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C a p p e l e n s

t i d s s k r i f t

f o r

e n g e l s k l æ r e r e

Il l u str a sj o n: Ing e r D a l e




LQQKROG What King Magnus Lawmender Learned about Ireland by Eamonn Noonan

KjĂŚre leser

En gammel kinesisk forbannelse lyder visstnok slik: “MĂĽtte du leve i interessante tider!â€? Det kan vel tenkes at ganske mange lĂŚrere føler seg truffet av en slik forbannelse i disse dager, nĂĽr nye lĂŚreplaner, ny teknologi og nye prøver og vurderingsformer kommer i rask – og ofte tilsynelatende tilfeldig – rekkefølge fra sentrale instanser. Men la nĂĽ ikke ['mĂŚgÉ™'zi:n] legge sten til din eventuelle byrde. Vi vil som vanlig forsøke ĂĽ gi deg et lite pusterom, men ogsĂĽ faglig pĂĽfyll og noen gode ideer du kanskje kan bli inspirert av. At vi i ['mĂŚgÉ™'zi:n]-redaksjonen har en viss svakhet for den grønne øya i vest, har vel noen lesere nĂĽ fĂĽtt med seg. Vi har tidligere hatt artikler om moderne irsk litteratur, om James Joyce og om norske skoleklasser som har reist til Irland for ĂĽ lĂŚre mer om denne fascinerende nasjonen. Norge har spilt en viktig rolle i Irlands historie, og i dette nummeret tar Eamonn Noonan oss med pĂĽ en historisk rundreise til irske steder beskrevet i Kongespeilet, lĂŚreboka som ble skrevet til den senere kong Magnus Lagabøte pĂĽ 1200-tallet. Etter en slik historisk pustepause, kan det passe bra ĂĽ vende tilbake til dagens norske skolehverdag. Som kjent er digital kompetanse en av de grunnleggende ferdighetene som skal gjennomsyre alle fag pĂĽ alle nivĂĽer i norsk skole etter reformen Kunnskapsløftet. I forslaget til ny lĂŚreplan i engelsk som ble sendt ut pĂĽ høring i midten av februar, finner vi igjen dette kravet i flere punkter.

Alt dette, og faste spalter som Read It! Pass It on! og Notiser i tillegg: Vi hĂĽper du fĂĽr en hyggelig lesestund!

Read It! by John Anthony

Notiser: SmĂĽtt og stort om engelskfaget

Erfaringer med nettbaserte undervisningsopplegg i engelsk av Korhan Markussen

Pass It on: Yoko Ono and St Valentine’s Day by Solveig Olsen FjÌrvik

En del lÌrere i videregüende skole har kommet et godt stykke pü vei i arbeidet med ü utnytte digitale medier i sin undervisning, og to av dem, Korhan Markussen og Helga Hoel, gir deg her et innblikk i müten de jobber med dette pü. Vi har ved flere tidligere anledninger hatt reisebrev i bladet, og i dette nummeret kan du lese om Karin Hals sine inntrykk fra Trinidad & Tobago. Neppe den mest kjente delen av den engelsksprüklige verden, men ikke desto mindre et omrüde som har produsert stor litteratur – og som har et av verdens mest berømte karneval!

E-mail to Austria by Helga Hoel

 > PÂ JÉ™]LQ@ 


Walking in the Footprints of Columbus, Robinson Crusoe and Friday in Trinidad & Tobago by Karin Hals

Ansvarlig redaktør: Birger Nicolaysen

videregĂĽende skole, Postboks 350 Sentrum,


0101 Oslo

Kirsten Aadahl

Telefon: 22 36 51 95/5177 E-post:

Produksjon: PrePress as

Eamonn Noonan is an Irish diplomat stationed in Oslo. He is a graduate of University College Cork, where he studied English literature, and holds a doctorate in History and Civilisation from the European University Institute in Florence. Being married to a Norwegian and as the father of three Irish-Norwegian children he has a special interest in the ancient and modern links between Norway and Ireland. This article is written in a personal and not a professional capacity.


Donegal Lough Derg Lough Erne Inishglora

Sligo Lough Key

What King Magnus Lawmender Learned about Ireland

Lough Neagh




The King’s Mirror, written in the 1250s, Tara Lough Ree is believed to have been composed for DUBLIN Clonmacnoise Galway the education of the two sons of Hükon Slieve Hükonson, King of Norway. The elder Bloom Glendalough brother died young, and it was the younger, IR E L A ND Magnus, who succeeded to the throne in 1261. Limerick Because of a major law reform during his reign, he passed into history as Magnus Lagaboete - the Lawmender. The King’s Mirror includes two chapters on the wonders and miracles of Ireland, and these include references to the major centres of Ireland’s Golden Age as the Island of Saints and Scholars. A tour of the sites that Magnus learned about would be a wonderful introduction to Ireland and its history.


St. Kevin’s Kitchen, Glendalough Š Scanpix

Glendalough, a short drive south from Dublin

he had become an old man, and his red hair

ill only died after they were taken off the

into the Wicklow Mountains, is a fine place

had turned white. His youth was soon

island). On another, where St. Diarmuid

to start. This monastery was founded by St.

restored, but his hair remained white.

ministered, no female of any species could

Kevin in the Sixth Century. Magnus learned

However, according to tradition, this did not

ever enter the churchyard. The reference

that a young disciple of St Kevin fell ill and

take place on Slieve Bloom, but on Slieve

to St. Diarmuid makes identification

craved an apple, but none could be found

Gullion, County Armagh.

possible: this island is known today as

because it was the spring. Kevin prayed for


Inchcleraun or Quaker Island, and the

help, and apples then grew on a nearby willow

West from Slieve Bloom lies Clonmacnoise, a

monastic ruins are easily visible. Yet it is

which cured the patient. The willow thereafter

monastery founded on the River Shannon by St.

an uninhabited island, off the tourist trail

bore apples every year, and people all around

Kieran in 545. According to the King’s Mirror,

and rarely visited.

ate them to cure illness. The Annals record

one Sunday during mass, an anchor appeared

that Glendalough was sacked by the Vikings

from above and hitched itself to the front door

The tour could continue north along the

four times between 775 and 1071 - not quite

of St. Kieran’s church. The people went out and

Shannon, but this is also a good point

as often as it was sacked by rival Irish tribes.

looked up to see a ship floating in mid-air. A

at which to head for the west coast and

man jumped overboard and clambered down, as

search for the place the King’s Mirror calls

Due west of Glendalough lies Slieve Bloom,

if swimming, to release the anchor. The locals

Inishgluer. On this small island, the dead

Co. Offaly. On this mountain, according to the

grabbed hold of the man, but the bishop made

were left standing along the church fence and

King’s Mirror, there are two springs, one of

them let go, saying that he could be hurt by

never decayed. This is obviously Inishglora,

which turns white hair black and the other

it, as if he was held under water. Once freed,

which lies off the Erris peninsula in Co. Mayo,

turns all hair white. Slieve Bloom is of major

the man hurried back up to the ship, and as

on which can be found the remains of an

importance in Irish mythology. It was named

soon as he got on board, they cut the rope, and

ancient church dedicated to St Brendan the

for one of the Milesians, the legendary first

sailed on out of sight. The anchor has been

Navigator. The practice of displaying mum-

migrants to Ireland in prehistoric times.

lying in the church ever since. This legend of

mies outside churches has happily been

It has been suggested that from the top of

the flying ship inspired a poem by Seamus

abandoned, if it ever existed.

Slieve Boom one can see the highest points

Heaney. Visitors to Clonmacnoise can admire

in each of the four provinces; if this is true,

the High Cross, one of the finest examples of

Back on the mainland, our route leads west

it may help account for the area’s prehistoric

a carved celtic cross. One panel depicts the

to Lough Key. Magnus learned of a floating

eminence. By tradition, Slieve Bloom was the

biblical scene of soldiers dividing Christ’s

islet where a sick man who stepped onto it

birthplace of Fionn MacCumhail, the greatest

robe before the crucifixion - these soldiers

would be healed by eating its grass. This was

hero of the Irish epics. It is of course no coin-

are wearing pointed Viking helmets, which

in Loghica, which I believe is Lough Key, a

cidence that James Joyce gave the surname

gives some idea of how the artist regarded

waterway between the Shannon and the Erne.

Bloom to the main character in Ulysses. The

Ireland’s earlier Norse visitors.

Trinity Island in Lough Key was an ancient


miraculous properties of the springs are an

burial place for kings of Tara, as well as kings

echo of another legend associated with Fionn

Upriver along the Shannon lies Lough Ree.

of Connaught. The Dominican monastery at the

MacCumhail. As a young man, the enchantress

Magnus learned about two islands on this

adjacent town of Boyle, Co. Roscommon, was a

Miluchra tricked Fionn into searching for a

lake. On one there lived many hermits, yet

major seat of learning in Magnus’s times; the

gold ring lost in a lake; when he emerged,

no one died of disease there (those who fell

Annals of Lough Key were compiled there.

Cemetery in Clonmacnoise Š Scanpix

White Island figures Š Scanpix

Further north, straddling the border between

People believed that the

the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland,

king at Tara always passed

lie Upper and Lower Lough Erne. Magnus

just sentences. But on one

learned about an island called Kertinagh

occasion he ignored the

on Lough Erne. On this island, devils had as

merits of a case to rule

much power over half of the island as in hell

in favour of his friends

itself - but they had no power over that half

over his foes. In order

of the island where an abandoned church

to teach the people that

stood. There are many islands in Lough Erne,

injustice was done, God

and Kertinagh cannot easily be identified.

caused the houses and

Candidates include White Island, which has

halls to be turned down

an outstanding series of statues dating back

into the earth, and they

to the Sixth Century, Devenish Island, where

have stayed like that. As a

St Molaise founded a monastery which was

result no one dared to live there, even though

thereby planted that later grew into the major

sacked by the Vikings in 837, and perhaps the

it was the loveliest place in all the country.

law reform which Magnus sponsored, and

town of Enniskillen itself, whose centre is an

The desertion of Tara remains a great riddle;

which earned him the nickname by which he

island. An alternative theory is that the aut-

after many centuries as a centre of power

went down in history - the Lawmender?

hor is confusing Lough Erne with the nearby

and worship, it was abandoned in 565 and

Lough Derg, where according to tradition, St

has been uninhabited ever since. The Annals

The Irish chapters of the King’s Mirror inclu-

Patrick entered purgatory in the year 435.

of Clonmacnoise record that Tara suffered

des anecdotes about the two most impor-

Station Island has been a site of pilgrimage

from a curse imposed by St. Ruadan following

tant ecclesiastical sites of early medieval

and penance for over a thousand years, and is

a dispute with King Diarmuid of Tara – over

Ireland, Glendalough and Clonmacnois, and

today visited by 30,000 pilgrims a year.

contested legal judgements. Is this the full

about the two most important sites of pre-

story? Why did a place that was for centuries

Christian Ireland, Tara and Slieve Bloom.

Turning east, the tour brings us to Ireland’s

the country’s most important political centre

The six other sites mentioned are all either

largest lake, Lough Neagh. According to the

suddenly become deserted? Why has it never

lakes or islands, with a noticeable concen-

King’s Mirror, the waters of this lake turn

subsequently been settled? Like much else

tration along the waterways of the Rivers

holly wood to stone. Lough Neagh was well

from Ireland’s pre-Christian history, the

Shannon and Erne – waterways well known

known to Viking visitors to Ireland; one of

details are lost in time.

to the Vikings from their very earliest raids

their earliest year-round settlements was on its banks.

on Ireland. A round trip of these sights could


It is tempting to suggest that the Tara anec-

be comfortably completed in a fortnight, and

dote held a special significance for prince

would bring the traveller to some of Ireland’s

Our tour concludes with a short journey

Magnus, the future king of Norway. The author

most beautiful and most historic places.

south to Tara, the ancient seat of the kings

of the book urged with this example his stu-

Indeed, there can be few better ways to bring

of Ireland, deserted in the Sixth Century.

dents to place justice above partisanship; he

Irish history to life than to visit the places a

Magnus Lagaboete learned that Tara is deso-

even repeated the anecdote later in the book

young Norwegian prince learned about, some

late because of an injustice done by its king.

to further emphasise the lesson. Was a seed

750 years ago.

English by finding authentic target groups to fulfil this objective in the foundation course in English by means of using e-mail correspondence and building web pages.

Background project Norway–Japan in 1998/99

Austrian English teachers. Since he also teaches

information about Austria and Vienna for my own

English at an upper secondary school in Vienna,

class. We spent a class in the computer room

In the spring of 1998 a Japanese teacher brow-

I immediately saw a potential partner for my

to look at these links and other links the stu-

sing the internet came across my homepage.

new foundation class in English and approached

dents found on their own, and I invited a retired

She sent me an e-mail asking me if I would be

him after his presentation. I thought the English

Austrian teacher who used to teach German at

interested in corresponding with her class in

levels for our classes would be much closer than

Katedralskolen to our class to give an intro-

Yokohama. She had had an exchange student from

those between classes in Norway and Japan, and

duction (in Norwegian) to her home country. Her

Norway some years before and wanted to do a

that this fact would facilitate communication

vivid presentation was viewed as highly inte-

unit on Norway in her class. Since I was going

between the groups.

resting and informative by most of my students.

to teach a foundation class that coming winter,

Over lunch the following day we agreed to

Furthermore I realized that we had to

I agreed, thinking this would be a great opportu-

try it out. He had 14 boys who were 17 years old

refresh our vocabulary about schools in general

nity to say something about Norwegian culture

in his class and I had 29 boys and girls who were

and about our school subjects especially, and

in English to an authentic target group.

16 years old in mine. We, the teachers, divided

so decided to cover the learning target about

both classes in 7 groups and our first task was

school life in Great Britain and in the U.S. there

between the levels of English among her and my

to collect the students’ e-mail addresses and

and then. The schools also exchanged textbooks,

students – after all our languages are very dif-

next to make a web page each with pictures of

something both teachers found very useful to

As it turned out, there naturally was a gap

By Helga Hoel, Trondheim Katedralskole

Key-pals in Japan and Austria: Conveying some central aspects of Norwegian culture in

ferent in more ways than one (including different

the students where they introduced themselves

understand the set-up of the English courses

characters). Consequently the e-mail correspon-

in one paragraph. Since this could be read by

in Norway and Austria. For my part I found it

dence to begin with was only of limited value.

anybody on the web, we corrected the students’

interesting to see how the European framework

We did, however, move on to make web pages for

English before we published their presentations

for languages has permeated the Austrian text-

each other’s classes. My students made pages

on the web. After all, who wants to display their

books, since we seem to be heading in the same

about different aspects of Norwegian culture,

language errors in public?

direction with the new school reform in 2006.

and the Japanese students wrote about their

spare time activities for us. That part was eva-

days and most of them have internet access

about Austria and to ask my students questions

luated by both students and teachers to be the

at home, something which was not the case in

about aspects of Norwegian life that they were

most successful part of the project.

1998/99 when all contact had to be made in the

interested in learning about, and we spent

computer room at scheduled classes.

another period in the computer room to answer


All students have e-mail addresses nowa-

Georg Hellmayr asked his students to write

these questions. A new target group in Vienna, Austria in 2004/05

Getting information about our partner

This was my background experience when I


Building web pages

attended the EuroCALL conference in Vienna in

I updated the link collection I had made about

The next step was to make web pages about

September 2004. One of the days I listened to

Norway and Trondheim for the class in Japan

our schools or school systems. Neither

Georg Hellmayr’s paper about his work to build

in 1998/98 to get the Vienna students started,

Schottengymnasium nor Trondheim Katedralskole

a resource web site, The English Journal, for

and browsed the net to supply useful links to

has English versions of their official web sites.


We wanted to use the students’ perspective

How to improve the project

So what do the teachers think about the

telling their stories about various parts of our

In 1998/99 the Japanese teacher and I exchanged


school, but also to include some “meat� in the

term and holiday schedules for our respective

I have seen students who have shown a

information. I wrote nine suggestions for topics

schools and set up a strict timetable for our

genuine interest in the project and that is satis-

on the board so that all seven groups had somet-

work to avoid frustration caused by different

fying in itself. We have been able to

hing to choose from. Each group sent me their

holidays or exam periods. We also had another

fulfil goals in the curriculum in an interesting,

page as an attachment to the e-mail. I corrected

difficulty to overcome since our school at that

although time consuming way. There is no deny-

it and sent it back for approval or additional

point only had 14 PCs with internet access, which

ing that converting documents to web pages,

information before I uploaded all the interlinked

meant that I could only take one half of the class

linking them together and uploading them takes

pages on the internet 1 February 2005. One of our

to the computer room at a time. The rest of the


students has provided most of the pictures.

class was taught by a student teacher.

Currently the Austrian students are still

This year we have had enough computers

Personally I learned a lot about English

working on their web pages and we look forward

for everybody and we have played it more by ear

teaching in Austria. Their course books were very

to seeing and reading them.

than by a strict schedule probably thinking that

interesting to read especially now when we will

European schools are more alike than they really

be heading in the European direction in language

are. Therefore different autumn breaks, excur-

teaching. Georg Hellmayr also found our books

Positive sides

sion times, mock exam schedules, Christmas

interesting. We have sent about 65 e-mail mes-

By and large students in both countries were

holidays and now recently, winter breaks have

sages back and forth so far, and will probably

positive about the project. The reasons they

interfered in our work causing delays in answers

keep in touch way beyond this project period.

listed were for instance that they found it inte-

and stretching the patience for some of the par-

Maybe we will decide to do another project some

resting to learn something about young people

ticipants. This can be avoided in future projects

other year. Who knows?

their own age in another country and about a

by exchanging school schedules and setting up

different culture and school system. They also

stricter deadlines for the different parts of the

expressed satisfaction at having some variation

project before starting it.

in their English classes. All groups thought they

We should probably also be clearer in divi-

Appendix 1: Points to consider before starting an international project: ¡ Find out the term- and vacation schedules for

had done a good job with their web pages and

ding the project into two parts: a private one

that there was little or nothing to improve there.

to get to know each other via e-mail messages

A minority of the students thought they would

without any teacher control, and a public one

¡ Agree on how much time to spend on the project

keep contact with their partners in Austria after

writing texts for publication on the internet.

¡ Decide the topic(s) for the project

the project period, but those who were positive

There control is needed to make sure that the

¡ Clarify the objectives

were the ones who had sent and received most

information given is correct both linguistically

¡ Decide which methods to use, individual work,

both schools

group work or both

e-mail to begin with.

¡ Agree on how the project is going to be presented ¡ Agree on mutual evaluation at the end

Negative sides

Many of the Austrian students especially thought

the project was stretched over too long a period

of time and that it would have been better to

Appendix 2: Link list:

do nothing but the project over a shorter period.


Students from both countries were frustrated over

not getting responses to their e-mails fast enough

and with regard to the content. We should also

to keep the interest going. One group from each

be clear about what we want to evaluate. I only

Class presentation from Shottengymnasium:

country complained that they did not think their

want to evaluate the uploaded versions of the

partner group was really interested in learning to

web pages. Of course I saw part of the process

know them, and one Norwegian student expressed

also, how the groups worked together, but since

Trondheim Katedralskole’s official Homepage:

frustration over the fact that some of the e-mails

it did not differ from any other group work in the

were sent through the teachers, feeling this

class, I see no reason to use that as a special

restricted what she wanted to write about and

point of evaluation.

dampened her enthusiasm for the project. One Austrian student thought the groups

To improve the initial contact between the

1AAAs pages about Trondheim Katedralskole:

students setting up a chat room with students

should have been better matched according to

from both countries simultaneously in their

Helga Hoel’s 1AAA class page:

their interests, but personally I wanted to avoid

computer rooms would have been great. However,

this, being afraid that some students would get

this is not possible on the school machines.


many e-mails and others only a few, or none at all.


Read It!

Reviewed by John Anthony

Sometimes I feel that the teach-

w driving along the road and saw a were p petrol station that was 1) Open, 2) Had

ing profession is quite a hotbed of

p petrol and 3) Didn’t have a queue of more

rampant conservatism. Perhaps I am

t than 20 cars, we would probably stop and w in the queue to top up an almost wait

thinking this now as we approach

f tank in fear that this was the last full

the exam period and, working as an

p petrol we would ever buy in our lifetimes. T was a time of power blackouts and This

external examiner for the oral exam

p political unease, a time when newspapers

in English, I know I’m going to come

c contributed to the general gloom with

across many of the old favourites

d doomsday headlines. Ah the glam rock seventies. The birth

on book lists: Catcher in the Rye, Of

o punk. This certainly was a strange and of

Mice and Men, 1984, Animal Farm,

i many ways horrible decade, and it cerin

Across the Barricades ... Of course one

t tainly sounds like a period of time many t teachers will remember, but what does

must admit that it is important to

t decade mean to our pupils? this One of the most important and per-

introduce pupils to some of the major

h haps most devastating developments in

works of the country whose language

t decade was the rise of the phenothis

and culture they are studying, but as Of course, the real masters in the strike in those

is something our pupils have to study, if for

days, and perhaps rightfully so, were the miners,

no other reason than that the effects of the

perhaps far more to the teacher than

and for a while they had the country by the

Thatcherism era still linger in the UK to this

they do to the pupils. So for my book

proverbial crown jewels. Shut down the mines,

day. To understand modern Britain, we need to

stop the coal, and electricity becomes a scarce

understand the mood of the seventies. It is not

commodity. I was living in West London at the

easy to teach about this period and it is difficult

time and remember such things as the BBC and

to explain to our pupils how the political and

ITN closing down at 10 or 10.30 to save electri-

social climate of the time could have given birth

But as this is a conservative profession, perhaps

city. Movie house marquees were shut off and,

to the creature known not so fondly as the Iron

we shouldn’t be too enthusiastic and jump over

gloriously, we were encouraged to shower with a

Lady, or as Ronald Reagan called her, “the best

too many decades, some of us might get a little

partner to conserve warm water and hence save

man I’ve ever met�.

dizzy in the mad rush into modern times. So, I

on electricity, a measure that did not please

Faced with such a problem we should turn more

suggest shucking off the 30s and the 50s and

representatives of the Church of England too

often to literature for help than we probably do.

moving at least into the 1970s. The book I have

much but was enthusiastically embraced by the

What better way to teach about this decade than

chosen was actually written in 2001, but the

younger generations.

to find an entertaining novel that takes place

the years race by, these books talk

review I have looked for something “new� to introduce to the classroom.

m menon known as Margaret Thatcher. This

story is placed in the 1970s, what some people have called the forgotten decade.

But not to be outdone by the British miners,

in this period, one our pupils will enjoy reading

this was the time when the oil-producing nations

while learning about the attitudes and ideas

in the Middle East discovered how much political

that prevailed in England at this time? In my

change in Britain. The unions, many claimed,

muscle they had, and cuts in oil supplies crea-

search for a book for this purpose I came across

were crippling the country, walking out the gates

ted a kind of reserved hysteria. Of course that

Jonathan Coe’s The Rotters’ Club. While by no

at the mere drop of a hat. The swinging London of

sounds like a contradiction in terms, but what I

means perfect, this is a novel that uses an enga-

the 60s was winding down and old Labour was on

mean is that we basically went about our normal

ging sense of humour to paint a broad panoramic

wobbly legs.

lives, but at the same time, if, for example, we

picture of England in the 1970s.

Forgotten or not, this was a time of great

This is also an interesting story about growing

and about the rites of passage of the young.

In the sequel, the conservative Paul, is, perhaps

While we learn about social problems, some

not surprisingly, a member of Tony Blair’s New

the characters are still searching for who they

of the characters are rather clueless about many

Labour, where slogans and blind ambition have

are in the sequel to this book, The Closed Circle

of the things happening around them, reflecting

replaced ideals and beliefs.

(Viking, 2004). The novel paints a broad picture

their intense and self-centred adolescence. But

of this decade and gives a sense of the turbulent

the author succeeds in painting a wide canvas

in the 70s and a tale of the aches and pains, and

political times and events that were unfolding

that opens this decade to us, so much so that

joys, of coming of age. The reader cares about

and led to the fall in union power and the rise of

when one of the adult characters in the novel

the characters because they are believable and

free-market capitalism.

predicts that Margaret Thatcher will never

well sculpted. Benjamin Trotter is ordinary and

up and finding one’s identity, or not, as some of

This is a well-written novel of coming of age

There is another benefit to using this book.

be Prime Minister, we are not surprised when

hopeless, baffled by and afraid of the world he

In the past, one of the most exhaustingly boring

the novel, and the decade, end with Margaret

is entering, but also a character for whom the

parts of teaching about social conditions in

Thatcher sweeping to victory.

reader will have a great amount of affection and

The story takes place over a period of

sympathy. Norwegian pupils can read this book

cation. Year after year textbooks have given us

six years starting in 1973. This is the time of

and identify with the characters, and will also

the bare and excruciatingly mundane facts about

Edward Heath’s failed Conservative government

find the description of life in an English school

a system that I’m convinced very few people in

and two Labour governments under Wilson and

interesting and enlightening. In one chapter

Britain really understand. Perhaps a better way

Callaghan. One of the main characters is Ben

we are witness to bullying. The author shows

to introduce our pupils to British school life is

Trotter, whose nickname at school is “Bent

how it developed rather innocuously but grew

to read novels that include the school experien-

Rotter” and from this the name “Rotters’ Club”

in intensity, turning, in the end, into a kind of

ce. The Rotters’ Club is about young people gro-

is derived. The story is told through a multi-

class ritual with little regard for the one boy

wing up and interacting in a school environment

perspective narrative. Ben’s niece in part tells

on the wrong end of the fun and games. Later, in

in Birmingham. We see their school experiences

the story from her perspective in 2003. This is a

the next to last chapter, Ben Trotter remembers

and learn about their attitudes to their school

somewhat clumsy device as it is hard to accept

this ritual and begins to think of its effects and

and their schoolmates, and we are witness to

that she should have such a vivid recollection of

repercussions, revealing one of the main themes

some rather peculiar and bizarre teaching met-

other people’s stories, but it is a device more

of both The Rotters’ Club and its sequel, that

hods. For example, the PE teacher has a policy of

intended for the sequel than The Rotter’s Club.

everything has an effect, and that the effect is

forcing any boy who forgets his swimming trunks

There is also more of an omniscient third-person

often far broader in scope than anyone could

on swimming day to swim before his classmates

perspective, and within the narrative Coe gives

have imagined.

in the nude, a punishment that one well endowed

us letters, leaflets, articles from the school

Those teachers who use Tapestry may also

young lad in the class appears to relish, but

newspaper and diary entries offering insight

find it interesting that the next to last chapter

which the others of course dread.

and humour. Some readers may find this a little

of The Rotters’ Club is a “Ride” experience: a 37-

Britain has been the section on schools and edu-

confusing, but this narrative technique suits

page single-sentence interior monologue of the

What is The Rotters’ Club about? This is the

the panoramic view of this fractured and troub-

main character, Ben Trotter, which captures the

story of a group of young people attending King

ling decade. There are cultural aspects that

feelings of first love and the utter excitement of

Edward’s School in Birmingham. The central cha-

Norwegian pupils may need some help with, for

his longed-for sexual debut. Teachers who have

racters are four pupils who work on the school

example names of British music magazines and

had positive experiences with “Ride” in class,

newspaper. Parallel to this is the story of some

bands from the 70s, but help is generally just a

may appreciate a text that is written in the

of their parents, most notably Bill Anderton and

Google click away.

same style as it will allow for a comparison and

But perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself.

Colin Trotter, one a shop steward, the other a

The author’s intention with this novel is to

a deeper discussion of the values of this narra-

personnel manager, who represent the two sides

give us an intimate feel of what the 70s were

tive technique.

of the union-management dialogue of the 70s.

like and in this attempt he sometimes leaves

So, can I recommend this book? The answer is

The setting in this school society is a

stories within the novel incomplete. But what

yes. This is a novel that is fun and interesting

microcosm of the decade in England as Coe

Coe does successfully show us is that this was a

to read. The main characters are the same age

shows us class war, racism, strikes, the death

shifting era, the decade that saw the start of a

as our pupils and their experiences, even though

of Old Labour and a pub bombing. King Edward’s

right-wing backlash against what had once been

they are from the England in the 70s, will be

is not your typical comprehensive school, but a

considered sacred and immutable socialist ide-

recognizable and identifiable for our pupils

school with entrance exams, and whose pupils

als. Ben’s younger brother Paul celebrates the

today. Even though I have hinted at a few short-

are destined for university. But the pupils’

death of the socialist dream, showing:

comings, the novel is an excellent, entertaining

problems and concerns are not that different

and interesting way of informing our pupils

from what young people today are experiencing,

...The same triumphalism, the same

about this period of British history that led to

so the novel has something to say to our pupils

excitement, not because something new

the arrival of Margaret Thatcher, and is a good

beyond being a social chronicle of life in the

was being created but because something

read in its own right.

70s. This is a novel about looking for love and

was being destroyed.

sometimes finding it, about forging friendships

Notiser: smått og stort om engelskfaget lsk i enge t s e b er e så elever sk. Vi hører bare ikk e k s r o l N nge ). En 1. mars er kan e

elev isen ( Norske peiske Dagsav r e d l e nt euro m a , l t b e d e s kel mye om undersø venske ke og s gnende i s l r n o e n m t a ene sam 04 viste ke elev åren 20 de nors t a e g o , elever v vensken test gelsk. S r best i n a e v r g i e l v r t n va ele te i mu finnene lart bes t, mens e h g i stitutt d var de k r I lesefe n ved n e å s p b I r e h v bet lå litt o k. Elisa LS) ved mmatik kling (I a i r v g t u å e p l best ktleder g sko nning o k prosje a s r d t o u n r e e elevvær for lær norske slo har e O d i t t a e r t de ite r hun hev Univers k og se lsen, og om språ e s k ø k s s r l e e eng for und ert for t motiv d o g r e råket. ene unne sp k å v a ten viktighe

Departures Extra Vi minner alle brukere av læreboka Departures om at ekstraheftet Departur es Extra nå foreligger. De tte heftet er på 84 sider, og det er gratis for alle ele ver som bruker Departures. Læreren må sende en e-p ost med bestilling til klasse n: Alle som kjøper Departur es i bokhandelen, vil få Departures Extra med på kjøpet.

Utdanningsdirektoratet melder om følgende framdriftsplan for læreplanarbeidet våren/sommeren 2005: • Læreplaner for pulje 1 (deriblant læreplan for engelsk 1.-13. klasse) ble sendt ut på høring: 15/02/05 • Læreplaner for pulje 2 (deriblant læreplan for programfag engelsk vg2 og vg3) - 1. utkast publisert 04/04/05 (se egen notis) • Innspill fra Fylkesmennene på læreplaner for pulje 2 foreligger: 15/04/05 • Forslag fra læreplangruppene for pulje 2 foreligger til bearbeiding i direktoratet: 28/04/05 • Høringsfrist for læreplaner for pulje 1: 10/05/05 • Læreplaner for pulje 1 fastsettes: Juni 2005 • Høring og fastsetting av læreplaner for pulje 2: Høst 2005

Glenn Ole Hellekjær fra Høgskolen i Østfold er prosjektleder for Programområde for språkfag, mens læreplangruppa for engelsk ser slik ut: • Ella Haukenes (leder), Høgskolen i Finnmark • Ivar Olav Brandt, Gjøvik vgs. • Bente Heian, Oslo Handelsgymnas • Andreas Lund, Universitetet i Oslo • Berit Berge, Fyllingsdalen vgs.

foreslår at Utdanningsdirektoratet ag skal bestå råkf Programområde for sp g: av følgende programfa Programfag Engelsk 2. fremmedspråk Latin og gresk Kommunikasjon og kultur

Timetall 5+5+5

5+5 5+5+5 5+5+5

(foreløpig tittel) blir relevant skal utvikles slik at det Engelsk som programfag dieretniningsprogrammer (tidl. stu for elever fra flere utdann ge inn t slik at det er mulig å vel ger). Faget er derfor utvide totalt 15 uketimer.

gelsk i Læreplan i programfaget en programområdet språkfag

l. Adresse: http://s Førsteutkastet ble lagt ut 6. apri /Arbeid 015 – eller gå inn på Skolenettet laereplaner/login_lp.aspx?id=13 med nye læreplaner/. timerskurs: t strukturert i tre avsluttende fem Programfaget engelsk er foreslåt elsk Programfag 1: Internasjonal eng elsk eng glig nsfa Programfag 2: Samfun ur Programfag 3: Litteratur og kult er fra alle studieforberedende Samtlige kurs kan velges av elev rinn, inkludert vg1 (11.klasse). utdanningsprogram på alle årst kan du komme På adressen lareplan@utdanning t. med innspill til læreplanutkaste



eirer p Andelen å alle f brukere ronter av enge ker dram l s k som før atisk i fo s tespråk rhold til minandresp de som råk elle h a r r engelsk lærer e (for eks som ngelsk s empel i om frem Norge). medspr voldsom S æ åk rlig den vekst, o siste gr g dette u Simense p p har i fø en er i n ved Un lge profe iversite ssor Au av enge t e d Marit t i Oslo fø lsk som rt til at førstesp språket b r r åk har m ukerne . I frem istet eie tiden vil rskapet tes for d e t e til ngelske sterk på språket virkning å ta til utset, og det orde for te har få en inter tt enkel som glo nasjona te til balt spr l standa å k r . d for en A ndre me sosial id gelsk ner at d entitet et ut fra vil utvik engelsk b e l e h o s v for e g , med f. regiona eks. egn le varia ske bar e n u t t e talereg r av n i frem ler. Uan tiden bl sett vil Norsk v i tosprå noril være klige, h hverdag evder Sim språket sspråke e n sen. som bru t, mens kes i yr engelsk (kronikk kessam vil være , Aftenp m enheng osten 15 og på re .03.05) iser.

finner man gratis templates – det vil si ferdige

gjøres fordi oppgavesiden er formet som en

sider designet av andre. Ved ĂĽ legge disse

innholdsfortegnelse med mye informasjon som

inn i et redigeringsprogram kan en foreta de

følger med deg hvor enn du klikker deg frem pü

forandringer en mütte ønske. Selvsagt mü

nettomrĂĽdet. Erfaringen forteller meg at enkle-

en ogsĂĽ ha egen webserver eller leie et web-

re layouter fungerer bedre enn kompliserte.

hotell og domene for ĂĽ legge dette ut pĂĽ

Menyen og rammen bør ogsü ha den funksjonen

nettet. Det finnes nettsteder som tilbyr

at de viktigste hjelpemidlene som for eksempel

gratis plass til hjemmesider, men da mĂĽ man

Google og elektroniske ordbøker finnes dersom

regne med litt reklame.

oppgavene krever bruken av dem.

Følgende artikkel er basert pü mine erfaringer

“Less is more�


med bruk av egne nettbaserte undervis-

Ă… lage et pedagogisk rettet nettopplegg

Variasjon er ogsĂĽ noe ĂĽ tenke pĂĽ. Derfor har

ningsopplegg i engelsk ment for elever i den

krever en del gjennomtenkning, og en mü først

oppleggene egne “tema�. Hvis alle oppleg-

videregĂĽende skolen. Oppleggene finnes pĂĽ

og fremst spørre seg selv: vil nettsiden bare

gene hadde hatt de samme layoutene, ville

bli et elektronisk papir? Kunne en heller ha

de ha blitt kjedelige bĂĽde for meg og elevene.

av Korhan Markussen ( Stovner videregĂĽende skole

gitt elevene et A4-ark med det som stĂĽr pĂĽ

Å prøve ut nye tema og finesser holder moti-

De siste ĂĽrene har jeg utarbeidet nettsider

nettsiden? Nettsiden mĂĽ gĂĽ ut over dette.

vasjonen i gang. Film har for eksempel alltid

som jeg har tatt i bruk i engelskundervisnin-

Nettsiden bør ta i bruk de mulighetene som

fascinert meg. Det har ført til at et av oppleg-

gen. Det hele begynte som ren nysgjerrighet

ikke finnes pĂĽ et ark eller i en lĂŚrebok.

gene (USA in the 50’s and 60’s) er blitt laget i

og interesse for det ĂĽ lage hjemmesider, men

vidfilm og i sort/hvitt. Da en av mine hobbyer

etter hvert begynte det ĂĽ bli litt kjedelig ĂĽ

Det er veldig lett ĂĽ la seg rive med av alle

er ĂĽ lage musikk, spilte jeg inn litt bakgrunns-

bare jobbe pĂĽ min private hjemmeside. Hvorfor

effektene som et designprogram tilbyr. Selv

musikk som en velkomst og la ved utdrag fra

ikke lage noe jeg kunne bruke i undervisnin-

har jeg prøvd ut mange, men jeg forkaster de

opptak av John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King,

gen? Og sĂĽ begynte oppleggene ĂĽ ta form.

fleste da jeg ser at de ikke fungerer pedago-

Jr og Neil Armstrong i bakgrunnen. (Disse

gisk. Ă… bruke mangfoldige timer pĂĽ minimalt

dukker opp kun ĂŠn gang, da det ikke er noe

Hvordan komme i gang?

lĂŚringsutbytte er bortkastet. Det er derfor

sÌrlig ü høre den samme sangen og opptaket

Nettsider er i og for seg ikke vanskelig ĂĽ lage

viktig ĂĽ hele tiden vĂŚre konkret med det en

hver gang en kommer til hovedsiden.) Det

med dagens programvarer. Bare ved ĂĽ bruke

gjør. Fungerer det jeg lager pedagogisk? Vil

siste ga mersmak og førte til at jeg begynte

Word kan en godt fĂĽ til noen enkle nettsider.

absolutt alle elevene forstĂĽ hva som skal

ĂĽ ta i bruk gamle opptak av viktige historiske

Med PowerPoint kan en bĂĽde krydre under-

gjøres? Hvilke praktiske problemer kan dukke

personer i oppleggene. NĂĽ brukes disse i

visningen og lage hjemmesider med bĂĽde

opp? Er oppgavene for krevende pĂĽ den mĂĽten

oppgaver eller som tilleggsinformasjon i de

meny og innhold bestĂĽende av flere sider og

at elevene surfer vilt pĂĽ nettet for ĂĽ finne

temaene elevene arbeider med.

animasjoner. OgsĂĽ Frontpage og MS Publisher

informasjon? Og ikke minst, jo mer fancy

er to gode hjelpemidler. Disse har begrensede

layout og effekter, jo mer trekkes oppmerk-

Differensiering er viktig

muligheter, men er fullt brukbare.

somheten vekk fra teksten og oppgaven.

Faren ved nettbaserte undervisningsopplegg

Ă… kunne litt HTML-koding har for meg vĂŚrt

NĂĽr det dukker opp problemer i klasserom-

sĂŚrlig styring. “GĂĽ pĂĽ Internett og finn

grunnleggende i det ĂĽ forme og forstĂĽ hvordan

met med nettbaserte opplegg, er det vanlig-

informasjon om det og det temaet� er noe vi

det hele fungerer. I begynnelsen tar dette litt

vis med nettsider som mangler pedagogisk

alle har vÌrt med pü. For et større prosjekt

tid ĂĽ lĂŚre, men nĂĽr man finner ut av det, gĂĽr

brukerinnsikt. Dette gjelder ogsĂĽ profesjonel-

er nok dette greit, men for mindre oppgaver

det egentlig raskt og greit. I dag finnes det

le nettsider. Jeg har ikke tall pĂĽ hvor mange

over en kortere tidsperiode er det tidsmessig

flere forskjellige kodesprĂĽk, men de har

ganger jeg har mĂĽttet veilede elever inn pĂĽ

fatalt. Dette er en felle som mange faller i

allikevel en del fellestrekk. Videre behøver

den rette nettoppgaven, selv etter ĂĽ ha skrevet

i begynnelsen. Ă… styre rammene for hvor de

man ikke ĂĽ lage alt fra grunnen av; pĂĽ nettet

fremgangsmĂĽten pĂĽ tavla. Dette mĂĽ som oftest

skal lete, hva de skal lete etter og hvordan



er ĂĽ kaste elevene ut pĂĽ nettet uten noen

de skal bruke den informasjonen de finner, er

Jeg har selv begynt ĂĽ ta i bruk engelske nett-

Et opplegg kan fungere utmerket i en klasse,

grunnleggende for at opplegget skal lykkes.

sider rettet mot barn og ungdom. I engelsk

men ikke i en annen. Derfor er tilbakemeldin-

Er det selve letingen etter informasjon som er

historie har BBC fine nettsider som jeg tatt

gen fra bĂĽde elever og kolleger viktig. Etter

viktig, er det sprĂĽket eller er det selve infor-

i bruk, og disse har vist seg ĂĽ fungere bra. Ă…

hvert opparbeider man seg kunnskap som gjør

masjonen de skal fokusere pĂĽ? Elevene kaster

søke pĂĽ “US politics for kidsâ€? er ingen skam,

at oppleggene blir bedre og bredere, slik at

ofte bort tid dersom en ikke har lagt rammene

og elevene har aldri vist sin misnøye med

man kan bruke dem pĂĽ forskjellige nivĂĽer og

pĂĽ forhĂĽnd, og blir sprĂĽket for vanskelig, er

ĂĽ jobbe med nettsider ment for barn eller


det lett for eleven ĂĽ miste interessen.

ungdom. Velger en ĂĽ kaste elevene ut i tungleste og vanskelige leksikonsider for ĂĽ finne

Etter alt dette kan en jo spørre: Hvor er det

Dette resulterer i at en mĂĽ differensiere

informasjon, virker dette som oftest demotive-

blitt av lĂŚreboka i alt dette? Svaret er at

lenker og oppleggene. Hvis ikke, vil en stor

rende for de elevene som er middels flinke og

lĂŚreboka ennĂĽ er en viktig del av undervis-

del av elevene henge etter eller føle at de

svake. Det er derfor heller gunstig ĂĽ av og til

ningen min. Elevene trenger en tekstsamling

ikke fĂĽr noen utfordringer. Det sier seg selv

la elevene bruke norske nettsider for ĂĽ finne

og noe ĂĽ holde fast ved med tanke pĂĽ pensum

at en ikke uten videre kan sende en elev med

informasjon sĂĽ lenge oppgaven krever at de

og eksamen. En lĂŚrebok tilbyr derfor noe som

dĂĽrlige sprĂĽkkunnskaper ut pĂĽ http://encarta.

kun skal brukes som en informasjonskilde i

nettet ikke kan. Ă… kombinere lĂŚreboka og for ĂĽ finne informasjon om britisk

det videre arbeidet.

IKT har foreløpig vÌrt det ideelle. Av og til

eller amerikansk historie. Velger en ü gjøre

kan det allikevel bli for mye av den digitale

det, mĂĽ oppgaven formes slik at eleven fĂĽr

Den gylne middelvei

verdenen bĂĽde for elever og lĂŚrere. Da er det

lĂŚringsutbytte av oppgaven.

Det finnes ikke noe fasitsvar pĂĽ et vellykket

godt ĂĽ komme tilbake til det tradisjonelle

nettopplegg, da alle klasser er forskjellige.



CLEANING PIECE III Try to say nothing negative about anybody. a) for three days b) for forty-five days c) for three months See what happens to your life.

yoko ono 1996

Mini Project: St. Valentine’s Day and the Art of Yoko Ono We decided to combine the art of Yoko Ono and St. Valentine’s Day in By Solveig Olsen Fjærvik, Kirkeparken videregående skole

a mini-project focusing on love and the importance of being recognised by others.

How did it all begin? We read in the newspaper in January that the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo had an exhibition of Yoko Ono’s art. Her instructions,

We found support for our project idea in the core curriculum for primary, secondary and adult education, which emphasises the importance of developing an understanding for the aesthetic dimension in all subjects.

performances, installations, films, music, sculptures and photography

Pupils must develop an appreciation for beauty both in

have made her one of the worlds most

meeting artistic expressions and by exploring and unfolding

renowned and significant contemporary artists, so we thought it would be

their own creative powers.

interesting to initiate a project involving her art pieces. Having

(p. 15, Core curriculum for primary, secondary and adult education in Norway, about the creative human being)

St. Valentine’s Day in mind we found one of her instructions especially useful, namely:

What did the students do? The project was introduced by giving the students a brief presentation of Yoko Ono’s art, including the instruction “CLEANING PIECE III” As we got closer to St Valentine’s Day we asked the students to write some nice words to everybody in the class. We collected all the compliments and put them together on one piece of paper for each student. On February 14 they were given a golden envelope containing a card with another Yoko Ono text called “Remember Love” and all the quotations about themselves from their fellow students. Here are some examples of compliments the students gave each other:

Dear Oda, you’re a great friend and I appreciate you for being who you are. You are special and unique to me. I trust you and you know I can talk to you about anything. You bring out the best in me! Always 

remember that I love you! Happy Valentine, love Marte Dear Even, you are tall and good. From Arne Dear Mette, you have such an amazing laugh, and you’re very good at speaking English. Happy Valentines from Håkon

They were quite excited when they received their cards, and in Yoko

Follow-up activity – a trip to Astrup Fearnley Museum of

Ono’s spirit they felt the joy of being appreciated. Two days later they

Modern Art in Oslo

were asked to write a short text as a reflection on the compliments

We had made an appointment with the museum to get a guided tour

they had been given. They were free to choose form - some wrote

of the Yoko Ono exhibition in English (about 45 minutes). The guide

a poem, others a short factual text - but all of them showed that

tried to involve the students in the conceptual art pieces, and she

they had appreciated being in focus for a short while. Here are two

actually had some success. They responded to her explanations, wrote

examples of their texts:

small messages to Yoko Ono and removed stones from one pile to another according to their own moods. We also took the group to the National Gallery so that the students could experience other forms of

Is this me?

art as well. Judging from their feedback we believe they enjoyed both

Am I eatable, as Tor says?

exhibitions, and when we left the museums we felt that this would

Am I a really cool and nice guy,

be something that they would remember. It is not very often that our

as Eva says?

students are exposed to art in its different forms and we hope that we

Am I a very kind person who makes

have encouraged them to go to museums and exhibitions on their own

people smile, like Therese said?

in the future.

Am I a very kind and funny boy with a great taste of humour, as Kine said? Does Hanne love being with me, and does she really think I’m funny? Am I “noe for meg selv, med diggbra musikksmak, og egentlig en koselig fyr�, as Pia thinks? Well, I really don’t know. But I do know that I hope I am.

Is this me? When I received my Valentine’s card I was very excited. I was excited to see what my classmates think of me. And it was great. It was great to read all the positive comments they have given me. It is hard not to be proud of yourself when you get comments like that.

But I hope that they did not just make something up.

Some of it has to be true, because many are writing the

same comment.

“You are great fun to be with and a great guitar player.�

I sure hope that is true. Yoko Ono at the Astrup Fearnley museum Š Scanpix


How was this a chance to expand their vocabulary?

The students

In order to avoid only stock phrases, we had given the students a page

Our group was a GK group (AF), and we felt that our project would

of different expressions to show appreciation and affection like e.g.

stand a good chance of success. They were nice to each other and

you can do anything you set your mind to, you make me want to be a

there was an atmosphere of tolerance in the classroom. This project

better person and you are a wonderful carer.

could probably also be done with 10th graders, but we would be more reluctant to carry out the project at VKI or VKII levels.

This made it easier for them to say exactly what they wanted


to express. The compliments spanned from highly personal and

Although St. Valentine’s Day has passed, we would still recommend

passionate to short and factual. The whole project has exposed them to

others to do a project involving the Yoko Ono exhibition at Astrup

many different activities: they have read, written, talked and reflected

Fearnley. The exhibition will be on display until 08.05.05 and guided

on a very personal level.

tours are for free. What are you waiting for?


By Karin Hals

Walking in the footprints of Columbus, Robinson I was lucky enough to get a travelling grant from Norsk faglitterÌr forfatterforening (NFF) and I decided to spend it on exploring an English-speaking country far away from Britain and the United States. My eyes fell on Trinidad & Tobago. How come? First of all I had met, during a seminar in the USA, a person who taught literature at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad. Secondly, I had read some interesting novels from this area. Thirdly, I wanted to combine studying the language, music and culture of this multi-ethnic society with the feeling of summer in February – and 30 degrees in the air and 27 in the crystal clear Caribbean water was just fine with me.


Off on the adventure

us and looked us up and down before exclaiming,

In the following century Spain withdrew more

So off I went together with an Algerian-French

“You can come back when you are decently dres-

and more from this area. French planters arrived

friend of mine, Faouzia Benderdouche, who

sed!� We felt like two naughty school children,

from other Caribbean islands bringing with them

teaches English at a university in Paris and

and decided not to return to that particular

their African slaves. After the French the British

was interested in digging deeper into Caribbean

school. I guess this is the first time that I

took over, and Trinidad and Tobago remained a

literature. We met in London and set out on an

have been sent home for being inappropriately

British colony from around 1797 until 1962, when

11-hour-flight to Tobago.


the islands finally gained their independence.

Tobago is rumoured to have been Robinson

After having spent two days on Tobago to

English became the official language in

Crusoe’s island, something which is of course

get used to the climate and to get rid of jet lag,

1814. From 1845 the first indentured workers

not easy to verify. What is certainly true,

we set off for Trinidad. Paula Morgan, our collea-

were brought from India to Trinidad. This went

however, is that both Robinson and Friday could

gue, picked us up and we spent two full days on

on until 1917 and explains why 40 per cent of

have subsisted happily here, because of the

the university campus. But, first, let me tell you

the population of Trinidad and Tobago is of East

fertile soil, the fruits and vegetables, the warm

more about this little republic called Trinidad

Indian origin. After independence, Trinidad and

climate, and the seafood available.

and Tobago.

Tobago has tried to build up a stable economy,

We got in touch with Signal Hill Secondary

School through our hotel manager, and we deci-

A former British colony

on business, mostly with the other Caribbean

ded to go there right away the first morning.

When Christopher Columbus arrived in Trinidad


It was 35 degrees, which was quite a shock to

in 1498, looking for fresh water, 35,000

me coming from minus 5 at Gardermoen. So we

Amerindians were already in Trinidad and

islands with about 1.3 million inhabitants. Port

applied our sun protecting lotion and set off,

Tobago. This was the beginning of Spanish

of Spain is the capital. Tobago is very small and

ready for input.

colonisation of the islands. The Spanish sett-

has only 50,000 inhabitants, nearly all of them

lers established plantations where they grew

working in the tourist industry. Trinidad is home


Unfortunately we did not know that you are

partly based on “black gold� – oil – and partly

Trinidad is by far the bigger of the two main

not supposed to go into a school sleeveless, even

tobacco and later cocoa, but a disease wiped out

to Carnival (with a big “C� since this is the big-

though you are allowed to wear mini-skirts and

all the cocoa farmers and in 1739 a smallpox

gest carnival outside Rio), and is also the home

low-cut blouses. The female principal received

epidemic ended all “civilised life�.

of calypso and steel pan music.

Trinidad is indisputably the financial and poli-

more willing to sacrifice a lot and work really

colonial style from around 1900 and a touch of

tical centre of the whole region. In Trinidad you

hard to give their children a chance to climb the

the Caribbean. To stroll along the park, passing

find all the government offices, all the banks, all

social ladder.

these houses and drinking cool coconut water

the financial enterprises and the oil industry.

People of African origin are primarily

This is the place to find work, but there is also

working class and lower middle class: workers,

high unemployment and an extremely high crime

cleaners, waiters and small shopkeepers, but

rate. The local newspaper announced on February

they shy away from agriculture. This explains to

28, 2005 that murder number 51 this year was

some extent why Tobago, with a population that

committed the previous night. This means nearly

is more than 90 per cent of African descent, has

one murder each day in Port of Spain.

very few cultivated areas with vegetables and

Politically, the period since independence

with a straw straight from the nut, is something that must be experienced.

fruit compared to Trinidad.

in 1962 has been mostly peaceful. There have, however, been two uprisings. The most recent

Crusoe and Friday in Trinidad and Tobago occurred in 1990, when an Islamic group made

Port of Spain – a melting pot


an attempt to take over Parliament. They took

Port of Spain is a colourful town and truly a mel-

As mentioned, the nation’s economy is based on

hostages, but the crisis ended without much

ting pot, and I would like to have seen more of

Trinidad. Tobago’s economy relies on one source

bloodshed. The rioters were later charged with

it after sunset. There was music in the streets,

of income: tourism. People come from Great


and although it could have been great fun to take

Britain and other countries in Northern Europe.

part in the biggest carnival in the Caribbean

From February this year there have also been

What is left of the British Empire?

area, I am glad that we arrived one week too late

direct flights from New York to Tobago. This is

The British Empire has left its marks on Trinidad

for that. It is, the newspapers reported, extreme-

looked upon as a great advantage for tourism.

and Tobago – on the language, the system of

ly crowded and dangerous to move around during

Many Trinidadians also go to Tobago for longer

government and institutions, the school system,

these two days.

or shorter holidays because they want to enjoy

university education, and the connection to the

Some of the most characteristic houses in Port

the laid-back lifestyle there.

Commonwealth. Cricket is still a very impor-

of Spain are in gingerbread style, with wooden

tant part of sporting life here, and the people

ornament around the windows, doors and roofs.

description of a third world country: the number

of Trinidad and Tobago are eagerly taking part

Unfortunately these are difficult to renovate,

of poor and homeless people, the lack of social

in the Commonwealth Games. But they seem

and many of them are completely run down or in

benefits, the unemployment rate and the attitude

to dream more of going to the USA and Canada


to school and education in general. However, what

than to Great Britain. Canada, in particular, has

ordinary tourists who just stay within their “ghet-

received a lot of immigrants from these islands,

tos� see, is not very different from what you will be

as it is easy for the islanders to get a work

offered at any holiday resort in our own part of the

permit in Canada.

world. The hotels and guesthouses are well equip-

In many ways Trinidad and Tobago fit the

ped with easy access to TV, PC with internet, card

The population

phones and private bathroom. The beaches are gor-

Roughly speaking, in Trinidad and Tobago 40 per

geous and snorkelling on the coral reefs is a treat.

cent of the people are of African descent and 40

The long-cherished goal of regional inte-

per cent are of East Indian descent, mixed races

gration will be a big step forward at the end of

make up 18 per cent and whites make up less

2005 with the formation of the Caribbean Single

than 1 per cent.

Market and Economy (CSME). There is optimism


It was easy to see the relics of the British

in Trinidad and Tobago, mainly because Trinidad

my impression is that this is a divided society.

Empire, such as “the Magnificent Seven�, a row

will form the financial centre of this union. It

There is a high proportion of people of Indian

of imposing houses in colonial style at one end

is believed that the advantages will be many:

descent among university students, business

of the enormous Savannah Park – a must for

an increase in trade and economic activity, less

people, intellectuals, professionals and politici-

any visitor to Port of Spain. These houses have

unemployment and bigger investments. Working

ans. Paula – who is of African descent – claimed

been renovated and must be a gem to people

together, the Caribbean small states will be

that the high percentage of students of Indian

interested in architecture. They are a perfect

better equipped to negotiate, lobby and survive

origin is explained by the fact that Indians are

mix of Moorish influence from Africa, British

in a world composed of huge trading blocks.

Even if there are many people of mixed race,


proudly showed us an exhibition dealing with

Their vernacular is very different from Standard

their first prime minister, Dr. Eric Williams. The

English. The teachers therefore work on finding

museum itself is indicative of the urge to give

strategies to focus on the linguistic problems of

some weight to UWI. On the one hand, they have

West Indians whatever level of education, even

created the university after a British model, but

at university level. As one teacher put it, “We

on the other hand there is a clear emphasis on

teach English as a foreign language�.

Caribbean creativity and flavour.

To give you an example: The students will have to work hard on concord, because it is perfectly acceptable in their daily language to

The staff at the university

say “they is�, or “the man doin’ his garden�.

In the Liberal Arts department there seemed to

Exercises would include very obvious mistakes

Campus life

be interest in mixing with teachers from other

that Norwegian foreign language teachers are

The campus of the University of the West Indies

parts of the world. While we were there, there

supposed to eliminate in our students’ works at

(UWI) is very pleasant and spacious. There are

were teachers from Nigeria and Jamaica present.

an early stage.

6000 students, with a high proportion of Indian

There were some quite interesting themes and

origin. Students come to campus around 8 a.m.

lectures, but unfortunately we had no chance

for a cup of coffee with their friends in the stu-

to go deeper into the contents of these. We sat

A visit to a primary school in Tobago

dent cafĂŠ. We found a group of veiled students

in on a lecture about a poem by the Caribbean

We returned to Tobago and without any appoint-

who immediately caught Faouzia’s attention,

poet Kamau Brathwaite, held by a very well

ment we went to a primary school close to our

since the veil has been a big political issue in

known calypso expert and author of a book on

guesthouse in the little village Bon Accord. We

France. They were easy to get into contact with,

Brathwaite, and it was great fun listening to his

were – after a short hesitation (“Who are they?

and the fact that Faouzia is a Muslim made it

reading of the poem and his comments. There is

What do they want?�) – welcomed in a very fri-

easier for them to talk. When talking about mar-

certainly a rich oral tradition in this country!

endly way by the vice principal.

rying they were very insistent on marrying a

There seem to be quite a few interesting books being published in Trinidad and Tobago,

schoolyard with the principal leading the school

never felt discriminated against.

but the university lecturers told us that it is dif-

prayers and giving a moral lesson that would

ficult to secure a wide distribution. One who has

deal with different matters to “put them on the

succeeded is Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott. He

right track�. One class insisted on singing a

is of course well known abroad, and he is extre-

home-made song for us. The message was “If you

mely popular in Trinidad and Tobago because

don’t say the truth (play fair etc. a new expres-

he, unlike many other intellectuals, has decided

sion for each stanza), Let me tell you something:

to spend part of his time in Trinidad and not

You lose, You lose!�

move permanently to Great Britain, the USA or


The following poster shows that Hindus also

look for partners within their own community,

“untouched� that is!

with teachers and pupils, all dressed in blue and

ful, the humorous and the spiritual aspects of

white uniforms. It became clear that they had

life in the Caribbean, while the other “local�

not seen – let alone spoken to – many white peo-

Nobel Laureate, V.S. Naipaul, is not very popular,

ple in their lives, and a girl insisted on touching

because he is often critical towards his home

my white skin, turned my arm over and marvel-


led over the fact that it was even whiter on the underside. This made me think of James Baldwin,

The teaching of English as a first language

“38 y.o. Hindu male lecturer seeking

slim, fair, untouched Indian female for

We decided to attend some uni-

marriage. E-mail address provided.�

versity classes to see what the


teaching of the English language The students we talked to were optimistic about

was like. We took part in a ses-

their future. They strongly believed that educa-

sion for second year students in

tion would pave the way for a good life there or

“English for academic purposes�.


We were struck by the fact that the main purpose of the course

There were many signs on campus that this

was to get rid of the interference

is in many respects a nation in the making.

of the language they speak and

For example, in the library the chief librarian

hear outside the academic sphere.

We went into different classes and talked

Canada. Walcott often writes about the colour-

The pupils started the day outside in the

Muslim and staying within their group. They had

who in one of his essays describes how people in a French village looked upon him as someone from outer space!

The role of religion in Trinidad & Tobago Most people of African descent are Christians and belong to traditional denominations, but there are also some Baptists and evangelical charismatic denominations. There are also quite a few Hindus, about 25 per cent of the population, and also a small number of Muslims. All in all, these different religions seem to live in relative harmony with each other. Churches, temples and mosques stand side by side. Another religious group is the Rastafarians, whose beliefs and lifestyle dominated the cultural orientation of the islands in the 1960s.

school, and both boys and girls take part. Around

the day after tomorrow. “I am a bit late�,

However, the impression we were left with is

carnival times there are big competitions for

Paula told us after having had us wait 75 minu-

that they are not taken very seriously any lon-

the best steel band. It is quite astonishing how

tes in scorching heat. No doubt we would also

ger. The only place where we saw Rastafarians

many different sounds they manage to get out of

have to develop some aspects of this lifestyle if

was on the beach, where they offered chairs and

the steel pans by changing the depth and hollow-

we had an average temperature of 25-30 degrees


ness of the barrels.

all year round. Watching the people of Tobago at the Sunday School night dance their calypso convinced me that here is a dimension in life that I

Music as an important part of people’s lives

Quite an experience

We were happy to be accompanied by our special

experience and I would highly recommend any

self! I will be happy to provide you with add-

friend, a guide who had taken us into the rain

of you to go to there or maybe to some other

resses and some advice. Just contact me on

forest, to “Sunday School for adults� in the eve-

former British Caribbean island. You are bound

ning on the beach. The local people – joined by

to learn a lot and perhaps revise some of your

many tourists – gather each Sunday night from

preconceptions. You will certainly enjoy the hos-

My journey to Trinidad and Tobago was a great

would like to explore! Why don’t you go there and see for your-

nine p.m. and into the night on the beach in the little village of Buccoo Reef. Here they listen to the steel band orchestra, dance calypso, talk to friends, drink the local rum, have a good meal

Here are some titles of books

that I have found very interesting:


and a “lime�, which means a get-together of family, friends, even total strangers, depending

Merle Hodge: Crick Crack Monkey

on the situation. A lime can assume different

V.S. Naipaul:

forms, from straightforward hanging out at home

A House for Mr Biswas

to river limes, involving a lot of people spending

Jean Rhys: Wide Sargasso Sea

Earl Lovelace:

The Dragon Can’t Dance

the day together by a beautiful river, cooking, swimming, singing, and enjoying good company. Music is an integrated part of life in

Jamaica Kincaid: Annie John

Trinidad and Tobago – be it gospel, steel band, chutney (a special Indian song imported by the Indian indentured labourers), calypso, soca (a

There are many other interesting

blend of soul music and calypso) – or modern

novels, short stories and poems


rap. Steel pans are drums made from the tops

pitality and friendliness of the people. People

from the Caribbean Islands. I

of oil barrels. Caribbean people started experi-

from Northern Europe – used to efficiency and

think we ought to show our stu-

menting with the sounds of discarded oil drums

planning – sometimes need to see that there

dents that there is an interesting

in the 1930s, and today the steel pan music is

are other lifestyles as well, where it is of less

world outside Britain and the USA!

so elaborate that it takes a long time to master

importance to do everything today, when somet-

these instruments. They learn to play them at

hing could easily be postponed to tomorrow or


" Ja, takk! Jeg vil gjerne stå som mottaker av fagavisen (gratis!) for engelsklærere. Skolens navn: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Skolens adresse: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Faglærerens navn: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

E-post adresse: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

CAPPELEN UNDERVISNING, Videregående skole, Postboks 350 Sentrum, 0101 Oslo. Faksnummer: 22 36 50 46


C a p p e l e n s t i d s s k r i f t f o r e n g e l s k l æ r e r e Illustrasjon: Inger Dale


C a p p e l e n s t i d s s k r i f t f o r e n g e l s k l æ r e r e Illustrasjon: Inger Dale