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European Language Day Celebrated in Iceland

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European Language Day Celebrated in Iceland

University of Iceland

The University of Iceland. Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

The European Day of Languages was celebrated in Iceland on Friday, among other things with a symposium at the University of Iceland, which was organized by the Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and STÍL, the Association of Foreign Language Teachers in Iceland.

Auður Hauksdóttir, lecturer in the Danish language, stated that Icelandic students don’t learn enough languages. English is important but not sufficient, she told ruv.is.

“It appears that language teaching in secondary schools has decreased significantly in recent years, at the cost of learning a third language. Danish is not taught as often as before, while at the same time English lessons and other subjects like social sciences have increased,” Auður said.

According to figures from Eurostat, the teaching of German and French as a third language in primary schools decreased from 2006 to 2012, whereas a much higher percentage of students in the other Nordic countries start learning these languages at a primary school level.

Auður thinks it’s very important that Icelandic children and teenagers learn about other cultures by studying their languages.

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