Med mål og mening : kultur- og samfunnsforståelse gjennom konseptoversettelse : en prosjektrapport
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This report reviews the experiences and results gained from the project ”Med mål og mening – Cultural and Social Awareness through Concept Translation” which has been carried out throughout 2005 at the Sandnes Adult Education Centre in cooperation with Consultants from Centre for Intercultural Communication and Hero Mottak & Kompetanse. The project focuses on the challenges involved when trying to translate core concepts from one socio-cultural context to second-language students who have got most of their experiences from an entirely different socio-cultural context. The Concept Translation Method, originally developed to improve the quality of government issued information to newly arrived refugees as immigrants to Norway, makes use of the multi-cultural experience of immigrants now well integrated into both Norwegian social life and work life but who still maintain good contacts with their society of origin. Working together in workshops, these citizens, translates terms referring to typical and often quite exclusive Norwegian phenomena, such as some public institutions, into terms, expressions but most often small texts in their native language which refer to phenomena they can think of in the socio-cultural contexts they grew up in and that are equivalent or at least as close they can get in meaning and function to the Norwegian concept. The goal of this project has been to adapt the methodology to a teaching situation where the resource people involved in the translation process have been the teachers, mother-tongue teachers, interpreters and not least – the second-language learners themselves. The basic pedagogical ideas involved in the project have been dialogue- and learner oriented pedagogy focusing on the experience and resource of the participants. The results are very promising, both in terms of the joy, positive interest and active participation of the participants but also in terms of faster concept learning and improved communicative skills.