Are you looking for an Icelandic course with live classes or that you can follow on your own pace?
This Icelandic course is for students who do not live in the Greater Reykjavik area, cannot sign up for one of the classroom group courses in the afternoon/evening, or prefer to learn at home or in their office.
The classes take place in an online classroom with a whiteboard and options to share the screen with the students. We all see each other and listen to each other as if we were in a brick-and-mortar classroom.
You only need a computer or tablet (or a cellphone, but it is probably a bit uncomfortable) and a quality Internet connection. It is recommended to use a headset with a microphone, but it is not essential.
You can’t join us for a class or the timetable doesn’t suit you? ?
No problem, you can watch the recording. These are available until after a month after the course is over. This is useful for students who work shifts or have a job with changing hours.
✅ Online classes, the best social distance (COVID-19) 🦠👨🔬👩🔬🧫
✅ Small groups, no more than ten students in live classes 🔝
✅ Bonuses: this Icelandic course has several bonuses for its students. Keep reading to find out more 💰
❌No more class binging so that your trip to the school makes sense. Let’s take advantage of IT 💻
✅ This course’s online format makes it possible to have one class at a time. This way you can assimilate the content little by little and use all your attention in each class.
Onsite classes often teach two classes or more (intensive Icelandic courses) because it doesn’t make sense to teach only one when you have already made a trip to the school.
Teaching more than one class at a time is not the most optimal arrangement from a pedagogical point of view. As teachers, this is one of the first things we learn as students of Education in Psychology. However, schools insist on offering intensive courses and double and triple classes due to organizational reasons (not because it’s the best way to learn). It is difficult to keep your attention during such a long time and make good use of the next classes. Attention drops after 40 minutes.
Also, the course finishes too quickly and you don’t have time to digest what you are learning. Icelandic is a language that requires time to assimilate.
With online teaching, you just need to click on a link to enter the class. Say goodbye to using time and money to commute to a brick-and-mortar language school.
ℹ This Icelandic course is taught in English but it is open to people whose primary language may be another one. Spanish speakers: you may want to join this same course taught in Spanish.
ℹ Este curso se enseña en inglés pero está abierto a personas cuya primera lengua puede ser otra. Alumnos hispanohablantes: quizá queráis apuntaros a este mismo curso impartido en español.
Contents and competences in Icelandic I:
The aim of this Icelandic course is that you know enough Icelandic to feel comfortable in a series of situations of daily life. It is especially relevant for those who have just arrived in the country or before moving to it. Classes introduce vocabulary and grammar progressively. Do not worry about grammar, we will go through those contents slowly, and it appears in connection to the vocabulary and skills contents we are learning. Everything is understandable (and if someone does not understand something, it can be explained again ?).
- Introductions (knowing how to say what your name is, where you are from, what language you speak, ask how the other person is, you will start acquiring some basic vocabulary). We will begin learning about the pronunciation of the vocabulary of the unit.
- The Icelandic alphabet (we will advance in pronunciation). You will learn how to spell.
- Locations, school, partner, work, and daily activities.
- Numbers from 1 to 20 and amounts.
- Birthdays, months, ordinal numbers, seasons, and days of the week.
- The time (knowing how to say it and ask at what time something happens or at what part of the day).
- Work (professions, opinions), talk about what you or other people have done recently.
- Coffee, orders in bars, meals of the day, and vocabulary about food.
- Position in space, Icelandic at banks and plans.
- Health, the human body, emotional states, thermal sensation, buying at the pharmacy, getting an appointment at the doctor
Skills according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
Level 1 is the first part of the A1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Students complete the A1 level when they finish Icelandic II. So, you will get started in the following skills (which you will hone in Icelandic II).
This is the general description of the A1 level as it appears on Wikipedia:
- Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type.
- Can introduce themselves and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where they live, people they know and things they have.
- Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
And specifically for each ability:
I can recognise familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly
I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.
💬🗨 Spoken interaction:
I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I’m trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.
🗯 Spoken production:
I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know.
I can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.
Fernán González Domingo teaches this Icelandic course. He holds a BA in Icelandic as a Second Language, an undergraduate degree as Specialist Teacher in Foreign Language (English), and an MA in Intercultural Communication, Interpretation, and Translation in Public Services (Spanish<>English). The Icelandic Ministry of Education certified Fernán in 2008 as a Primary school teacher (validation of his undergraduate degree from Spain as a teacher). He is also a sworn translator from Icelandic into Spanish.
Fernán has years of experience as a teacher both on his own and as an employee and has worked as a freelancer since 2012. He has also worked as a translator and interpreter. He is always studying a language and learning about Second Language Acquisition to improve his training as a teacher. More information.
Why do I think you should take this Icelandic course with me?
Because I have walked the path you have in front of you and reached professional proficienty in Icelandic.
This is the comment Derek Sivers (former student and TED speaker) left:
«GREAT teacher. Very helpful teaching Icelandic. The fact that it’s not his mother tongue makes him better at this, because he has really thought about the subject.»
I started started studying online on my own in 2006, a few months before moving to Iceland. I learned all I could at university and outside. Years later I started interpreting from and into Icelandic for corporations (consecutive and simultaneous interpreting).
I am a realistic optimist. Icelandic can be learned but I’m not going to lie to you like ads that say “learn X quick and easy”. The hardest part is in the beginning and this makes Icelandic less rewarding than English or Spanish, which start easy but get harder after some time. Because of this many students quit Icelandic before they make significant progress. It’s not strange. I wanted to quit two or three times. But I didn’t throw in the towel
Soy optimista realista. El islandés se puede aprender pero no te voy a engañar como los anuncios de «aprende X rápido y fácil». La dificultad en el islandés está al principio y eso hace que sea menos gratificante que el inglés, que es muy fácil al principio y se complica con el tiempo. Por eso tantos alumnos lo dejan antes de hacer avances importantes. No es extraño. Yo quise dejarlo 2 o 3 veces. Pero no tiré la toalla.
Don’t give up. If you strengthen that base and keep moving forward, you’ll be able to communicate in Icelandic, live your daily life in Icelandic and become a part of a society that works with its advantages and disadvantages, as happens in all neighboring countries. And this is VERY gratifying. In fact, the experience of living in Iceland with or without Icelandic is radically different.
Other teachers can teach you Icelandic but they haven’t gone through the path you have to walk to learn it. In many cases they haven’t learned a language with similar complexity and they haven’t experience the process you are going to go through. I think this makes a difference because in the end, the materials you are going to see are similar, but the most productive thing in Icelandic is that you understand the learning process and develop attitudes that will help you learn it. You’ll spend a few hours with me but each week has 165 hours more and because of this you must be as independent as possible.
In class, besides teaching you Icelandic, I’ll help you to learn how to learn and understand the process. I encourage and challenge you to become better. You will also see different approaches on how to learn a language which may be useful to you.
By teaching and speaking with other foreigners, I’ve seen students come often very influenced by the marketing of language classes and other products. It reminds me of TV ads with gadgets to achieve a six pack while you watch TV sitting. Nobody who has a six pack uses those products (or not exclusively). These trends are sometimes ineffective, or worse, they are an obstacle because they make you lose time with a fantasy instead of doing what you really have to do to reach your goal. They also give you unreal expectation which will frustrate you when you don’t see results. If you want to learn how to learn, pay attention to someone who has learned, not the TV ad.
I make an emphasis on pronunciation. It is basic so that they other person understands you and to minimize the number of times an Icelander switches to English when speaking with you. You don’t need to speak like a native speaker but you do need Icelandic that is clear enough. Having a clear pronunciation also helps you to understand others. As an additional benefit, you’ll learn some things about pronunciation of other languages and you’ll understand why you pronounce things the way you do (this is important to know what to do).
This Icelandic course uses:
– Íslenska fyrir alla 1 as its textbook. Students can view it electronically for free, but it’s recommended to have a copy to be able to write on it. If you live in Iceland, Penninn sells this book, already bound. You can also print it yourself or have it printed and bound at a copy center.
– Icelandic Grammar Step by Step – Exercise book (1st volume) A1 – A2 by Stefan Drabek. This is an exercise book you’ll be able to use during the first four Icelandic courses. You can buy it on the author’s website o at Bóksala stúdenta (more convenient for those who live in Iceland). It may be available in more shops. Students are expected to finish this book when they finish Icelandic IV.
Students buy their own materials (they are not included in the tuition).
✅ Bonus 1: Free access to Snara during the course
Snara offers monolingual and bilingual dictionaries from and into Icelandic with the following languages: Danish, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Polish and Spanish. It also has a database with recipes in Icelandic so you can test your cooking and Icelandic skills at the same time. Value: ISK 3,240 (ca. EUR 22).
✅ Bonus 2: A native revisor will correct your assignments
As the number of students has grown and I teach more classes per week, it’s become more difficult for me to correct my students’ homework in a timely manner. A native revisor can do this much quicker, which means you’ll receive personalized feedback earlier. Value: ISK 10,000 (ca. EUR 68).
✅ Bonus 3: A planning tool for you to succeed 🚀
Many students have good intentions and want to work on their own. However, the course flies by and they realize they couldn’t do as much as they wanted due to a lack of planning. This bonus lets you plan everything you want to do outside the virtual classroom (listen to podcasts, watch movies and series in Icelandic, etc.) Value: ISK 10,000 (ca. EUR 68).
✅ Bonus 4: A list with resources in Icelandic you can enjoy on your own 📺📓
You will receive a PDF with links to resources where you can watch Icelandic movies and series, etc. You’ll also discover where you can find free ebooks in Icelandic (also audiobooks) or how to buy ebooks in Icelandic for your ebook reader (Kindle). Value: ISK 14 000 (ca. EUR 95).
✅ Bonus 5: An accountability buddy 👦👩
I pair each student with another so they share their progress and what they have done in Icelandic each week. An accountability buddy helps you remain accountable to yourself and motivates you to do more. Many people set learning a language as a new year resolution, but only 8% reach their goal. An accountability buddy helps you turn the tables, making things go in your favor, while they make you responsible of your progress. Many start an Icelandic course and suddenly they’re reached the last class without doing as much as they wanted. Value: ISK 14 000 (ca. EUR 95).
✅ Bonus 6: ISK 500 off private classes
Students in group courses have a discount for online private classes from the start of the course until a month after it’s over. If someone is taking the course by watching the recordings, they can solve their questions quickly with private classes. Pay ISK 3,000 for a 30-minute class instead of ISK 3,500 (ISK 500 off).
🔑 Next round: live classes start on March 2nd, 2022
- Live classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
- Hours during winter time: 18:00-18:55 CET (Spanish time). It equals 17:00-17:55 GMT (Icelandic time). If you don’t know what time it is in your time zone you can use this converter.
- Hours during summer time (after March 27th): 18:00-18:55 CEST (Spanish time). It equals 16:00-16:55 GMT (Icelandic time). If you don’t know what time it is in your time zone you can use this converter.
- It is necessary that five students sign-up for the course to start. There’s a maximum of ten live attendants. Students will receive a refund if the group doesn’t have enough participation.
- If you are reading this after the start date, don’t worry. You can watch the recordings of the previous classes and attend the rest.
The round starts on March 2nd, 2022, and finishes when we finish the 31 classes. Sign up in the form below.
If you are at work at that time, ask your supervisor if it is possible to attend class at that time. From experience with other students, I know that many employers in Iceland are willing to allow some flexibility or that lessons are included in the work schedule as many employers have an interest in you knowing Icelandic.
How much is this Icelandic course? With all the bonuses, the value of this course is ISK 86,740 or EUR 594.97. But you don’t have to pay that.
ISK 86,740 or EUR 594,97 ISK 35,500 or EUR 242.41
The course has 31 55-minute classes and a cost of ISK 35,500 (or EUR 242.41).
ℹ All employees in Iceland are unionized, and most unions offer reimbursements for courses taken by their members. Ask your union to know about your situation and know how much you could receive before signing up for the course. If you need the invoices to have a particular format, let me know on the registration form so you can benefit from the training scholarships. The reimbursement can be up to 100% of the price of the course, so hopefully, money is not an obstacle for anyone who lives in Iceland and wants to learn Icelandic. If you live in another country, check with your union or other institution. You may be able to access some scholarship.
Putting grants in perspective: with a 75% refund, the 31-lesson course would cost ISK 8,875 (each class would be ISK 286); with a 50% refund, the course would cost ISK 17,750 (about ISK 573 per class).
Don’t forget that this Icelandic course has numerous bonuses, among them a discount for private classes until after a month after the course is finished
Contract conditions for this Icelandic course
- The course is paid in advance, and payment formalizes the reservation of a seat. Students will receive an invoice in their email as proof of payment as soon as the course is confirmed (when there are five students who have paid). Places are granted depending on who makes the reservation earlier (on a first-come, first-serve basis). For the course to start, five students must have formalized their registration.
- Once the seat is reserved, there are no tuition refunds due to the fixed costs of the course, unless there are other students on the waiting list that formalize their registration. If the course has already started, the return of the tuition will be proportional to the unused part of the course if another person substitutes the person leaving the course.
- The teacher of this Icelandic course is Fernán González Domingo, but in case of illness or due to professional or personal commitments, another teacher can replace him at those times. In case of no teacher being available, if the course’s dates need an extension, the teacher will try to find a solution taking into account the schedules of the students so that all students receive the classes they have contracted.
- Etiquette: out of respect for your classmates and the teacher, you are asked to attend classes alone in a room without noise and with your camera on. By default, all attendees have their microphones open to make questions when they want, as in a face-to-face classroom, but if there is noise, your microphone will be turned off (it will be reactivated when you need to ask something or participate; the virtual classroom has an option to raise your hand). If you are in a situation where this is not possible, the teacher offers private lessons that could better fit what you need. It is not allowed to photograph, copy/reproduce, record, or distribute the content of the classes. Failure to follow these instructions or being disrespectful to other students or the teacher may result in the expulsion of the student from that class or the course (no refund).