Icelandic Online, the online language-learning program maintained by the University of Iceland, now has 200,000 registered users, Kjarninn reports. Professor Úlfar Bragason, who is involved with the project, says that there have never been more students choosing to learn Icelandic than there are today. There were 380 students enrolled in the Icelandic as a Second Language program at the university last year; the program as more than doubled its enrollment over the last ten years.
This news was welcomed by Minister for Education and Culture Lilja Alfreðsdóttir during the annual meeting of the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, who noted that there tends to be more public discussion about fears related to the continuance of Icelandic, rather than the positives related to the language. In this same vein, Lilja talked about the importance of seeing technological change as an opportunity for Icelandic, not just a challenge. “We need to take part in [technological] developments and make use of the latest technology for the benefit of the Icelandic language community and the numerous people who want to learn Icelandic,” she said.
Lilja also talked about the fact that there are an increasing number of children and teens of foreign origin in the Icelandic school system, which is why work is currently being done to expand the Icelandic Online program so that children can use it as well.