Successful courses in England
Anne Cathrine Høvik, trip leader, says:
It is a privilege to be able accompany the pupils on this trip. It is lovely to witness how they support and look after each other. Everyone feels safe and no one is afraid to show what they can do.
The best part is to hear the students’ recount of how much they have learnt. Several say that they have learnt more on this course in one week than they have during all their years at ‘Ungdomsskolen’ .
Julia and Hedda are fabulous teachers who know how to make each individual student reach their potential.
The 40 participants also got to practise their English through navigating the town, do shopping and ordering their own food.
In addition to the lessons the pupils got to visit one of the few remaining ‘chained libraries’ in England - at the Royal Grammar School. The Head recounted the exciting history of this school and its library. Moreover, the students were shown around the Guildhall and the week finished with a ghost tour of Guildford.
Thank you to all the participants! We are looking forward to returning next year.
Good language school for adults
Last autumn eight adults travelled to England to receive four days of intensive English instruction. There was also time to eat out, do a bit of shopping and spend a day in London. This is the second year we offer this opportunity to the adult group and we think this is a very important initiative as there is not much on offer for adults who wish to learn English.
The course starts with the basics. The teachers are living in England and are specifically qualified to work with people with dyslexia. Below is an account of what went on and the views of the teachers, participants and group leaders.
Claire and Hedda were the teachers. They work with children and adults with specific learning difficulties. Claire is English, Hedda is from Norway, but has lived in England for many years.
What inspired you to teach English to adults?
To experience the change in each person and to see the joy they get from learning ‘the right way’. They go from being insecure individuals with very little self-belief as far as learning another language goes, to becoming inspired and wanting to learn more because they feel they now can.
How has the week been?
Fantastic! They have all worked very hard, always turned up on time, been willing to have a go at everything and been creative and ‘on task’ at all times. When they started on the Monday, everyone was quiet and a little scared to try, but by the next day these apprehensions had vanished. They were asked to talk to everyone they met, and they did. They lost the fear because they felt that they got something back.
Have you got any advice to those who are deliberating whether to come next year?
Give it a go! Try it. The participants here leave their families and their duties to give themselves a chance. This is hard work, but it is rewarding. The whole experience makes it all worth it. It is about taking the first step. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, it’s about taking ‘the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase’.
Everyone is in the same boat on this course. They all feel that they cannot speak English and never mastered it at school. This is a safe environment. We laugh together and no one judges you. The group adds: ‘Take the step! You don’t need to know much or manage everything. You only need to do what YOU can do.
Cathrine Kvitberg, participant
This was the first course Cathrine has been on through Dysleksi Norge. She now retakes the English that she missed out on when she was younger because the teaching she received was not tailored to her needs. Her goal is to go to university.
What made you enrol on this course?
I have always dreamt of learning English. It is difficult not being able to speak, write or read English. Every day I meet challenges - TV, phone, internet. So, when I learnt that this course was tailored to individual needs and that the teachers were experienced with dyslexia type difficulties, I felt safe enough to enrol.
What did you get out of the course?
I completed it! It went even better than I had hoped. I did not think that I would learn so much. The teachers were incredibly good and they clearly knew their stuff. I strongly recommend this course! It is obviously limited what one can learn in a week, but we all got a very good start.
This is Leif Erling Kristiansen’s second time on this course. His role is group leader and he makes sure the participants are happy and well looked after. Leif Erling has dyslexia and knows very well how it feels to struggle with English.
How do you find your role as group leader?
It is very rewarding and it is great to be able to make a contribution. It is very nice to get to know other people with dyslexia who also think it is hard to learn English.
What do you think of this year’s course?
This was a really good group. Just the right size for everyone to get to know each other. They were lovely people to travel and spend time with, both the participants, the teachers and the leaders.
What would you say to those who are debating whether or not to sign up for this course?
Those who are struggling with English should definitely sign up. It is perfect for adults with dyslexia. They get to meet with others in the same situation. Lots of people struggle with the English language and I, for one, know what it is like. Besides, the teaching starts with the basics so no one needs to feel stupid.