In Expat Feedback

Expat feedback – Dana from Germany/Scotland

Hej!

This week, Dana is taking over the Expat Feedback! I am very happy to feature Dana’s feedback, as she completed Prøve i Dansk 3 in December 2016, one of the milestones to Danish integration.

This is my first interview from an expat who finished PD3, and certainly not the last one.
I sincerely hope that you will enjoy reading this post, where she shares her personal experience of learning Danish.

Thank you Dana!


About you
Hi, my name is Dana and I am both German and Scottish. I have been living in Denmark for 4 years and 3 months. I am currently living in Dianalund, Vestsjælland.

I have experience from a lot of different part-time jobs and studies, but my dream right now is to study Physiotherapy in Danish, so I need to take some HF classes to apply. My hobbies include yoga, movies, filmmaking, photography and reading.

Danish classes
Which schools did you attend
I moved around a lot so I have been at various language schools LærDansk Nyborg and Slagelse Sprogcenter.

I finished PD3 as an online student with Vestegnens Sprog og Kompetence Center in Glostrup.

How did you find the registering process at the schools when you enrolled?
At first it was really complicated and frustrating, because I was studying in Odense and my school had signed me up to the wrong language school, or something like that. So I had almost reached the module 1 exam, when the municipality wanted to move me. I think it was then that I dropped out for a while to focus on school and work. Then getting back into the language was very straight-forward.

Did you take breaks?
Yes, I think it was about a year long break the first time, and then 6 months the second time. Then I did module 3, 4 and 5 within a year.

Day classes vs evening classes?
I studied whenever I could, because I was an online student. When I did go to the language school I went to evening classes, which were about 3 hours long.

How did you find the various modules?
They always seem very difficult when you get started, but by the exam, you wonder what you were so worried about! At least that is what it felt like to me. The teachers really help you build upon your knowledge bit by bit. But I did start module 6 and I will warn you that it is significantly harder than module 5.

Prøve i Dansk 3
How was the Prøve i Dansk 3 examination?
I was very nervous before and during the exam, but it went well. You do writing and reading together, and then there is the spoken exam. I was most worried about the spoken exam and it ended up getting me the best result! It was a nice environment, with one teacher and one censor, and they were super nice.

Did you think it was difficult?
Yes and no…. I hated the paper where you had to add the missing words. I don’t know exactly what I got right and wrong, but I can imagine that was pulled down my grade. You do get a good amount of time to work with though, to think and pull yourself together. The second part of the spoken exam was hard too, because you have to think on the spot and improvise. The teacher said that if I was judged only on part 1 I would have gotten a 12, but the second part pulled me down to a 10, unfortunately.

Any comments, recommendations you would like to share with others?
Do as many past exam papers as you can. It helps so much to know what to expect at the real exam, so you don’t end up looking at a foreign piece of paper. At least only slightly foreign 🙂

Study Books
Which study books have you used at school for the various modules?

I didn’t use a lot of books after module 3, but in the beginning I had looked at På Vej Til Dansk, Grammatikken, and something that I think was called Lær Dansk, which was blue…. I can’t seem to find it online, so maybe they don’t use it anymore.

What do you think about the study books? Would you recommend them?
I don’t think it matters which ones you use, they are all good, but I would definitely advise everyone to get a handle on grammar when you reach module 5. So Grammatikken could be helpful for that.

Danish practice
Do you think it is easy to apply your Danish (that you learned at school) in the everyday life?
Well yes, in the beginning it helped me just to learn how to introduce myself and say where I come from. By the higher levels my vocabulary was beginning to develop from all the texts we read. Writing helped me a lot with speaking too, even though I was shy. I started thinking in Danish around module 4.

What do you do outside of school to practice your Danish?
I try to speak only Danish in supermarkets, work with Danish people, speak Danish with my Danish partner, and so on. I ask questions about lots of things I get curious about, like “why do you use this word? How do you pronounce this?”

Have you read Danish books that you think are worth reading for other students?
I haven’t read a lot of Danish novels, but I read one for my Dansk som Andetsprog class, which was really good and I picked it myself. It was called Stjernetider by Gerd Rindel. I loved that!

Have you watched Danish movies that you think are worth seeing for other students?
De Grønne Slagtere and Adams Æbler were weird, but very Danish from what I’ve been told haha. Rita is a fun TV show.

Mille Dinesen in “Rita” – Also available on Netflix

 

Have you listened to Danish podcasts that you think are worth listening to, for other students?
Sorry, I haven’t listened to any podcasts… might be a good idea though, in preparation for listening exams, which I know are part of Studieprøven.

Tips/Suggestions
Do you have any tips about how to improve your Danish while studying and being in Denmark.
Yes, speak Danish! It’s very tempting to speak English, when it’s familiar and so many Danes know English, but you need to get out of your comfort zone. Learn what to say in a supermarket. I remember always getting flustered when the cashier was just asking me if I wanted a receipt (abonnement or kvittering) or I had to ask for a bag (pose). These are good starting steps 🙂

I have friends who finished the language school, but still spoke English in public places. It’s also hard to concentrate on Danish if you are studying too, but speak with your teachers about getting support. Everyone is super nice. And if you need flexibility then online or e-learning is a great option.

 


You can follow Dana on her youtube channel!

 


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