I just completed module 4 last week and started module 5 this week. Therefore, I am happy to share my (very up-to-date and long) review of module 4!
Please note that below feedback is based on my personal experience at Studieskolen in Copenhagen. The content of the modules that I describe is obviously subject to change with time (as per the national guidelines) and can vary slightly based on the teacher and the school.
In order to have consistency throughout theses module reviews, I will use the same analytical structure:
- Module expectations
- Module structure
- Module Test
- Book used
- Personal feedback
Welcome to Module 4 feedback!
Unlike the previous modules, I felt a huge improvement with my Danish level in Module 4. It started outside the class with the other students, where we literally stopped talking English to each other. We instantly switched to Danish, which felt a bit uncomfortable at the beginning, but quickly became natural after a couple of weeks. This made me realize that we all really stepped up our game and finally felt that we had enough vocabulary to talk Danish all the time. Obviously, we still pop up some casual English words that no one knows how to translate in Danish, but that’s fine.
Even if you don’t feel so comfortable with talking Danish to each other, you should definitely force yourself and try to stick to Danish. I can guarantee you that you will be impressed about how much you know and how natural it will feel after some time practicing.
Module 4 is the last module where teachers will still spend (a lot of) time on grammar. By the end of module 4.2, you will understand and apply the grammar better than you ever did. However, expect to probably have remaining struggles with some grammar topics, especially prepositions (på, i, for, over, af, med, til), irregular verbs in the past (datid) and present perfect (førnutid). We reviewed these over and over during module 4, which really helped.
In terms of class attendance, we were a group of approximately 13 regular students. I could really feel the difference and commitment from all my fellow students. Everyone has a very clear focus, which is to learn Danish. Please note that I am attending day classes which are a great choice if you want to improve faster. I published a comparison post in July 2017 about day/evening classes to learn Danish.
Module 3 started to include more talks in small groups. Expect to talk even more during Module 4, a lot more debates and arguing with each other. The teachers only speak Danish during the class, which is really helpful and forces you to think in Danish and process it faster when wanting to talk.
In terms of homework, the workload is more important, however it is doable if you are consistent. The vocabulary will also be a lot more sophisticated than the previous modules.
You should expect to have more written essays than in the previous modules. The topics are a lot more interesting, expect to learn and write a lot more about the Danish society.
Here are some of the topics we covered:
- Food (cooking food, ingredients, øko food in Denmark, healthy food, food trends)
- Experiences (Accidents, Going out, Aprils fool, Danish weddings, outdoor adventures)
- Animals (naming all animals & insects, Endangered species, the impact of environment on animals and food, their habitat)
- Life style (Childhood, overtime at work, modern families, religion)
- Cities (Culture in cities, festivals, neighborhoods, competition between cities, urban architecture)
Module 4 – Content used
We read also one book every week, which we had to sum up in a resume, as well as introducing it to the other students in the class. Some books were thrillers, drama, biographies of Danish authors, poets or painters, or just everyday stories. Module 4 books definitely got better than in the previous modules. This also meant more complex vocabulary.
I have also borrowed more books from the public library, which added more vocabulary to learn.
We started to watch films in module 3.2, and pushed it also during module 4.1. Our teacher started to have us watching a very famous TV series called Matador. This was online on DR, with subtitles. I wrote a full post about it, which was “The Matador Challenge“! I would definitely recommend you to check it out and try include it in your studies. It really helped us with understanding Danish.
We also listened to Danish songs, trying to guess the text and get used to it. This really helps your understanding and will add vocabulary (I previously wrote a post about listening to Danish songs, here is the post).
Videos and audio files
During module 4, we had to listen to audio files, answer questions and transcript them. We were already used to do it in module 3, so that felt very natural. My understanding got a lot better during module 4.
Module 4 is split into 2 levels: Module 4.1 and Module 4.2.
What you can expect to learn/review in this module:
- Pronunciation, advanced vocabulary, expressions, grammar, verbs, tenses, expressing your opinion
- The teachers will only speak Danish, which is really great!
- You will be discussing and arguing topics that are more complex and that relate to the Danish society.
Practicing Danish during the class
For example, we had a 2 on 2 argumentation case, where we were given each a piece of paper with points to defend.
We had to use vocabulary and expressions that were very specific to this context.
We had 5 min to speak and argue with each other.
Student A: Public libraries in Denmark should be free of charge
Student B: Public libraries in Denmark should not be free of charge
I was given the arguments B, which I personally didn’t agree to, but I had to defend it. Great exercise!
Another example, where we were each given a sheet with words to explain in Danish and words to guess. This is a really fun exercise to do 2 on 2.
Module test 4 includes four parts: reading, listening, writing and oral.
Please note that you are allowed to use a Danish/English dictionary during the test.
You will need to be very consistent throughout the module and make sure to learn all the new vocabulary and expressions between each class. Make sure to read as much as you can, as it will develop your vocabulary and improve your reading speed.
What the module test includes
You will have three types of listening exercises (33 min). This part is not too difficult as the pace of the audio file is not so fast.
Part 1: Series of 5 questions to answer. You listen to an audio file and answer it (x 5 times)
Part 2: Series of 6 questions. You listen to a full audio file twice and answer the questions
Part 3: You hear stories about people and need to match them description
It comprises of four parts (55 min) – Some parts can be challenging, but overall you can manage if you have studied consistently before the test.
Part 1: You have to find information from a document (multiple pages)
Part 2: You have to read a text and fill in the blanks by replacing by prewritten sentences.
Part 3: You have to read a text and need to insert the correct words (selected from a list)
Part 4: You have to match people and their own description
There are two written parts, 45 min each (total of 1h30).
Part 1: You can choose between writing an article or a story.
Article – You get an article (or an e-mail) with some questions. You have to write an article/email to answer the questions from the first article.
Story – You have to write a story (using your imagination if you are not inspired!). You will be given the first or the last sentence of the story, which will give you some indications to what you may write.
Part 2: You get a text that you have to comment on and argue about.
You will need to give yourself some time to correct any grammatical mistakes.
Our teacher gave us a very helpful tip, which is:
Structure your checklist to minimize your mistakes: Infinitives, modal verbs, articles, adjectives, prepositions, sentence structure (especially inversion), etc.
In all honesty, the time given is sufficient and you will have many chances to proof read what you will hand over. You only need a minimum of 100 words per written task, so it is not a lot to produce. Do not stress yourself too much for the test.
The module 4 prepares you very well for the exam, thanks to the various written homework.
There are two parts for the oral part (9 min).
Part 1 (5 min):
This is an individual session with the teacher. You will have to choose 3 topics before the test.
Your teacher will pick one randomly and you will need to talk about it for 2 min.
Then your teacher will ask you a series of approx 3 questions.
Topics need to be related to the Danish society and definitely more complex than where you live, what Danes eat for Christmas or what is your job.
NB: You are allowed to write keywords on a piece of paper and use it during the oral test.
This is something really great about Denmark and the process to learn. It is not just about learning everything by heart, but more about expressing yourself.
You wait then for the other student to do his/her individual session. Please note you will be in the same room together for part 1.
Part 2 (4 min):
You will be talking with another student (like in Module 2).
You will pick up a random topic, discuss it and back up your arguments.
There are many great books used by the various schools to learn Danish. The one our teachers used during module 4 was called “Pæredansk“. I really liked this book, because it developed my vocabulary and level of reading. But I also learnt a lot more about Danish society. The end of the book includes a grammar/verbs recap, which is super helpful when in doubt during the class or at home. Birte ,who is the author of “Pæredansk“, was our teacher for module 4.2. It was very nice to have her insights on the book and the various articles she wrote. From a student point of view, I would definitely recommend this book for module 4.
Module 4 has marked a significant increase for my Danish level. I started to feel a lot more confident talking Danish. As mentioned at the beginning of the post, we started to talk only Danish with my fellow students. But I also noticed a serious change outside the school, where I felt a lot more comfortable talking Danish. Here are a few examples:
– Danish family: I have (finally) switched from English to Danish with my Danish Family, which was a huge step, since we only talked English to each other for the past years. They also talk to me in Danish now and thankfully speak a bit slower so that I can understand. Of course, I still have some moments where I need to use some English, but overall I am able to express myself without (too much) struggle.
– Danes: For the past weeks, I have only been speaking Danish in my everyday life with Danes. During Modules 1-3, when I used to talk to them, they would often switch back to English.
My guess is that they felt my level of Danish wasn’t that good enough, so they considered more appropriate to talk to me in English. However, since module 4 it changed. When I address them in Danish, they do not switch to English anymore.
I guess they consider that my level is (finally) ok enough for them, to only talk Danish with me. This is only the beginning and I am still far from being fluent in Danish, but at least my way of communicating as changed.
I can only tell you how amazing that feels every time I experience this situation. It makes you realize that all the efforts you put in to learn Danish are finally paying off.
You will experience this change at some stage, so be patient. If not already, then it will come soon!
– Reading: I can read more complicated books without having to take the dictionary every 30s. However, I would not consider myself an “advanced” reader at all. This is still a big challenge to read everyday Danish books.
Hang in there, module 4 is challenging but rewarding!
What did you think about module 4? Did it meet your expectations?
Would you recommend it?
What book did you use?
Feel free to share your thoughts and best practices on the comment section below, Facebook or @learndanishblog!