For the Expat Feedback of the month, I am glad to feature Ben, who is originally from England. He completed Prøve i Dansk 3 exam with Lærdansk Århus, last year in June 2018.
Ben shares in this interview many insights about his personal experience of learning Danish in Denmark, but also the school process and some useful links to check out.
I sincerely hope that you will enjoy reading it!
Thank you Ben !
Hi ! My name is Ben and I am British. I have been living in Denmark for 2 years and a half years.
I work as a content marketer for a start-up company in Århus called WakeupData.
When I first moved here I worked in cafes and restaurants while interning for the Århus 2017 European Capital of Culture.
In my spare time I write for an organisation called Aarhus Makers and do some tour-guiding around the city on weekends.
Which school(s) did you attend?
I’ve followed lessons at Lærdansk in Århus.
How did you find the registering process at the school when you enrolled?
Once I had all the necessary paperwork it was very straightforward and the staff were helpful.
Did you take breaks?
Day classes vs evening classes?
Always evening classes as I was working in the day. Sometimes it was hard to motivate myself to cycle up to the classes in the evening – but it was worth it in the long run. (people in Århus who cycled up Paludan-Müllers Vej will know what I mean!)
How did you find the various modules at school?
I started in module 4 so don’t have any experience with the others. I think the teacher you have makes a huge difference to your overall learning. I was lucky to have some great teachers for my module 4 and 5 exams, who supported us and made sure we were prepared for the exams.
Prøve i Dansk 3 Exam
How was the Prøve i Dansk 3 examination?
It was nothing to worry about. I always get nervous before any exam but this was fine once you get started. Like any exam just make sure you read the question thoroughly first!
Any suggestions in terms of the preparation to PD3?
Do all the homework, contribute to discussions in class and practice the previous PD3 exams.
Any comments, recommendations you would like to share with others
Danish news, radio, audiobooks – anything you can listen/read every single day that is going to make it a regular part of your life.
Did you think the exam was difficult?
It was challenging at times but not too difficult. If you are fully prepared there shouldn’t be anything too hard which you haven’t seen before.
Any comments regarding written exam and oral exam?
It was challenging at times but not too difficult. If you are fully prepared there shouldn’t be anything too hard which you haven’t seen before. If I were to go back and give myself any advice, I would tell myself to relax! All the subjects in the written are ones you will know from class and in the oral exam they are not trying to catch you out – it was more like an informal chat than an exam.
Which study books have you used at school for the various modules?
Module 4: At Skrive, Pæredansk, Parat Start 1-2-3 and Grammatikken.
Module 5: Danske Stemmer, At Skrive, Grammatikken
What do you think about the books? Would you recommend them?
I thought the books were good. It’s hard for textbooks to engage students while explaining (sometimes dull!) grammar rules etc, but I think they did a good job.
Do you think it is easy to apply your Danish (that you learned at school) in the everyday life?
I think it depends on your job and lifestyle. Luckily my job sometimes involves translation to and from Danish so those grammar rules come in useful!
What do you do outside of school to practice your Danish?
My girlfriend is Danish so I talk with her and her family, as well as our friends here in Århus. I also read Danish books and listen to podcasts/radio to keep up the practice.
Have you read Danish books that you think are worth reading for other students?
When I started at Lærdansk I read some of the Harry Potter books as I knew the storyline already – so it didn’t matter if I didn’t understand all the Danish words! Since then I’ve tried to explore the works of Danish authors like Blixen, Adler-Olsen, Ejersbo and Turèll.
Have you watched Danish tv/movies that you think are worth seeing for other students?
It’s probably been recommended loads before but shows like Broen, Borgen, 1864 and Forbrydelsen were all ones I enjoyed. I’m also a fan of a show on DR called Nak & Æd!
Have you listened to Danish podcasts that you think are worth listening to for other students?
As a history nerd I really enjoyed listening to the podcast ‘Kongerækken’ and their subsequent series ‘Kongerækken og Politiken’. They started off with an episode on each of the Danish royal family from Gorm the Old to Margrethe II. Since then they’ve done mini-series on The Reformation, Important Women through history and Roman emperors.
Do you have any tips about how to improve your Danish while studying and being in Denmark?
My advice would be to make speaking, listening and reading Danish a regular thing so it becomes a habit you are used to. Once it becomes a daily occurrence you will notice fast improvements.
My other advice would be to keep persevering even if it seems you aren’t making progress. Everyone feels like that sometimes when learning a new language.