A reception programme for students whose native language is not Icelandic

According to a regulation on the rights of higher secondary-school students to receive instruction in Icelandic, higher secondary schools shall prepare a reception programme for students whose native language is not Icelandic. The programme shall take into consideration the students’ background, language skills, skills in other subjects and the instruction and support provided.

The regulation provides for the rights of students, whose native language is not Icelandic or who have lived abroad long term and received little instruction in Icelandic, for receiving instruction in Icelandic as a second language.

The reception programme is intended to support students’ learning and choose appropriate study material in collaboration with school and vocational counsellors and special teachers of Icelandic. The reception programme of Borgarholtsskóli takes into consideration students’ background, language skills and other learning skills as well as the resources at the school’s proposal.


Students sign up for the programme on the website of Menntagátt www.menntagatt.is. The school’s management is responsible for the enrolment and reception of new students and notifies the school and vocational counsellors of the enrolment of students whose native language is not Icelandic. Before students of foreign origin can be enrolled, a residence permit must be in place. The school prefers to receive information about former school attendance, both from the home country and/or Icelandic schools. Finally, a school and vocational counsellor will contact students to invite them to an interview along with their parents/guardians.

A reception interview

The student attends an interview with parents/guardians, a school and vocational counsellor and a special teacher of Icelandic. The situation is reviewed and the available support introduced.

An individualised programme

A special teacher of Icelandic designs an individualised programme for each student in collaboration with teachers of Icelandic and other teachers if necessary.

It is checked whether a student needs extended exam time, oral exams or other solutions as appropriate.

School and vocational counselling

Preferably, a student attends fixed meetings with a school and vocational counsellor.

Credits for a native language other than Icelandic

The possibility of an assessment test in the native language should be looked into. If a student attends an assessment test in his/her native language, he/she can get credits from the test to substitute credits in a foreign language in the relevant course of study.