Teaching (General) 1
The Navy Action Information School 1
“Unqualified Teachers’ 1
Textbooks 2
Foreign Language 2
Summary 2
Personal experiences 2
Material 3

Teaching (General)

The Navy Action Information School

As part of my compulsory national service, I taught at the Navy’s Action Information School.
There were two “proper officers” one “petty officer” two conscripts civil engineers (I was one of them) and three who today would be described as constables, one of which was extremely good.
None of us had more teachers training than a 30 minute film about bridging the gap of ignorance.
Perhaps that was able to build an effective teaching. Examples:

  • Most of the exercises can be compared to the dictation.
    We had a tape recorder standing on the catheter.
    In this way the teacher could go around and help where it was needed.
  • What is usually written on the blackboard was written with fat colors on sheets of paper hung on two nails. – All that the teacher would say was written in pencil so that the teacher had his notes where he needed it.
  • Everything was planned so that an unprepared teacher could take over without other than knowing where he should start.

“Unqualified Teachers’

At times we wonder whether it is trade union tyranny, which requires that all teachers must go through Teachers Training College.
First Class primary school does not require much technical background, but a lot of personal motivation and special (natural) abilities.
I believe that the teacher I had in first class had no other duties than to get us started.
High education
is not a guarantee of a good teacher.
My (first) father in law was a high school teacher in mathematics, and had “a trainee” that may swallow the bitter pill to have a fine graduation from the university, but could not teach because she did not have the necessary natural abilities. (She found another job)
Natural abilities
should in my opinion be the essential prerequisite.
• I saw that clearly at the Navy Match Information School.
• I only have 30 minutes of teaching training, but nearly 30 years, but could not get permission to do some private lessons in Tanzania.
Narrow field
and personal motivation for the subject will undoubtedly be the key to a good result.
OK I am thinking most of the needs and opportunities in, for example. Tanzania, where there certainly could be good use for a wandering teacher who, for example told about electricity and magnetism.


Here I can only give enormous credit to a book called Electricity Why-Because.
(Gyldendals Bookstore 1935 – Circulation only 10,000, but can display available antiquarian)
It’s all explained with short bits of text and unbelievably good line drawings.
Maybe I can say that it was a breakthrough for me.
I did not really liked to read.
But I was so busy when I saw how I completely on my own came to understand what the other just learn and can produce (bla bla bla) almost as an automatic tape recorder, and – of course – forget it all before graduation.

The whole setup with the understanding without any formulas and calculations should be a model for many other things.

Foreign Laanguage


It will appear from the following that I have a lot of accumulated knowledge on how to “learn a foreign language.”
On the basis of this, I believe that motivation and efficiency could get a big step forward if school education could free themselves from what I feel is the academic straitjacket.
It can be shown not discussed the lessons to motivate students.
Unfortunately, it feels often as thi authorities are counterproductive.

Personal experience

When we very long ago learned English in school, we used a book that had a good coherent text in English BUT in words that could be understood by Danish children without translation. (I can jump, I can run – – -) It motivated.

When we next year should learn German, the teacher started telling that no one could learn to speak German without learning grammar first. – – – All the other children sat and feared the worst.
Only small and naughty Thorkil asked whether the German children learned the grammar before they learned to speak.

Much later I sat all night on the campsite Köbenic (East Berlin) and talked politics and philosophy with an old German worker who had been a soldier in both world wars.
This night I think I learned more German than the 5 years in school. BECAUSE he would talk and understand us in the West, but did not tell that grammar was wrong.

When my parents should learn Chinese, they had a teacher who was illiterate, knew no English and did not know the word grammar.
He crawled on the floor, barked like a dog and said a lot that they did not understand.
Then on the table, meowed like a cat – – – – –
When my father after some time would give up because it was all something foolish nonsense, then my mother started to speak Chinese!

When I wanted to learn Swahili I got the book Teach Yourself Swahili – – Never have I seen anything that was so foolish.
Then I got a children’s book that I learned almost by heart. It worked.

My neighbor in Nairobi – a Norwegian technician who did not even bothered to collect his certificate from elementary school.
On the other hand, he was almost a technical wizard. He sat with me at a fine place and drank coffee together with a real English professor.
I remember the professor said, “But this it’s not proper English” –

The answer was: “Did you understand me? – Did you understand me? – Well what was the problem?”

My son, who works with some Germans, went to the German classes in an evening.
He knew how horrible opinions I have and it was just a mistake that got him to admit that he gave up because he wanted to learn to speak and not just memorize irregular verbs.

In Tanzania I tried to say “an, aus, bin, gegen, gegenüber – – -” to some very nice German colleagues. The older looked at me with a pained facial expression.
The younger with an expression that showed that the rubbish they had never heard anything about.

So: Now it’s finally succeed for German children to learn to speak without learning grammar first!

A friend of mine married a girl from Zanzibar and was about to Denmark very soon.
BUT she could only speak Swahili and it fell to my lot to give her first needed to get ahead in Denmark.

Of course, we started with the official textbook but did not get going until we changed to read a childrens set of stories Rasmus Klump.
In Denmark, she was put on the “proper” school, ran away after 2 times and got a job where you obviously could not speak Swahili. It helped.
(This was before the anti-immigration party got power. Now she speaks Danish almost like a native.)

My daughter, who could only speak Swahili, when we adopted her learned to speak English, as well as a three-year child can, in less than two weeks.
Later, when she had to learn Danish, she got two private lessons at the Berlitz School, a holiday on a holiday school and a stay at a Danish school while staying with my cousin.
When she came home she spoke Danish with the local accent.

For personal reasons, I wanted a girl, about 6 years old had to learn English.
I gave her a special tape recorder from Philips, with books.
On one of the two tracks, you could hear the teacher’s input (on one track) and compare with what you yourself said that could be heard on the other track.
The text, with pictures was unbelievably good and needed no explanation.
She used it all wrong (did not begin with the beginning) but without any other help she learned yet to speak English in a short time.
Later, when I would use it in another context, it was impossible to get similar. (Philips in the Netherlands would not hear of help.)

A “handful” foster children staying by me had no alternative, but to communicate with me in English. They learned it quickly and got good grades in school.
Later I got a housekeeper who had not learned anything during her 6 years of school. She heard me speak English with a few children and asked for my help – “for now she began to understand”.
I used some books from India (SPARK). The first really had a good and coherent narrative with just over 50 word vocabulary. She understood without explanation.
She was motivated and skilled. Now I can talk on the phone with her in English.
(Unfortunately lies all the material on a shelf in Tanzania)


Language Laboratories will obviously be a good solution. Unfortunately, I have only seen very few, and all were just “out of order”.
Philips Recorder , which in reality is a “mini language laboratory” should in my opinion be resurrected. – It should not be too difficult.
SPARK books (from India) are cheap and should be an option.
Planger as at Action Information School combined with a slightly modified version of SPARK books, was prepared in connection with an abandoned project for orphans in Tanzania.
Has been used privately, with apparently good results.

I got sick and could not follow up.