered special language stimulation in the kindergarten. They represent around 35 per cent of all minority language children who attend kindergartens. Since 2008, this per cent has fluctuated between 35 and 41 per cent.