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ERIC Number: EJ995577
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-1083-5415
Preschoolers Gather at a Norwegian Fish Market in Minnesota
Borey, Valerie; Hegstad, Rebecca
Learning Languages, v16 n2 p18-21 Spr-Sum 2011
It is a typical day at the famous fish market in Bergen, Norway. Vendors wrapped in rain coats huddle under white tents, selling everything from shrimp to flowers to handmade souvenirs. Some tables are stacked with salmon and herring, while others feature baskets of berries and fresh fruits. Families out for their household grocery shopping are interspersed with clusters of strolling teenagers and tourists toting cameras. What's different about this day, though, is that it exists in the collective imagination of 10 Minnesotan preschoolers, aged 3 to 5, and the two Norwegian immersion teachers who are guiding the experience. They are not really at an outdoor market; they are in a preschool classroom. Although one can almost smell the fish and flowers, they are made of plastic and fabric, part of a socio-dramatic play session organized as part of the curricular theme "Going Places" in Concordia Language Villages' Norwegian pre-K program, Barnehage. This article describes the activity in which the class simulated a trip to Norway during "Going Places." Applying for passports, exchanging dollars for kroner, packing a suitcase, and planning an itinerary were all part of the tasks leading up to departure, approximately five weeks into the fall term. After taking a plane ride to Oslo and visiting the king's castle, the group rode a train to the southwestern city of Bergen. Here, they gathered at Fisketorget, one of the more recognizable landmarks in Norway; an open air market on the pier where fresh fish, flowers, and fruits and vegetables, and other handmade wares can be found. It was here that they began to try on the identities of shoppers and vendors, learning to handle their language structures not as students, but as speakers in context.
National Network for Early Language Learning. Winston-Salem, NC. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota; Norway