Educational and Career Opportunities for Refugee-Background Adults in Norway: A DLC Perspective
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Similar to other European countries, Norway has opened its borders to large numbers of refugees in the recent years. Norwegian language training is seen as serving an important role in the process of resettlement and integration into the Norwegian society and constitutes a central component of the obligatory, two-year Introduction Program for adult refugees. On the other hand, English, Norway’s most important foreign, if not second, language, is not perceived as an important element of the training for newly arrived refugees. In this chapter, we examine the DLCs of refugees to Norway and juxtapose them with the majority communal DLCs, the desired or imagined DLCs of adult refugees, and the officially acknowledged DLCs of refugees as evidenced by government websites that deal with matters pertaining to refugee education and interviews with teachers and administrators at two selected refugee programs. We argue that in Norway, DLCs that include English correspond to better educational, professional and financial success, and thus by denying adult refugees opportunities to develop advanced proficiency in English, the Norwegian authorities fail to fully support their successful integration.