Project Articles

Nordplus Nordic Languages

I am called what I am called

26 June 2015
AUTHOR:
collaborating countries: Sweden, Norway and Denmark
Sønderbro Skole, København Foto Siri Carlslund
Sønderbro Skole, København, Foto Siri Carlsund
Sønderbro skole, København. Foto Siri Carlsund
Foto 1

The project “I am called what I am called” took place in Sweden, Norway and Denmark in the autumn 2013. The target group were 12 classrooms in age group 9-12 years. The classes received a theatre-pedagogue from one of the neighboring countries, who taught theatre in their native language. The classes in the project were paired with a “friendship-class” from the country of their respective theatre teacher. As preparation the pupils answered a few questions about themselves and these texts served as a starting point for the theatrical work that followed. The theatre-pedagogues then worked with themes and selected words from the answers of the “friendship-class”.

The pupils started with reading and comprehension and then proceeded to exercises and games involving words from the neighboring language. In this way the students didn’t only experience the neighboring language in a passive way, but also actively practiced expressing the language within a certain frame. Through these exercises the pupils got the tools to relate to words and actions of their neighboring language, through physically based theatre form. For example they acted out their friendship-class’ dreams and interests through a game of “living statues”. The experience is that the playful and creative approach helps the students open up and dare to talk a little more.

Movement and body language makes the new language more manageable and makes it easier to relate to and remember words. After 4 days of theatre work, the week ended with a performance based on the material of the week. The performance was only in the neighboring language and that also served as a motivator for the participants to dare to say at least a few words. It was a positive experience for the class to do a show together but it also served other purposes: create a community, set goals for the work, pupils learned to create a product out of their own material and it rounded off the teaching in a concrete way.  The final performance was filmed, so that the friendship class could see their own ideas put on stage. The teachers’ general experience was that the pupils were curious and interested in the other Nordic languages. The pupils discovered similarities and differences between countries, both linguistically but also through their interests and dreams. The students had a much greater understanding of the neighboring language at the end of the week. In the pupil’s written evaluation they found that this way of teaching was a fun and effective way of teaching neighboring language and they thought generally that it was very positive to use the body in connection with learning, making it easier to remember words. Project leaders and teachers were Helena Berglund (S) and Sine Sværdborg (DK), both M.A. in theatre pedagogy and the Norwegian teacher was Christine Seiertad.

Project results 

The project consisted of two parts: theatre education and the development of a teaching manual. The manual is in its last phase, being completed fall 2014. It conveys in text and picture how the performing arts can be used as a pedagogical and didactic tools to work with neighboring language teaching and contains practical exercises and games.

The organizers of this project have mediated this pilot project in various forums, such as a in a workshop for “Sprogpiloter” in theater masses and festivals. A shorter version of this project has been established in the towns of Helsingör-Helsingborg and a collaboration with Norden i Skolen on how to mediate this to other schools has been started.

The reason why Nordplus chose this as a Best Practice example is that it takes the fundamental principle of bridging the neighboring languages for children and young people in a creative and organic way, making it fun, approachable and easy. The pedagogic foundations were sound and the creation of the teaching material will hopefully encourage more schools and communities to work with this method. 

Target group : Pupils in primary and secondary school   Project period : 06/2013-04/2014
Sector : Primary/lower secondary   Allocated grant : 31000  €
Nordplus Program : Nordplus Nordic Languages   Web references : http://vimeo.com/88385437
Project type : Development project   See more  http://www.zebu.nu/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Hele-bogen-4.pdf
             
Project coordinator : ZeRUM (DK)

Partners                                                   

                                                                   

: Forssaängsskolan (SE), Ruseløkka Skole (NO), Backa School (SE), Søndermark School, Randers (DK), N. Kocks skole (DK), Hastrupskolen (DK), Sverigefinska skolan (SE), Fåvang skole (NO), PH Metropol (DK), Sønderbro skole (DK)
For more, contact : Helena Berglund, 61686820, helenatrix@yahoo.com

Project details 

Target group(s)* : Pupils in primary and secondary school   Project period : 06/2013-04/2014
Sector(s)* : Primary/lower secondary   Allocated grant : 31000  €
Nordplus Program : Nordplus Nordic Languages   Web references : http://vimeo.com/88385437
Project type* : Development project    See more  http://www.zebu.nu/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Hele-bogen-4.pdf
             
Project coordinator : ZeRUM (DK)

Partners                                                   

                                                                   

:

Forssaängsskolan (SE)

, Ruseløkka Skole (NO), Backa School (SE)

, Søndermark School, Randers (DK), N. Kocks skole (DK), Hastrupskolen (DK), Sverigefinska skolan (SE)

, Fåvang skole (NO), PH Metropol (DK), Sønderbro skole (DK)

For more, contact : Helena Berglund, 61686820, helenatrix@yahoo.com