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The International English School (IES) in Stockholm is growing explosively, reports Svenska Dagbladet, with a 300% increase in students in ten years. Several other schools have followed suit, and offer teaching in English. The group behind IES has also opened up English schools across Sweden almost every year.
Teaching does not occur in English across the board, however, since the Swedish school law states that at least half of the instruction must be in Swedish. “It is about ‘bilingualism,’ fully mastering two languages. Students are not half-spoken to in one language, they master two languages,” said Barbara Bergström, who started IES. According to her, instruction in English is not what primarily attracts teachers and children to IES. “When I speak to parents they are most interested in knowing if their children will be safe and comfortable. They want order and discipline in the school,” said Bergström.