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Revision of Learn Greenlandic with Per Langgård I and Learn Greenlandic with Per Langgård II and announcing Learn Greenlandic with Per Langgård III

Learn Greenlandic with Per Langgård has now been on the market more than 10 years. During the system’s existence a larger number of non-Greenlanders than most likely ever before have acquired Greenlandic beyond the ability to utter a dozen or so ready-to-use sentences without understanding answers and responses – at least when considering the period after the new constitution in 1953.

I shall not venture the assertion that this positive development is caused by Learn Greenlandic alone but I am convinced that the system and the pedagogical principles underlying it were key factors in the development.

This does not in itself imply that the system is flawless. On the contrary have the experiences gathered from the many students I have taught since 2009 convinced me that a lot can be improved not least considering the many new opportunities that language technology now offers us.

There is no doubt in my mind that the guiding principles of comprehensible input, the silent period and integrated focus on forms are unavoidable for Greenlandic L2 to be more than just a symbol and a token of good will in the future but the years have proved to me that the journey from nothing to the smallest something is tough and destructive for student motivation. I am pretty sure that the silent period is the biggest sinner in that connection. The silent period is crucial for healthy acquisition but motivation issues make it hard to keep the silent period active for a longer period.

This new revision will therefore offer a suite of exercises that include a few phrases right from the beginning. They are intended as extras that I hope will render the acquisition process a bit more agreeable and reduce frustrations. No doubt, though, that the existing, structured course also henceforward must be the “daily bread” in the acquisition process.

With a grant from the Danish Folketinget late in 2021 to pay off private ownership and rights in Learn Greenlandic with Per Langgård I and II and a smaller grant to develop a revision of the system a new version will be available in 2022-23. A third installment of the grant will be used for a brand new module 3 for advanced students. It is developing and an alpha version is expected to be online late ’23 or early ’24.

What is new in the revision?

News will from the start primarily be second generation automata. But there will be important differences from the former automata:

  • spoken language via speech synthesis
  • exercises introduced already from chapter 2 whereas automata were not introduced until chapter 5-2 in the former revision
  • the system is no longer restricted by the DVD’s capacities so that randomizing can be taken to a whole new level.
  • A combination of traditional flag diacritics and local semantic tags will make compatibilities between words possible and allow exercises above single word level
  • a major leap forward is the introduction of a genuine sentence generator producing huge numbers of spoken, randomized sentences containing only comprehensible input for the first time ever. We believe that this might be the biggest game changer in Greenlandic L2 for a very long time
  • in module 3 “real” language from for instance Facebook and modern authors like Niviaq Korneliussen will be included in the example corpora

A word of warning

These very first exercises might look a bit overwhelming because you need to remember so many details just to produce the first thing. I know that it is hard not to panic but do not do it! Everything will be repeated again and again in the lessons and exercises to follow and after surprisingly few hours of focused study you will be in business. I know so after having taught thousands of students like you for almost 50 years!

– Per Langgård