Course Description

Teaching language takes many forms inside and outside of the classroom
Teaching language takes many forms inside and outside of the classroom

Participating in everyday life in a small town in the countryside is an especially pleasant way to get a feeling for Icelandic society. In this intensive three week course learning the Icelandic language and culture is priority. The course includes approximately 75 hours of varied and interesting instruction; in- and outside of the classroom. 

Students are taught basic Icelandic vocabulary and grammar through lectures, conversation exercises, pronounciation exercises as well as cultural activities. Students achieve reading and writing skills up to CEFR level A1-A2. 

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The beginners course takes place every year in august. The 2022-course begins on Monday evening, August 1st with an orientation (Icebreaker) at the University Centre of the Westfjords, and concludes on Friday, August 19th. For further information about how the course is set up from day to day please see the schedule of 2020. 

As you typically need to spend one overnight in Reykjavík on the way to Ísafjörður from abroad (see Getting to Ísafjörður), you should book your flight to Iceland so that you arrive in Reykjavík no later than the evening of the Sunday. Similarly, if you are leaving directly after the course, you should not book a flight leaving Iceland any earlier than the morning of the Saturday after courseend. Please note that any overnight stay in Reykjavík is your own responsibility.

The University Centre of the Westfjords
The University Centre of the Westfjords
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The schedule from 2022 will be published here as soon as possible, but the outline of the course can be found below as well as the schedule from 2020 wich gives you an idea of what each day can be like. Each morning, you begin with traditional classroom instruction, where you work through Icelandic grammar and vocabulary with your teacher. The course material is provided to you.  

In the afternoon the teaching takes on different forms with sessions focusing on specific themes. We offer a wide variety of topics and teaching methods including group work, problem-based-learning, self-directed learning, and conversation and pronunciation practice. The course focuses on your ability to communicate and we want to give you the opportunity to use the Icelandic that you learn in the course immediately. The afternoon courses differ from year to year. 

In the evenings, we arrange culturally interesting and fun activities as for instance movie or knitting nights.

2020 schedule

Classroom learning in the morning, Mon-Fri, 09-12: Basics of grammar and vocabulary taught through lectures and exercises. Exercises in reading and writing skills up to CEFR level A1/A2.

Afternoon classes, Mon-Fri, 14-16 and/or 16-18: The afternoon courses focus on the practical application of the language. Through fun lectures in easy Icelandic you learn the language in a varied way. Afternoon classes in 2020 were for instance: Ísafjörður walk, Icelandic Music, Iceland´s Nature, Baking Pancakes, How to swear in Icelandic, and more. 

Evening classes: Mon-Fri, 20-22: How about ending the day with a movie? In Icelandic of course. 

Day Trip: In week three of the course you will be introduced to the famous Gísli saga in simple Icelandic, and you will watch an acclaimed stage version of Gísla saga, performed as a one-man production by Elfar Logi Hannesson.