Sami national day, Feb 6th.

On February 6th in 1917, the first Sami congress was held in Trondheim, Norway. That was the first time the Swedish and Norwegian Sami’s were gathered politically. The Sami’s are the native people of Northern Europe.

Every year the norwegian schools recognise this day and celebrate in different ways.

Today I visited the “Norwegian 2”-class (a Norwegian introduction class for immigrants), where the students were introduced to the Sami people and culture.

The Sami flag was first used in 1986. Red, blue, yellow and green are the Sami colours. As you can see, there is a large circle on the flag. The circle represents a half sun and a half moon. The sun being red and the moon blue. The Sami people has been called “the son and daughters of the sun”.

To become familiar with the Sami’s national suit, the students coloured and cut out drawings. When they finished, they glued the drawings on sticks to use in a ‘doll theater’.

As the Sami national day is getting nearer, the teachers are preparing a day full of different activites.

Fingers speaking – German?!

Learning a new language always opens a door to a completely new universe. It’s about starting a journey that brings us closer to people living in another country and, in the case of German, people who use very long and strange sounding words (to mention only one of the most common clichés when it comes to German language)

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When this journey takes place in Year 5 (Primary school) it necessarily becomes an adventure. Children always want to know and learn more. More and more and more – it’s always more they want. And it’s never enough. I therefore find it really difficult to live up to my students’ enthusiasm and expectations when time allocation for German as a second foreign language is more than reduced: 60 minutes a week. So little time and so many things pupils want to learn! As a teacher one is doomed to failure. However, this time handicap can actually be made into a positive challenge. It can boost a teacher’s creativity in order to come up with interesting, funny and motivating classroom activities.

This short video is part of this approach. It shows an activity after only 7/8 hours of German. No more was needed than drawing funny faces on fingers and adding colourful hats to perform little plays. It’s no little accomplishment though. Students had to learn to greet in German, ask for names and introduce themselves using German names and surnames, and, finally, say goodbye. Not to mention that, at the same time, they were struggling with the pronunciation and intonation of a new language.

I hope you enjoy the video.

The fingers are voiced by the following students: Vega, Daniel, Adrián, Blanca, Judith, Diego, Paula, Carlos, Claudia, David, María, Laura, Carmen, Clara, Daniel, Luca and Miguel

 

By Lucía Rodríguez Cuenca