The Norwegian practice at Molde bibliotek is led by six former teachers. Photo: Monica Akech Systad

Practices “norsk” for free at Molde library

Learning advanced Norwegian in Molde does come with foreseen costs, but every Tuesday you can attend the language café at the city’s library for free.

By MONICA AKECH SYSTAD (text & photo)

Six former teachers are spending their time helping foreigners learn and practice Norwegian at no cost every Tuesday at Molde bibliotek. Plans to have advanced language courses at Molde University College (MUC) are far from becoming a reality.

For many foreign students and foreigners alike, the desire to work and fit in in Norway requires a good grasp of “norsk”. Despite the fact that many Norwegians can communicate in English, the job market does dictate in most cases a fluent understanding of the Norwegian language.

Norwegian lessons at Molde voksenopplæringsenter costs 6000 kroner for a evening course that runs twice a week, for three months, a sum many students are not willing to part with.

However, MUC offers beginners classes for all new and exchange students, but the need for more advanced classes has been put forward by language enthusiastic students.

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Associate Professor Arild Hoff, Program Coordinator for the Master programs in Logistics on behalf of this interview spoke with the Director of studies and academic affairs, Sissel Waagbø, who said that the university considered teaching Norwegian classes out of the university’s responsibility.

“We will probably not use resources for organizing such a course,” said Hoff.

The proposal by students to the university’s quality assurance team was to have the university negotiate discount prices with institutions offering courses in Norwegian.

“The university proposes that student organizations negotiate discounts with the providers of such courses,” added Hoff.

Erasmus Student Network president in Molde, Luiza Oancea, maintained that the university should financially help international students that want to learn more Norwegian.

“If the university could finance half of the cost of the course, then it would encourage international students to continue learning Norwegian after beginners level,” she added.

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Meanwhile, at Molde bibliotek, the practice sessions which were initially started by retired teacher Ingrid Astrup, begun with four students in September 2014 and is currently growing.

“I chose to start this program since I had so much free time on my hand which I could put in good use,” she said.

Dagny Waagbø, who is also one of the teachers at Molde bibliotek’s norsk practice sessions, acknowledged that since the beginning of the practice session around fifteen to twenty students have been actively participating and attending consistently, which is quite encouraging for the teachers.

The practice sessions normally begins with loud reading of newspapers on current affairs followed by explanations and discussions in Norwegian, amidst interactions with people from different walks of life.