25. The Catalog Laer deg norskMichal Ryszard Wojcik (2003 October 07):
When I decided to learn Norwegian, I began to look for Norwegian learning materials on the Internet. I got in touch with a Norwegian bookshop which offered to send me a free catalog with Norwegian learning materials. When I was ordering the catalog I had no idea that it will be my major learning resource for the first month.
When I first took the catalog into my hands and turned a few pages, I felt a desire to read the whole catalog. I immediately understood that I had just gotten hold of a very good learning resource.
The catalog is titled Laer deg norsk. It is a very nice little book (A5-format, 50 pages) so small and light that you can hold it in one hand and your eyes can easily scan the text because it's written with a big font - which is very important for those whose eyes are not accustomed to reading in Norwegian.
I believe that font size is an important factor for the usefulness of a written resource for language learners, especially in the beginning when most words look unfamiliar to the eye and have to be perceived letter by letter.
Also the simple comfort of holding a nice object in one's hands may be very important for the learner who is challenged with reading in a foreign language. I think that we shouldn't take such things for granted like the shape and font-size of written language-learning resources.
I think it was thanks to the catalog Laer deg norsk that I discovered the learning method based on reading some real text in a foreign language without using dictionaries, without making any notes, and only looking at the sentences, trying to understand them, and having a lot of fun in the process.
If it hadn't been for the nice layout of the catalog perhaps I wouldn't have discovered this new method of learning. Most probably I would have obtained a beginner course, a dictionary and I would have imitated the way I learned English and German.
One more important feature of the catalog is its repetetive content. All the descriptions of the course-books and grammar books are similar. The same vocabulary is used throughout the catalog. As you can imagine this helped me a lot in deciphering the meaning of the words which were repeatedly used.
I present three images below. They are scanned pages from three Norwegian catalogs. The first image is a page from the catalog Laer deg norsk which presents the grammar book Norsk grammatikk for fremmedspraaklige which I had written about in earlier reports. Notice how nice the page looks compared to the other two. (All three pages have the same A5 format.)
I am interested in obtaining free-of-charge catalogs written in any language provided that they are nice to read like the Norwegian catalog Laer deg norsk. If you know about such a catalog please let me know by email.
I recommend this Norwegian catalog to learners of Norwegian for two reasons. First, it lists and describes Norwegian learning materials (course-books, grammar books, dictionaries). Second, it is a very nice learning resource in itself. You can contact me by email to learn how to obtain this catalog.