THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
My language – your language consists of different initiatives and is all together a diverse project with a broad target group. A target group we were especially interested in, however, is people living in asylum receptions as this is a particularly vulnerable group with a particular need of good support from public authorities and institutions. Children are also important for our work, as we believe curiousness about and stimulation of language from an early age is vital.
Bazar was developed to give immigrants in Norway, especially newcomers, a practical easy-to-use tool kit. The idea was to collect relevant information from different sites and institutions, and organize it inside a framework of the user’s preferred language. Reading Seeds and the Fairytale bags are supposed to help small children learn and become interested in language. We want minority children to be(come) proud of their mother language, and for all children in multicultural nurseries to have a positive understanding of what it means to speak different languages.
Cooperation with other relevant institutions has been a key to the work with My language – Your language. The magical cloak is a cooperation with Swedish institutions and artists. The idea and exhibition itself is Swedish, and we wanted to import it and convey it for Norwegian libraries. The Reading Seeds project is a cooperation with local libraries and nurseries in some selected multicultural areas. The bilingual picture books and the fairytale bags are results of a fruitful cooperation with English publishing company Mantra Lingua.
The Norwegian language courses have been extremely popular, and we buy more and more courses and licenses to reduce or preferably avoid waiting lists. Other clear result of My language – Your language are the 7 titles of bilingual picture books in Norwegian with Arabic (7 titles), Kurdish (7), Persian (7), Polish (2 titles), Russian (2 titles), Somali (7), Tamil (1), Thai (1), Turkish (1), Urdu (7) and Vietnamese (1). They are lent out or sold to libraries, nurseries and schools. Bazar is online at www.bazar.deichman.no.
The project “My language- your language” is a result of the services we are expected to deliver, and therefore these will also change over time.
Read more: http://dfb.deichman.no/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=469%3Aomdfb&catid=43%3Aomdfb&Itemid=135&lang=en
We were nominated by the University of Oslo, and see this as a great opportunity for us to further motivate libraries and schools to work with multilingual literature.
The project was also awarded by the European Language Label of the Labels chosen among the five most innovative ELL projects. The awards were published at the Multilingualism in Europe-conference held in Limassol, Cyprus in Sepetember 2012.
We have started the work on making a new and improved Bazar. We are also cooperating with the Swedish Internationella Biblioteket (International Library) on arranging a tour of renowned authors of childrens books from Iran and Lithuania.
The European Language Label has increased our department’s reputation and authority. Such an acknowledgment of our work is also making it easier for us when applying for additional funding to work with new projects. The label has also been a motivating factor for the employees.
We would recommend anybody working in the field of language learning to look beyond their own institution to see what can be done when different parties with different strengths and thoughts join forces. Our experience is that many are working towards the same goal, but often with limited resources. Cooperation across institutions, branches etc. may often provide the best solution.
THE NELLIP NETWORK’S PERSPECTIVE
People, and especially children, in asylum reception centres may learn Norwegian via physical or online-based language courses that can be borrowed by the organisers. This is the first step towards an intorduction to qualifications for working life and a Norwegian society. Early language learning is very important and so is creativity and innovation in language learning as a whole. The target groups are the county libraries, school libraries, public libraries and other public organisations like hospital libraries and prison libraries. Also persons who want to learn Norwegian or other languages are welcome. There is a great diversity of languages in NOrway and this a very important feature of taking care of these (The jury's comment on the decision of the awarded project /The European Language Label of the Labels in 2012)
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