Main elements/characteristics of my information flow situation
When attempting to teach Norwegian to young-adult refugees, a good teacher is what most people would consider. But what if there was better and faster ways to teach a new language?
Studies have proven to us multiple times, that being engaged in physical tasks helps learning. This is because when we are active, our brain is working much harder. It’s also memorizing the things we see and experience, much better. In other words, it’s recommended that you change the way you learn, with being more physically active when trying to learn something.
Some teachers are well experienced with teaching, and knows what works and what doesn’t. However, only the best teachers know how to engage students into making the learning process more fun. That way, it will be more exciting for them, and they will often feel the motivation to work harder. This is because we like experiencing getting better at something we are trying to achieve.
When learning a new language, it’s important to use it as much as possible. And if you don’t have too much time to use it in your daily life, there are several apps like Duolingo which provides push notifications and reminders on your phone, to make sure you do your daily language exercises. Using it every single day, is one of the most efficient ways to learn a new language.
Challenges encountered in the information flow
The drop-out numbers for adult refugees may have several reasons. These are refugee adults, who possibly have children witch gives them a financial aspect.
Academic challenges like, cultural dissonance, language barriers, fear or distrust of authority figures, fear of speaking in class and lack of academic support at home may be some of the biggest, and most obvious challenges for an adult refugee learning norwegian.
cultural dissonance causes lack of interest in learning the norwegian language, it causes discomfort or confusion, by people in the midst of a change in their cultural environment. This is relevant for the people who come to norway as a refugee, because they come from countries with a different culture and different expectations set to them. This makes people uncomfortable, and may cause them to not want to be a part of that culture if they feel rejected.
Language barriers can be underestimated. for example if you are a norwegian student learning english, you have a lot of references to use. The student can use movies and TV-shows as a learning tool, and when you watch people speak english you get a better idea of how to form your sentences in english, appose to just learning the words translated. Learning how to form a sentence in a different language like norwegian can be a difficult task, if the refugee don’t have a norwegianspeaking reference to follow in terms of what you see, when a person is learning english, and has an endless supply of movies and TV-series.
The learners have financial obligations leading them to take part-time jobs, witch can prevent the learners from doing school work, and resting for the next school day. These part-time jobs are uselie due to children at home, and they dominate the learners sparetime.
What needs to be improved
First of all, Norwegian teachers should understand that their students come from many different backgrounds and ages, and not all of them are of equal learning abilities or have the determination to learn. Some of them want to learn the language as fast as possible so they could get to work or to continue studying. Others, just don’t care at all about the whole learning process or the outcome of the Norwegian course. The result of this is that those students who don’t care, don’t wish, or simply don’t want to make an effort to learn the language as effective as the others, will eventually, negatively affect them.
There is one simple solution to what should be done here. Students have to be sorted into the classes they deserve. For example, a class dedicated to hardworking and serious students, and another class for students who like to have fun and play most of the time.
Second, It would have been really nice and more helpful if the teachers were multilingual. Sometimes no matter how hard you try to explain a word to someone, it never makes sense until it is translated into their mother language, or a language they know well. It is not necessary, but it would make learning the language easier.
An overview of available digital tools and what problem each of them addresses.
Currently the best digital tools for learning norwegian according to norskbloggen.no and lifeinnorway.net (17.09.2019) is Memrise, Babbel, Nemo and Duolingo. How you access the guides differ, they all have free and paid models. These are all apps which can be used both on apps on a smartphone or a website on a computer, which make them easy to use on the go.
Memrise is an app that uses memorization and visual techniques as its learning component. Memrise is made to fit into a busy day as a supplement to a language course. It is meant for being used whenever you have a free moment in your day so you stay fresh on the language you are learning. This app also has a goal to make the learning experience feel more local as opposed to make you learn the language in a strict formal way.
Babbel also aims at making your conversational skills in the new language better. They try to be up to date with the current way of speaking to each other, this makes the learner speak more naturally. They also want you to speak correctly. Babbel also offer review sessions of words and sentences you have already learned, but in new contexts so that you can reinforce and refresh your memory of your knowledge.
Duolingo is one of the most known language apps on the market, it’s a good app with a whole bunch of languages available for learning, but most importantly; its free. Duolingo claims themselves that using their app is the best new way to learn a language. Its designed to be a fun and addicting experience, it also gives you immediate grading which is good compared to waiting for a grade to know what you have to improve on, wasting valuable learning time.
Babbel costs money after the first course and memrise works with a subscription fee. The one drawback is that duolingo is inherently free, but you can only do so much of a course before you have to wait, unless you want to pay for duolingo plus which removes ads.
All of the apps mentioned are best used as a supplement for language courses, as they are great at refreshing your pre acquired knowledge. But one big issue that they have been critiqued for is the lack of grammar learning. Grammar is especially important if you want to also learn how to write in the desired language. For example french and Norwegian grammar is very different, and a french speaking person might not know this and get a bad learning experience. But that does not mean you can’t learn grammar using these apps, it’s just not going to be as quick and short as their other lessons as some grammar can be quite complicated and need exercises both verbally and written for you to fully understand it.
All in all these apps are designed to be used for short periods of time when you find the time in an otherwise busy day.