Course Description

In this three week course learning the language and culture will be the priority. The course will prepare students for daily life in Iceland and participation in the university community. It is therefore ideal for both university students and others that want to be able to participate in daily life in Iceland. The course includes 90 hours of varied and interesting instruction, as well as exciting excursions and day trips. The course location is in the University Centre of the Westfjords in Ísafjörður.

The students will be taught basic Icelandic and vocabulary through lectures and exercises. They will also achieve reading and writing skills up to CEFR level A1-A2. Conversation exercises will include language games and problem-based learning in real situations. Pronunciation exercises will take many forms.

In Ísafjörður, students will enjoy discovering the town's quaint bakeries, wandering the streets, and exploring the coastline. In Ísafjörður the students can go swimming, play golf and experience the beautiful nature all around. 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 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 schedule of 2018, a detaild schedule for 2019 will be available as soon as possible.

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 24 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 preliminary schedule 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. In all, there are 39 hours of class teaching and 50 hours of other teaching.

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.

2018 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. A detailed description of this teaching will be available at course start.

During week III there will be a focus on Gísla saga. 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.