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The Purple School offers Norwegian language

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The Purple School offers Norwegian language

Posted: Jan 30 2014
In the land of Vikings, here's an idea that actually makes sense.

Youngsters ranging in age from 5 months to 10 years recently took part in what was termed as a Norwegian immersion experience.

Now that got me curious.

The session was presented by The Purple School and hosted by Williston State College.

The Purple School is listed as an interactive, immersive, song-and game-based program that works to teach young children other languages.

The Scope has often wondered why Norwegian, or Swedish for that matter, hasn't been offered in the school curriculum in the land of lutefisk and lefse.

Over the years, there has been an emphasis on languages such as German and Spanish, but no mention of speaking Norsk.

Yes, the Sons of Norway have stepped up and provided language classes, but that's not the same as ingraining a new language at an early age to let it take root.

Growing up in an all Norwegian home, we found the majority of time when Norwegian was being spoke was when the parents didn't want the younger children to know what they were discussing.

You know, they kind of had an advantage with that.

But, getting back to the class at hand.

Joyce Nadolny Shui is credited as the founder of The Purple School in Williston.

During the recent Norwegian session. she had two of her own daughters take part in the class.

That led her to say, "I'm thrilled to partner with Williston State College Community Ed for so many of our language offerings."

She was also pleased to have Leah Johnson Ellis, who has spent time living in Norway, teach Norwegian to the Williston youngsters.

On the other hand, the presenter believes in the learning of a new language as the gateway to other cultures and was very excited to share her Norwegian skills with the youth and others of the community.

Hey, perhaps they can tie in a lutefisk tasting or some lefse baking in the future.

Now that would give participants a firm grip on culture.

Then again, the good folks over at First Lutheran Church have the cultural experience covered with the big feast upcoming.

While the instructors were happy to present a lesson plan, parents of participants were also pleased.

Mary Stenberg, who admits to being half Norwegian, and the mother of Rose and Eleanor was impressed.

She indicated that she had been wanting to expose them to this part of their heritage.

Stenberg noted her daughters had so much fun while learning songs in Norwegian, hearing and learning to speak a few phrases, along with reading books.

It is the goal of The Purple School to use music and games to make learning a new language fun and memorable for children.

If that is the case, it sure sounds like they accomplished that with this presentation.

Hey, it never hurts to have a little variety and spice things up a little.

With the great reception for Norwegian, officials indicate they hope to offer a regular class in Norwegian for kids in the near future.

Now that is great news.

Then again, that purple color is certainly a good fit when one is talking about Vikings.

The Purple School language classes for children are a part of the present curriculum at some schools and is being offered as an after- or before-school enrichment program in other locations.

As it stands now, The Purple School has already taught nine different languages.

To learn more, you can find them on Facebook or go to

You can also make contact by email at or dial (701) 205-1962.
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