Steinunn Ósk Kolbeinsdóttir, project manager for Icelandic language teaching at Fræðslunet Suðurlands, says that she is surprised by the government’s reluctance to provide extra funds for the teaching of Icelandic to foreigners, Vísir reports.
Steinunn Ósk says that the time of Covid, when many people are finding themselves unemployed and with plenty of time and willing to learn new skills, is the perfect time to invest in Icelandic language teaching. Many foreigners have moved to Iceland in recent years, many having since settled here permanently and are looking to improve their Icelandic.
Fræðslunet Suðurlands has a strong history of teaching Icelandic to foreigners but are no longer able to keep up with demand from extra students wanting to spend their time of unemployment in education.
“We can only take the same number as usual, as we do not receive more funding from the state to hold Icelandic language courses. We could teach a lot more than we do and I find that there are many foreigners who are a bit surprised that they can not continue to study, for example, when they’ve taken one course and want to take another. Then we are done with the government grant and have to stop until next year”, says Steinunn Ósk, stating that the government must wake up and think about teaching Icelandic to foreigners.
”I just want us to appreciate these hard-working people, who have made the effort to move to Iceland and work here in various jobs that Icelanders don’t necessarily want to do,” she says. “This work force is extremely important to us. I think that it is great that this group is interested and willing to learn a language that only [over] 300,000 people in the word speak.”
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