Fantastic word-of-mouth reviews have skyrocketed a Norwegian school for adults from a language café to a blooming Oslo-based company.
With Speak Norsk language school, you can go from beginner (A1) to fluent (B2) in just six months. Yes, you read that right.
Speak Norsk doesn’t just speak Norwegian – it speaks your language! The school takes on an individually tailored approach adjusted to the needs of each student.
Over 30 passionate Speak Norsk teachers contributed to launching online Norwegian courses during the COVID-19 lockdowns. This way, students were able to not only learn how to speak Norwegian but much more than that.
The skills and hope their new Speak Norsk-fostered knowledge gave them transcended into every facet of their lives. Many entered the school jobless and left with a career underway, others connected with their partner and friends on a deeper level – and some were just happy to finally conquer grocery shopping, carefree.
A language school that understands how you feel
Before Speak Norsk was the institution it’s become today, it was a smaller-scale language organization that organized weekly café meetings (also called Språkkafe). It was started by Huzan Raad (27) at a local Starbucks in Oslo.
This business wasn’t established on a whim: Huzan knew and understood the challenges expats and non-Norwegian speakers face each day when navigating the language, and, by extension, the country itself. Her genuine passion was to bring people together to practice Norwegian the best possible way; directly! Through conversation, discussions, socializing, and networking, all while discovering and deciphering a new language, and making connections and friendships.
Huzan grew Speak Norsk with 0 starting capital (!) from a weekly café meeting to, a few years later, a growing company with a 10-million-kroner turnover in 2020. Huzan and her business partner Nicoleta Stratan (27) have entered 2021 with continuously great results – and continuously happy students.
A word-of-mouth-led rise to success
Huzan and Nicoleta developed Speak Norsk with the help of satisfied students and the enthusiastic team of teachers by their side.
At the very beginning, 5-15 members began to attend language café sessions. They loved them so much that, just a couple of months later, the first location of a Speak Norsk school was opened to take on growing capacities!
The main key to success was word-of-mouth. As students noticed themselves maneuvering life and language in Norway more easily and pleasantly, they’d bring along friends, colleagues, and family to join them in the classes – and their success. The school changed locations four times in three years to keep up with the growing number of students!
Today, Speak Norsk has around over 30 teachers and 500 students attending class in Oslo and online each month. Oh, and did we mention that the school racks up over half a million views on their weekly Facebook live videos?
Why are Speak Norsk students so happy to spread the word? Because the school brought a totally new perspective and vision on teaching and learning to the market. This is a school built for human needs; the focus is on real conversations, learning about culture, and hands-on materials – as opposed to just reading out of a textbook or sticking solely to a rigid program.
Here, students’ needs and feedback are heard, and they come first.
At Speak Norsk, Norwegian language learners can expect a relaxing and fun learning environment that will have them eagerly attending classes while enjoying the process.
It should come as no surprise, then, that this is the highest-rated Norwegian language school on Facebook and Google (according to the number of reviews). We’ll let the students themselves explain why:
Rene Barcena – 5 stars
“I have been studying with Speak Norsk online for a little over a month and I have really enjoyed the program. The classes are very well structured and I have seen a lot of progress in my language learning. The teachers are really attentive to any questions I ask online and are a joy to learn from. I would recommend this program to anyone who is interested in learning Norwegian. You won’t be disappointed! I wish I were in Oslo taking the in-person classes, but online is great as well. The online program is a great option because it works around my schedule. All in all, Speak Norsk offers excellent Norwegian language courses to all levels!”
Lorendana Iamandi – 5 stars
“Definitely the best!!! Very pleasant atmosphere! Great games that make learning easy and fun! The teachers are very well organized, in 4 weeks I learned a lot of things, I can talk to people, to ask for help. I was very confused when I started to look for a Norwegian course, I am so lucky to find it. I saved money and it’s not a boring course. The teachers are very responsive and all the time they answer our questions promptly. I would happily recommend to anyone enrolling in this course Speak Norsk, so that as many people as possible are able to benefit from your great service :)”
What services can learners expect?
Speak Norsk offers Norwegian language classes for learners of all levels, from those who are still learning how to hei – to those who are holding their own with any native speaker. Classes are held online (with levels from A0 to C2) and across 15 spacious classrooms (from levels A1 to C2) in Oslo.
Along with that, Speak Norsk has produced its own literature; a series of 14 books from A1 to C2 levels. This is the only school in all of Norway that uses its own books for all levels of instruction in the fields of grammar, conversation, and pronunciation.
Work-seekers especially are in luck, because Speak Norsk is dedicated to helping students land their dream jobs in Norway. Speak Norsk has a long-standing, successful collaboration with popular book author Karin Ellis. Karin is also the founder of Ellis Culture, an organization helping expats find careers in Norway through her books, seminars, and personal guidance. Karin has written the following books, which can be found at the Speak Norsk or Ellisculture websites:
- Applying for jobs in Norway
- Working with Norwegians
- Multicultural workplaces
Speak Norsk is also one of the first schools in all of Norway to offer intensive, full-length courses available for students in a prerecorded format online – for students’ convenience. Take on Norwegian while lounging on your couch and sipping coffee out of your favorite mug with a side of sweet vafler.
If it can’t seem to get any better… Speak Norsk is also Norway’s first school to be launching an official Business Norwegian course! Learners can expect this phenomenal service, ever the more important during times of economic uncertainty, starting April 15, 2021. This isn’t Speak Norsk’s first dabble into company-oriented lessons, though. Throughout the years, Speak Norsk has provided customized courses for companies including Vipps, ABB, Bw Gas, EITI, and Radium Hospital.
Another bonus is that students preparing for Norskprøve (a national Norwegian language test) and Bergenstest (also a Norwegian language proficiency test) can attend classes tailored to help them pass – with understanding and ease.
Furthermore, students can learn Norwegian from anywhere in the world through their online Norwegian courses.
A message from the young, successful partners
A founder’s advice for learning Norwegian, from Huzan
“From my experience of observing the school’s students, those who achieve fluency are the students who are positive and confide in the book’s structure and teacher’s guidance. Don’t get discouraged by making mistakes, and instead take it as an opportunity to learn and improve.”
Nicoleta on witnessing students’ success
“It is definitely achievable to reach an advanced level in six months even though learning Norwegian might seem a big challenge. Throughout my period at Speak Norsk, I have witnessed many students following our study plan and achieving very good results.
“For example, there is Paulo, a former student at Speak Norsk who has reached out to us recently to thank the school for the classes and to let us know he finally got his Norwegian citizenship. Another student, Mohsen, messaged us saying he passed Norskprøve with the help of our A2 and Norskprøve preparation course. Now he will apply for permanent residency.
“I still remember the first time one of our students told us how she was finally able to understand her partner’s family at the dinner table and make conversation with them after only completing A1 level! The student felt incredibly proud and it made her connect to the Norwegian culture and husband’s family even more.
“It is cases like this that make you proud to be a part of such an amazing team of professionals!
“Our students enjoy coming to classes, watching teachers in their online lessons, and sharing their great results with us – whether it’s passing an exam, getting approved for citizenship, or landing their dream job in Norway.”
What’s next for Speak Norsk? Huzan tells us
“Speak Norsk’s vision for the upcoming years is to take the success of our Norwegian teaching method and books and spread it worldwide. These methods have proven to bring results in students’ abilities to learn in a fast, fun, and efficient way. Our vision is to create an advanced e-learning system that is accessible to everyone around the world and help people connect with each other. We are currently building the system and we hope to launch it within 2022-2023.”
Take it from a teacher: Exclusive advice, directly from Speak Norsk’s lecturers
- “Try to make a Norwegian friend, to watch Norwegian TV. Try to remember words and listen to how words are pronounced. Everything is possible if you have the right mindset.”
- “Curiosity is your best friend when you try to learn a new language – ask your teacher, he is there to help!”
- “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes when talking in Norwegian – we all do it when we learn.”
- “And of course, always do your homework!”
Ready to dive in?
Speak Norsk awaits.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to this team of passionate entrepreneurs and teachers, dedicated to making your life in Norway even better:
- Phone: 94080049
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: Speak Norsk
- Instagram: @speaknorsk
- Youtube: Speak Norsk
This post has been published in collaboration with Speak Norsk.
Source: Norway Today, Speak Norsk
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