New Faroese language tuition plan for newcomers
The Faroese language is often mentioned as one of the biggest challenges for newcomers.
The quality and availability of Faroese language courses for newcomers varies greatly depending on where you live and where you work.
But the education ministry is now preparing a new national curriculum specifically aimed at improving the teaching of Faroese as a foreign language.
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The national curriculum for language teaching is overseen by the Ministry of Culture and Education; however, in practice the municipal evening schools set their own curriculums for Faroese language courses. This leads to great differences in quality from one area to another.
One of the local councils struggling to meet the demand for Faroese language courses for newcomers is Fuglafjørður Municipality.
“I feel there is a lack of clarity about who has the overall responsibility in this area,” Brynhild Petersen, evening school organiser at Fuglafjørður Municipality, said earlier this year. “The ultimate responsibility lies with the education ministry, but I believe the lack of overall structure and communication in this field means that the quality of the courses is pretty random and varies from place to place and from year to year.”
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The new system will open up for closer collaboration between local authorities, which will help solve the current inconsistency between different parts of the country, according to Helena Dam á Neystabø, who has been appointed as the coordinator for the new project.
Each local council will still be responsible for the teaching of Faroese as a foreign language; however, the new system will open up for closer collaboration between local councils.
“These courses will now be more centralised, meaning that not every town and village will offer language courses for newcomers. But we will work towards providing the courses in areas easily accessible from every part of the country,” says Neystabø.
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Siri Tórgarð, integration coordinator at Tórshavn City Council, welcomes the new initiative.
“It’s great to see that we are finally getting more standardised language learning for our newcomers, with a national curriculum that is structured in accordance with methods used in EU nations,” she says.
Translated by prosa.fo