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The results are in! I have written previously on this blog that I had a bad day on the actual test and I was also thrown off a little by the format. I was hoping for a pass – any pass – and was expecting a very low grade.

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A good luck card from one of the children in the preschool I work at

A few days ago I received an SMS on my phone, alerting me to some new digital mail inside the “e-boks” system that Denmark has. I was at work at the time, but I was allowed to hastily log on and check my mail using the painfully slow computer work computer. Slowly, the screen refreshed itself and I saw my result…

I surpassed my expectations and got a 7! This is the equivalent to a C grade, or an average grade. But honestly, for me it feels like the highest mark possible. It actually was the highest mark I was possibly expecting.

There were so many obstacles to overcome, and I managed to do it!

Obstacle 1: I work in an English only environment

Simply living in a country does not mean that you easily acquire the local language. I currently have a full time job where I only speak English. That’s a lot of my day spent in non target language mode.

Obstacle 2: I live in a (mostly) English only environment

I love my wife to bits, but I really have to be persuasive to have a conversation in Danish with her. We speak English almost exclusively, although when her friends and family visit our home, everything suddenly switches to Danish.

Obstacle 3: my language school sucks

I really try to be as positive as I can on this blog and keep the rants down to a minimum, but the general quality of Danish teaching at my language school is abysmal. But don’t take my word for it, it shows on the test results: my average grade was the highest in the class! And not everyone in the class even passed the test.

Obstacle 4: I have an extremely young daughter

If you think learning a foreign language is tough, try doing it whilst being sleep deprived and random high priority mandatory responsibilities. To be fair to my 7 month old baby, she actually motivates me to learn Danish more than anybody else could. Being a responsible parent in a foreign country means that I have to learn the local language and local way of doing things, if not for my sake than for hers. I absolutely refuse to use “I can’t speak Danish” as an excuse to deprive her of meaningful childhood experiences.

I’m not off the hook yet – there is still an upcoming verbal examination on the 21st of June. So I am now training myself for this exam as much as I can. Let’s hope that I can also speak Danish at the B2 CEFR level that I am now qualified to read and write at.

 

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