University of Iceland: A New Linguistic Area - The Reykjavik Grapevine

University of Iceland: A New Linguistic Area

Published November 28, 2014

40% Of Teachers Find Their Own English Inadequate

40% Of Teachers Find Their Own English Inadequate

A new linguistic area has developed at the University of Iceland, where Icelandic and English are used equally, says a professor, as reported by RÚV. The professor adds that this causes problems for a large number of teachers and students, which remain largely unspoken.

Even if the majority of courses at the University of Iceland is still taught in Icelandic, in most departments, most of the reading material is provided in English. Meanhile, teachers also face growing demands to publish their research in English.

Professors Hafdís Ingvarsdóttir and Birna Arnbjörnsdóttir investigated the use of English at the university, interviewing both teachers and students. According to their research, only around 60 percent of teachers consider themselves able to write English of the quality and academic standard which they would prefer, themselves.

“This is a problem but people feel embarrassed and shy about it. We want to be so good at English, it’s part of our identity. One Professor said that people all around the University are having their articles translated for them,” said Hafdís.

The same problem has, according to RÚV’s report, arisen around the Nordic countries.

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