Course Description

In this three week course learning the Icelandic language and culture is the priority. The course prepares students for daily life in Iceland, whether you are a foreigner who lives here or like to visit Iceland as a touris.

The course includes 90 hours of varied and interesting instruction, as well as a day trip to the site of the famous Gísla saga. Teaching takes place at the University Centre of the Westfjords in Ísafjörður.

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

Participating in everyday life in a small town in the countryside is an especially pleasant way to get a feeling for Icelandic society.

For more information please contact islenska@uw.is.

The beginners course takes place every year in august. The 2019 - course begins on Monday evening, August 5, 2019 with an orientation at the University Centre of the Westfjords, and concludes on Friday, August 23, 2019. For further information about how the course is set up from day to day please see the moste recent schedule of 2019.

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 August 4 (Sunday). Similarly, if you are leaving directly after the course, you should not book a flight leaving Iceland any earlier than the morning of 24th August (Saturday). Please note that any overnight stay in Reykjavík is your own responsibility.

The University Centre of the Westfjords
The University Centre of the Westfjords

The current schedule from 2019 found in a link below gives you an idea of what each day will be like. Each morning, you begin with traditional classroom instruction, where you work through Icelandic grammar and vocabulary. 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. In the evenings, films and lectures in simple Icelandic are presented. The afternoon courses may differ between years. 

The course focuses on your ability to communicate and therefore we will not focus on grammar training. Instead, we want to give you the opportunity to use the Icelandic that you learn in the course immediately.

2019 schedule

Classroom learning in the morning, Mon/Tue - Thur/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/.

Teaching in the afternoon, 14-16 or 16-18: In the afternoon we offer a variety of teaching, including lectures, choir, pronunciation, conversation, language games and problem-based learning. 

During week III you will be introduced to the famous 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. A visit to one of the settings of the saga, where you will have an opportunity to use your Icelandic, will give you a strong impression of the place.

In the afternoon we offer a variety of electives including lectures, choir, pronunciation, conversation, language games and problem-based learning. A detailed description of this teaching will be available at course start.