The Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages, in cooperation with the department of Icelandic for Foreign Students, the School of Education at the University of Iceland and the Reykjavík City Library, is currently developing a Language Theatre where languages are taught with the methods of dramatic art. During the fall term of 2016, the group conducted a pilot project in cooperation with the Fjölbrautaskólinn í Breiðholti high school in Reykjavík (FB).
The lessons were given in two groups of high school students with Icelandic as a foreign language, one counting 15 students and the other 19 students. The distribution of the language level in Icelandic of the students ranged from A2 through B1, measured on the scale of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
The courses ran for 13 weeks, from 12 September through 5 December 2016. The teachers responsible for the courses on behalf of the FB were Gunnhildur Guðbjörnsdóttir and Ragnar Sveinn Magnússon. The teacher in charge of the course was Ásta Ingibjartsdóttir, Adjunct Lecturer of French at the University of Iceland, assisted by María Anna Garðarsdóttir, Adjunct Lecturer of Icelandic for Foreign Students at the University of Iceland.
The course intertwined language learning and theatre in a way to encourage oral expression and pronunciation while developing vocabulary, enhance the students´ self image as speakers of Icelandic and to tap their narrative skills and imagination.
The final show took place in the concert room in Gerðuberg Cultural Centre on Monday 5 December at 4 pm in front of friends and relatives. The students set up short scenes from Galdrabók Ellu Stínu by Elísabet Jökulsdóttir and recited own poems composed as part of the course.
The courses were organized with support from the Icelandic Research Centre and the Development Fund for Immigration Issues.