Norway government ‘Norwegiocentric’ / News / The Foreigner

Norway government ‘Norwegiocentric’. Children who are introduced to more than one language at an early age are more likely to perform better at school, Scandinavian research shows. This seems to be falling on deaf ears. “All indications are that bilingualism is good. One must focus on language learning at an early age, and look upon it as an investment”, Øystein A. Vangsnes from the University of Tromsø told Aftenposten. The paper reports there are more than 120 different languages in schools in Oslo, with a national total of over 150.

norwegianlanguageteaching, norwayschools



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Norway government ‘Norwegiocentric’

Published on Tuesday, 2nd April, 2013 at 07:48 under the news category, by Lyndsey Smith and Michael Sandelson      .
Last Updated on 3rd April 2013 at 16:12.

Children who are introduced to more than one language at an early age are more likely to perform better at school, Scandinavian research shows. This seems to be falling on deaf ears.

Norwegian-English dictionary
Norwegian-English dictionary
Photo: ©2011 Michael Sandelson/The Foreigner


“All indications are that bilingualism is good. One must focus on language learning at an early age, and look upon it as an investment”, Øystein A. Vangsnes from the University of Tromsø told Aftenposten.

The paper reports there are more than 120 different languages in schools in Oslo, with a national total of over 150.

Professor Vangsnes cites studies showing that Swedish children taught in their mother-tongue did better than their Danish peers who were not.

“[Bilingual] students’ language skills are not considered as a resource in Norway, and is not something that politicians prioritise,” said the professor.

“Legislation and guidelines are set up so that minority language-speakers primarily learn Norwegian, except for Samis, but teaching in [these pupils’] native language is probably also beneficial for the development of Norwegian skills,” he added.

The professor also thinks that dubbing films and TV shows (into Norwegian) is destroying the understanding of language in children.

Moreover, he believes politicians “don’t seem to appreciate the polyglots”, and refers to Scottish research indicating that Gaelic-speaking children taught in their mother tongue performed better at learning English.

Criticising the one-sidedness of the native language-based teaching debate in Norway, author Loveleen Rihel Brenna stated, “There’s been little focus on multilingualism and its ensuing benefits.”

“There’s been a lot of opinionating and little action,” she concluded.

The government's response to this article can be read here.




Published on Tuesday, 2nd April, 2013 at 07:48 under the news category, by Lyndsey Smith and Michael Sandelson      .
Last updated on 3rd April 2013 at 16:12.

This post has the following tags: norwegianlanguageteaching, norwayschools.





  
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