Serious lack of qualified Greenlandic language teachers - a comment from Ilisimatusarfik
At the Institute of Culture, Language & History, we educate the graduates in Language, Literature & Media that are in such short supply - we share the concern about the situation, which is also a major challenge for us, and one that we are trying to help solve
At the Institute of Culture, Language & History, we educate the graduates in Language, Literature & Media that are in such short supply. We share the concern about the situation, which is also a major challenge for us, and one that we are trying to help solve.
Shortage of teachers, supervisors and censors
At the Department of Language, Literature & Media, we are also experiencing major challenges with teaching - especially within language and literature, which to a large extent requires assistant professors and associate professors who can teach and research Greenlandic language and literature. Especially the large and important part of the program that includes the language, kalaallisut, is under pressure. Especially in this program, it is important that students can work with the language in their assignments and exams, but it is often very difficult to cover the need for Greenlandic language supervisors and censors.
Like GUX, we struggle to meet the needs of our Bachelor's and Master's programs. We are therefore also heavily dependent on external lecturers, professionals who in most cases are our own graduates who are employed elsewhere, for example in public administration. We also find it very difficult to attract our own graduates because of the high demand and the salary we can offer. It is very easy for them to find work elsewhere and often at a better salary. Many times they are already employed before they complete their master's degree.
Education reform and well-being during one's education
In 2023, Ilisimatusarfik has worked on a reform of both language programs at the Institute of Culture, Language & History: the bachelor's and master's degree program in Language, Literature & Media and the bachelor's degree program in Translation & Interpreting. As a result, students will be admitted to the Language, Literature & Media program in 2024 with a completely new curriculum with a greater emphasis on language. In connection with the reform of the program, a special effort will be made to draw attention to the program in connection with the admission of new students in the spring of 2024.
We also focus on achieving a higher degree of completion for the students who are on the program, and here too the new curriculum is an important tool: It takes into account the adjustment to the transition from GUX to the university, there are more requirements for activity but fewer exams at the beginning of the program, and better coherence has been created between the three subject areas - language, literature and media - which are all required to be qualified to teach at GUX.
In addition, students will experience an education where, unlike before, there is no joint reading with several cohorts on the courses, and where professional development is coherent and gradual in all three subject areas. The program requires more resources for us, but we weigh this against the need to educate more and better, which we fully agree is a reality.
Strengthening language research and preparing assistant professors - the future of the education
Since 2021, the Institute of Culture, Language & History has had a language research center - Oqaatsinik Ilisimatusarfik with an externally affiliated center manager to strengthen research at the institute. This is to create better conditions for research in order to support our employees who are in educational positions as assistant professors. The center currently houses several projects and has external professors who contribute to the supervision and further education of our assistant professors. Those who have been educated here are crucial for us to be able to continue teaching Kalaallisut and linguistics at university level in the future.