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Thread: Norway Universities Criticised For Overuse Of English

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    Norway Universities Criticised For Overuse Of English

    The Language Council of Norway (Språkrådet) says it is concerned about the amount of English used in courses at Norwegian universities and colleges.

    A number of classes at higher education institutions across the country are taught entirely in English, reports broadcaster NRK.

    The council said that using too much English could be damaging both during studies and for life after them.

    “We are particularly concerned for new students who find that almost their entire programme is in English. We are not convinced about the learning benefits, as it's not certain all students are good enough at English,” Ole Våge said to NRK.

    “It is a big problem if only English is used in education. The vast majority of people will be working in the Norwegian labour market afterwards,” he continued.

    Våge said that classes taught in English were beneficial but should not be prioritised at the expense of Norwegian.

    “It is completely natural to use both Norwegian and English. But we have seen that some classes are using solely English reading material,” he said.

    Norwegian students themselves are less critical about the amount of English used in studies, according to NRK's report.

    Mats Johansen Beldo of the Norwegian Student Organization said that English was not excessively used at universities and colleges in the Scandinavian country.

    “No, we students don't think it's a problem. Books in English are good and provide the academic input we need,” he told the broadcaster.

    University of Oslo Deputy Rector Gro Bjørnerud Mo said the Norwegian was the primary language of classes at the university, and that the amount of English actually used in classes varies between programmes.

    “We monitor closely language policies and the balance between English and other languages in our course catalogue,” she said.

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    Member Sigrun Kara's Avatar
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    That's my alma mater pictured in the article. I think most of us university educated Norwegians are glad to be fluent in at least two languages. English is still the most important international language and forums like this are in English. Not to mention to vast amount of scholarly material in English. I understand that we don't want to lose our native language, but being bilingual is a good problem to have, if it's a problem. We're choosing to learn English for the benefits. It's not being forced upon us.

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