Icelandic for foreigners under review Skip to content

Icelandic for foreigners under review

It is essential for the teaching of Icelandic to be more systematic than before, in view of the number of foreigners currently entering the country, according to Minister of Education Science and Culture Thorgerdur Katrín Gunnarsdóttir. VÍSIR online reports.

The minister says that a plan and recommendations are being prepared within her ministry, designed to define the division of tasks and responsibilities between ministries. The work is being carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Services and the Ministry of Justice and Ecclesiastical Affairs, with the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture being the primary coordinator. In her view, the matter must be handled carefully. “It is important to avoid a ‘band-aid solution’ and I want there to be a comprehensive solution offered in the teaching of Icelandic,” she says.

The learning of Icelandic is one of the criteria for being issued Icelandic citizenship, yet access to Icelandic teaching has so far not been guaranteed. This situation has been widely criticized. According to the minister, a new draft bill concerning Icelandic citizenship is in the works, which will include clearer provisions regarding proficiency in Icelandic. While the minister refuses to name a particular date by which the work will be completed, she does concede that the ministry must act swiftly.

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