Bilingual students still lagging behind

September 8th, 2014

This article is more than 9 years old.

Initiatives failing to help failing students

The education gap between bilingual students from non-Western countries and ethnic Danish children is still as large as it was ten years ago.

Analysis by the think-tank Kraka showed that despite millions of kroner being spent on specialised teachers and language classes for children with non-Western backgrounds, those kids are still falling behind in the classroom.

No better than a decade ago
Ethnic Danes graduating from the 9th grade last year scored an average of 6.9 in Danish and mathematics, while bilingual students from non-Western countries scored just 5.3. 

That 1.6 difference is exactly the same as ten years ago.

“This population is having difficulty coping with the educational system and the labour market,” Kraka research director Kristian Jacobsen told Jyllands-Posten.

“Before things can change, bilingual children with non-Western background must do better in primary school. "

READ MORE: Bilingual students in Copenhagen continue to struggle

The analysis also indicated there is a negative correlation between the proportion of students with non-Western backgrounds and examination results at a school. 

Bertel Haarder  was education minister during the first half of the ten-year period in question, and he admitted that some initiatives to help bilingual students have failed.

"It is clearly unsatisfactory, and we need  to examine what went wrong, including when I was minister,” Haarder told Jyllands-Posten.


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