Ikke en dag uten en linje – Skriving og minoritetsspråklige studenter i høyere utdanning


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Series/Report no

Norsk tidsskrift for migrasjonsforskning;9 (1)


Tapir akademisk forlag

Document type


Nulla dies sina linea – Writing in higher education, the experiences of students with Norwegian as a second language This article focuses on the effect of an increasing demand for written assignments on the language minority students at Oslo University College (OUC). Empirical evidence is gathered through continuous, systematic data collection, using methods such as observation, interviews and informal conversations with both students and academic staff over a period from 2004 to 2007. In line with the Bologna Process a reform was carried out in Norwegian higher education in 2003. The reform is meant to increase the quality of higher education and thus the learning outcome. In higher education in Norway today, there is a common belief in interactive teaching, the relationship between students’ cooperation in professional issues and the quality of education and learning. In accordance to this belief the Quality Reform has resulted in major pedagogical changes which aim to increase the students’ active participation in the learning environment. Hence collaborative learning activities are emphasized together with an increased demand for assignments written by the students in collaboration. Cooperative learning activities call for interdependency for instance to fulfil the demands of written assignments. However, studies at OUC has shown that working in small learning communities in cooperation with fellow students to whom Norwegian is the mother tongue, the linguistic minorities often fall short. Success seems to imply mastering the Norwegian language. Without this proficiency it is hard to accomplish the most basic skills that underlie every assignment, as well as to cooperate with fellow students who have Norwegian as their native language. Findings indicate that without the guidance of professional coaches when it comes to production of written assignments in fellowship, this interactive learning method tends to lead to exclusion of the students who master the Norwegian language only at a basic level. Consequently extensive use of writing does not necessarily promote language proficiency nor does it promote proficiency when it comes to subject matters. A crucial element in the students’ success and learning outcome is tutoring and coaching, what is emphasized and how it is communicated. Just as crucial is the need to establish an including environment, a learning environment which promotes the progress of language learning and contributes to more opportunities for the students to practice both spoken and written language


Permanent URL (for citation purposes)

  • http://hdl.handle.net/10642/1556