Steinunn Ósk Kolbeinsdóttir, project manager for Icelandic language teaching at Fræðslunet Suðurlands, says she is surprised by the government’s reluctance to provide additional funding to run Icelandic language courses for foreigners.
In an interview with journalists, Steinunn Ósk said that especially now, during the coronavirus, investing in learning the Icelandic language would bring good results.
Many foreigners are currently unemployed, have a lot of time and want to learn new skills. Unemployment is the perfect time to invest in learning Icelandic. Many foreigners have moved to Iceland in recent years, many of them have settled here permanently and want to improve their language skills.
Fræðslunet Suðurlands has a long history of teaching the Icelandic language, but is no longer able to keep up with the growing number of students who, while unemployed, want to spend their time on education.
“We can only accept the same number of students as usual because we do not receive much funding from the state to teach Icelandic. We could teach many more people. I meet many foreigners who are a bit surprised that they cannot continue their studies, for example when they have completed one course and want to continue their studies. But when the government subsidy ends, we have to pause the courses until next year “ says Steinunn Ósk, stating that the government needs to wake up and think about making the Icelandic language possible for foreigners.
“I just want us to appreciate those hard-working people who have made the effort to move to Iceland and work here in various jobs where Icelanders don’t necessarily want to work.” – she said, adding: “This workforce is extremely important to us. I think it’s great that this group is interested and willing to learn a language that they only speak [ponad] 300,000 people. “
mmn / visir.is