I discovered that there are free Danish lessons offered in this church in the middle of Copenhagen, so I went along to check it out. The funny thing is that I wasn’t aware of this event until I searched for it in Danish: ‘dansk undervisning’.
Inside the main hall of the Bethesda church, I found myself amongst about 200 people watching a presentation on describing the weather in Danish. As an entire group, we then followed along a dialogue with the instructor, and then went through the same dialogue with the person next to us. After taking turns as ‘person A / person B’ and exhausting the scripted dialogue, I started having a natural, unscripted Danish conversation with my newly recruited language partner. She was a woman from Peru, and we both lamented the difficulty of Danish pronunciation.
Then the entire room briefly went over the vowel sounds of Danish and sung a very brief song in Danish. I’ve written in the past about how singing can help with language learning on this blog. I’m a very self conscious singer, but viewing it more as a pronunciation exercise helped me to feel better about singing along in a foreign language in a public place.
After a short break, we were then divided into much smaller groups. There are four groups, with the first group being absolute beginners, and the fourth group being very advanced learners. I was advised to be put into group two, as I don’t have a confident command of the language yet. In this group I learned about Danish grammar and was given a handout taken from this free Danish language resource. Learning about that website – where you can read and listen along to sample Danish conversations – was worth the price of admission alone.
I’ve been back again since, and I’m feeling a massive benefit of practising Danish with other foreigners here. It’s helping me to feel more confident and that I’m not alone in my struggle of getting to grips with this surprisingly tricky language. It is also helping me to log an impressive amount of minutes in my public spreadsheet of minutes learning Danish that I started when I announced my current language learning goal of getting to a B2 standard by May of this year.
I wish I had known about these free language classes when I first came here four months ago. I’m really trying to be creative with finding opportunities to level up in Danish, and very much enjoying the process and finding it to be very rewarding!
Photocredit: me (!) can be used under the CC BY License