Norwegian 101: The Norwegian Directorate for Education (Utdanningsdirektoratet)

Heidi Håvan Grosch
Sparbu, Norway

Forgive me (tilgi meg) for wearing my teacher hat (min lærerhatt), but for those of you interested in the Norwegian education system (i det norske utdanningssystemet), here is a bit of insight (litt innsikt) into the rules and regulations (lover og regler) set down (etablert) by the powers that be (de som har makt) for the teaching of English (undervisning i engelsk) in the schools (i skolen).

English is taught (engelsk er undervist) to six-year-olds (seksåringer) from the 1st grade (1. klasse), and the amount of dedicated time (dedikert tid) to English teaching increases (øker) as the students get older (elevene blir eldre). As is true (som er sant) for most countries (for de fleste land), there is a set of standards (sett av standarder) teachers must follow (lærere må følge) for different school subjects (ulike fag): these are determined by the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training (Utdanningsdirektoratet), which is the executive agency for the Ministry of Education and Research. All relevant documents (relevante dokumenter) can be found (kan finnes) in English on their website (www.udir.no/in-english).

The curricula in English

The English subject curriculum (læreplan) provides competence aims (kompetansemål) for grades 2, 4, 7, and 10. It is important to remember (det er viktig å huske) that these aims (målene) are not goals to achieve (mål å oppnå) but objectives to work towards (mål å jobbe mot). Teachers are encouraged (opp­fordres) to continuously refer back (se tilbake) to these guidelines, although what they DO is not specified for each grade (selv om det de gjør ikke er spesifisert for hver klasse) and the guidelines have to cover multiple (flere) grade levels; for example grades 3 & 4 are covered (er dekket) under the guidelines for grade 4. The English guidelines are divided into (delt inn i) four different categories (forskjellige kategorier): language learning (språklæring), oral communication (muntlig kommunikasjon), written communication (skriftlig kommunikasjon), and culture, society, and literature (kultur, samfunn og litteratur). The official document (offisielle dokumentet) for the English subject curriculum can be found at (finner du på): www.udir.no/kl06/ENG1-03?lplang=eng.

The framework for basic skills (Grunnleggende ferdigheter)
Basic skills are also integrated (integrert) into the competence aims. These are broken down (delt opp) into oral skills (muntlige ferdigheter), reading (å kunne lese), writing (å kunne skrive), digital skills (digitale ferdigheter), and numeracy (å kunne regne). The official document for the Framework for Basic Skills can be found at: www.udir.no/contentassets/fd2d6bfbf2364e1c98b73e030119bd38/framework_for_basic_skills.pdf and includes a description (beskrivelse) of each skill as well as a rubric for assessment (rubrikk for vurdering) of each skill.

This article originally appeared in the Nov. 4, 2016, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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