South Sámi research receives RFF funding

Nord University has received research funding for the project ”How to support Language Learners in South Sámi language”.

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Project coordinator: Professor Heidi Harju-Luukkainen at Nord University. Photo: private.

Nord has received research funding from Regionale forskningsfond Midt-Norge (Regional Research Funds RFF) for a new project called "How to support Language Learners in South Sámi language". 

The project is led by Professor Heidi Harju-Luukkaine (photo), in collaboration with Associate Professors Karianne Berg and Asbjørn Kolberg. 

All of these researchers have extensive knowledge of different areas of language learning, multilingualism and language immersion didactics. 

The goal of the project is to assess teachers' views and use of language-related instructional practices with South-Sámi language learners using interviews and video-based observation methods. The project's results will also be disseminated in an international seminar, and through this attempt to develop teachers' competences.

– The project's results will also be of importance for the South and Lule Sámi Teacher Education Programme at Nord and give us a profund and more detailed understanding of how we can support language learners, says Associate Professor Kolberg.

In 2017, there were around 500–700 speakers of South Sámi and there is still a great need to support and enhance the revitalisation work that started some decades ago. 

– There is also a clear need for research that supports this work, and this is what this project is aiming for, says Professor Harju-Luukkainen.

Associate Professor Berg sees this project as a good opportunity to develop research based teaching at Nord University and engage students.

The project will be executed in collaboration with Snåsa municipality and Statlig spesialpedagogisk tjeneste, and commence during autumn 2019.

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