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Last year, I started learning Danish. I gave myself about 6 weeks to learn it well enough to have a short conversation with a native speaker (which to my delight, I was able to do!). Ironically, since living in Copenhagen, my Danish learning has completely stagnated. Now it’s time to take action and get back some language learning momentum.

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The only language I actively practise at the moment is Thai, because it is part of my lifestyle – every week I volunteer as a Thai language instructor in the Copenhagen Thai community, teaching the foundations of Thai language to Danish people.

My Thai skill level is very ambiguous, because as far as I am aware the highest government approved Thai proficiency exam for foreigners is a primary school test, something which I really didn’t see the appeal in working towards.

The closest thing to an objective measurement of my Thai skill is that I progressed to the most advanced class in the language school that I attended in Bangkok. It’s hardly a universally recognised accolade, but I suppose it’s better than nothing!

But I’ve learned that with Danish, I can work towards a government recognised proficiency exam. It’s something nice to have as external validation, but it also gives me a language learning framework.

The importance of having a framework is so important when you are trying to track your language learning progress. When you have a checklist of mini goals and skills that you are working through, it can help to develop a sense of self efficacy (something which I have been reading about a lot recently).

I’m going to aim high: the “Prøve i Dansk 3” exam. It’s meant to be a tough exam, which works out to be around a CEFR B2 (upper intermediate) level. The written exam is around the end of May, and the speaking exam is in June. So I’ll have a good 4 – 5 months time to prepare.

Taking inspiration from other language blogs that I follow, I will be tracking my progress in this google doc spreadsheet. I plan on mixing up my daily activities to keep it all fresh, but I plan on using a combination of:

  • Duolingo
  • Memrise
  • italki
  • Lang8
  • Conversation Exchanges
  • News websites
  • Text books (so far: Teach Yourself Danish & Colloquial Danish)
  • Other materials / ideas as a come across them

It feels good to have a big goal to work towards… and I plan on really enjoying it and making it count!

Photo credit: “Dannebrog” by Boegh Licensed under CC BY 2.0

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