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BiLit: Acquisition of literacy in bilingual Norwegian-Russian children: Mainstream and complementary schools in Oslo (completed)

Six children lying on their back with heads together.
Photo: Colourbox.

About the project

Recently, there has been considerable Russian immigration to Norway. 2,687 Russian are reported to live in Oslo in 2013. BiLit's goal is to conduct a pilot investigation of language and literacy development in bilingual Norwegian-Russian primary school students. This minority group presents special interest for the BiLit project, since the parents of Norwegian-Russian children are highly concerned with their children's language and literacy development. There are at least five Russian complementary schools in Oslo where over 200 children are enrolled.

Bilit's main focus is on bilingualism effects in two core literacy skills - reading and writing. We raise the following research questions:

  1. What are the characteristics of Norwegian-Russian children's oral language proficiency and literacy skills?
  2. How do language specific characteristics affect literacy acquisition? This is important given that Norwegian and Russian are typologically different languages that use different alphabets and orthographic systems.

The objective of this pilot project is to establish collaboration between linguists, social and educational scientists, as well as educators in order to build theoretical and empirical grounds for collecting and analysing relevant empirical data on Norwegian-Russian children's linguistic and literacy skills.


January 2015 – December 2015


Small scale funding from Knowledge in Schools (KiS), University of Oslo


Tina Hickey, University College Dublin; Ekaterina Protassova, Helsinki University; Gunhild Tveit Randen, Hedmark University College; Anne Golden, University of Oslo; Janne von Koss Torkildsen, University of Oslo; Family language policy in multilingual transcultural families; Center for Russian Language and Culture in Oslo

Published May 5, 2015 9:19 PM - Last modified Apr. 21, 2020 10:55 AM