Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 37

37 Arctic Yearbook 2014 counterparts, but unfortunately this difference grows from the first to the third semester as shown in Figure 4. Figure 4: Average grades with standard deviation for courses at the first 3 semesters respectively of Arctic Technology for 53 Greenlandic (KN) and 42 Danish (DK) students starting 2007-2012 and completing the 3 semesters. The small bars with numbers indicate the difference between average grades for Greenlandic and Danish students. It seems that Danish students through their cultural background and language skills are quicker at adapting to university studies. Another major challenge is that some of the Greenlandic students are not what one would call ‘study ready’ and thus academically ‘disciplined’. Although studying in Sisimiut is very structured compared with a Danish university, some students show low or volatile attendance and arrive inadequately prepared for class; circumstances which are naturally reflected by their study results. The Greenlandic students spend on average as much time studying a week as the Danish students, but they spend their time in a slightly different way - they spend on average more time in class and less at home, reading and studying independently (Christensen 2014). The Language Barrier For many of the Greenlandic students the fact that the training is conducted in Danish poses a major challenge. Even though they have left the secondary education with reasonable marks in Danish, it quickly turns out that they have difficulty understanding the technical terms used in lectures. Reading academic texts seems difficult and time consuming – even if the texts are available in Greenlandic, as the Greenlandic written language is very complex; it is seen in a class that all students with Greenlandic as first language choose the Danish text over the text translated to Greenlandic. For some, writing an academic report is very challenging, and the teachers in some cases do not understand what the student is writing. Sometimes, the written work is reasonably readable, but the Greenlandic language’s significantly different structure in combination with a different Greenlandic Hendriksen & Christensen