Carry on Icelandic: Learn Icelandic and Enjoy it!

A Multimedia Package in Icelandic for Foreigners

The Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies is responsible, among other things, for tuition in Icelandic at foreign universities. Student exchanges have increased greatly in recent years, not least due to the affiliation of Icelandic university-level institutions to the Nordplus and Socrates programmes. Many foreign students come to Iceland to learn not Icelandic but other subjects, but unfortunately they have had little opportunity to learn Icelandic in preparation for their stay in Iceland, since they are often from colleges that do not offer Icelandic tuition.

Multimedia material on CD for beginners
In 1997, the Institute was offered the opportunity to take part in a three-year project with fifteen university-level institutions in the Nordic countries, Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Italy and Portugal, the objective of which was to create multimedia material for beginners in the Nordic languages, Dutch, Greek, Italian and Portuguese.

The material is intended for independent study. Initially it will be distributed on CD in order to achieve optimum pictorial and sound quality, but it may be put on the Internet in due course. The project, called "Small is Beautiful - Language Mobility: A Pilot for Multimedia Package for Academic Purpose", enjoyed the support of the EU Lingua programme, and received grants three times. In addition to the European Union, the Ministry of Education and Culture in Iceland, the University of Iceland, and many cultural foundations in Iceland have contributed grants for the preparation of multimedia material in Icelandic for foreigners.

This is the first time that multimedia material in Icelandic is prepared for foreign students. It is tailor-made for the needs of those who visit Iceland to study, whether short- or long-term, so that they can prepare themselves in advance by learning the basics of everyday speech and about the country and its people. It should also be useful, however, to other students.

Real-life situations
The language program Carry on Icelandic is intended to prepare the learner for real-life situations. One of the main purposes is to help the learner to develop strategies for dealing with the new language. Quite often the learner can function without understanding every word, picking up clues from the context and using his/her previous experience in similar situations. The learner can also make him/herself understood even if his/her language is far from perfect. With Carry on Icelandic the learner can choose to "float" in the new language like a child does: listen, watch, read, repeat as he/she wishes. He/she can just try to guess what people are saying and check his/her guesses against the translation. He/she can learn phrases without analysing them word by word, just as he/she does in a new country. Or he/she can just watch videos and other materials and follow the story of the main characters. But the learner can also check the meanings of individual words or have the grammatical points explained to him/her by going into the Resource Centre. There he/she will also find some cultural notes and ways to express certain basic functions.

For all types of learners
So spend a moment thinking of yourself as a learner. Do you like to acquire knowledge in repeated situations, try it out and take risks, rather than analyse and memorise? You might like the random access in Carry on Icelandic, the opportunities for trial and error, the chance to listen to material over and over again, work in the order things interest you. Or do you prefer to follow a given route, to make sure that you know the previous material before entering the next unit? Then follow the recommended path starting from Situation One of Theme One, and make frequent use of the Resource Centre. Go through the activities and complete the grammatical exercises in the Resource Centre. Carry on Icelandic is for all types of learners: the choice is yours.

System requirements:
Multimedia PC Pentium 500
64MB RAM
Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP
24-speed CD-ROM drive
16MB free memory

Carry on Icelandic is in store. ISBN 9979-9111-5-8.
Distributed by Háskólaútgáfan, Háskólabíó, Hagatorgi, 107 Reykjavík.
Tel.: 525 4003, fax: 525 5255, email: hu@hi.is
Price: $55, not inclusive of value added tax.

Leading actors in the video: Helga Vala Helgadóttir and Valur Freyr Einarsson.