Danish children with a bilingual background should be tested on their Danish language skills at the age of two, says the Social and Children’s Minister.
Mai Mercado says that young children who speak additional languages in the home are at a disadvantage when it comes to keeping up with Danish classes in school. Speaking to news agency Ritzau, she said that these children should have extra help during their formative years – and she proposed a bill for local authorities to assess this need.
Copenhagen Municipality recently conducted a report that found 44 per cent of children from additional language backgrounds who started kindergarten in 2015 needed this additional help with the Danish language.
The Education Minister supported the proposal, but also said that parents are responsible for making sure their children can speak Danish fluently.
Merete Riisager said: “There is a large statistical difference between children with Danish and non-Western backgrounds. The home environment is crucial for the ability of children to learn and take part at school.”
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