Are you looking for an Icelandic course with live classes? A course you can take at 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 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. Using a headset with a microphone is recommended, 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. No commute. Learn Icelandic at home or the office.
✅ Small groups, no more than ten students in live classes in this course 🔝.
✅ Bonuses: this course features several bonuses for its students. Continue on this page to discover them.
❌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 having one class at a time possible. This way, you can assimilate the content gradually and use all your attention in each class.
Onsite classes often teach two classes or more (intensive 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 for organizational reasons (not because it’s the best way to learn). It isn’t easy to keep your attention for such a long time and use the following classes well. Concentration drops after 40 minutes.
The course also 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 course is taught in English but is open to people whose primary language may be another. 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 competencies in Icelandic 3:
The course’s aim is that you know enough Icelandic to feel comfortable in a series of daily life situations. 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 🙂).
- Recap of Icelandic 1 and Icelandic 2. Vocabulary about neighbors and relationships. Speaking about habits.
- Vocabulary and dialogs about familiar places.
- Moving. Apartments.
- Customs. Weddings. Celebrations. Parties. Personality. The time (know how to say and ask what time something happens or during what part of the day.
- Physical descriptions. Accidents and emergencies.
- Family. The past tense. Kitchen. Plans.
- Employment. Training.
- Telling what you have done. Vocabulary about flights. Health. The human body. Emotional state. Thermic feeling. The pharmacy. Booking an appointment with the doctor.
- Recap and self-assessment.
Competencies according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
The 3rd level is the first part of the A2 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. You will complete A2 when you finish Icelandic 4. Therefore, this course is an initiation to the following competencies (which you’ll consolidate in Icelandic 4).
This is the general description of the A2 level as it appears on The Council of Europe’s website:
Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
And more precisely, regarding each skill:
I can understand phrases and the highest frequency vocabulary related to areas of most immediate personal relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local area, employment). I can catch the main point in short, clear, simple messages and announcements.
I can read very short, simple texts. I can find specific, predictable information in simple everyday material such as advertisements, prospectuses, menus and timetables and I can understand short simple personal letters.
💬🗨 Spoken interaction:
I can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar topics and activities. I can handle very short social exchanges, even though I can’t usually understand enough to keep the conversation going myself.
🗯 Spoken production:
I can use a series of phrases and sentences to describe in simple terms my family and other people, living conditions, my educational background and my present or most recent job.
I can write short, simple notes and messages relating to matters in areas of immediate needs. I can write a very simple personal letter, for example thanking someone for something.
My name is Fernán González Domingo. I hold 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 me in 2008 as a Primary school teacher (validating my undergraduate degree from Spain as a teacher). In 2020 I passed the exam to become a sworn translator from Icelandic into Spanish (appointed by the Westman Islands Commissioner). I have interpreted in public services in Iceland (hospitals, health centers, schools, service centers, police stations, courts, etc.) and for multinationals.
I have years of experience as a teacher, on my own, and as an employee. I have worked independently since 2012. I am always learning a language (currently Esperanto) and about Second Language Acquisition to improve my 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 proficiency in Icelandic.
This is the testimonial 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 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, making 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.
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 part of a society that works, with its advantages and disadvantages, as happens in all neighboring countries. And this is VERY gratifying. 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 experienced the process you are going to go through. I think this makes a difference because, in the end, the materials you will 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 about how to learn a language that may be helpful to you.
By teaching and speaking with other foreigners, I’ve seen students come often significantly 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 with a six-pack uses those products (or not exclusively). These trends are sometimes ineffective, or worse, they are an obstacle because they waste your time with fantasy instead of doing what you have to do to reach your goal. They also give you unreal expectations, 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 emphasize pronunciation. It is essential for the other person to understand you and 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 need clear Icelandic. Having clear pronunciation also helps you to understand others. As an additional benefit, you’ll learn some things about the pronunciation of other languages and understand why you pronounce things the way you do (this is important to know what to do).
This course uses two books:
- Íslenska fyrir alla 3 as our textbook. Students can consult this textbook electronically for free, but it is recommended to have a copy to be able to write on it. If you live in Iceland, you can buy it from Bóksala stúdenta ready to use. Since its distribution is free, students who live in other countries will receive a link to the PDF so they can have it printed and bound at a copy center.
- Icelandic Grammar Step by Step. Exercise book A1-A2 by Stefan Drabek. This is a grammar exercise book you can use from Icelandic 1 to Icelandic 4. If you live in Iceland, you can buy it from Bóksala stúdenta for your convenience. If you live in another country, you can buy it from the author’s website (products ship from Germany; there are no customs fees if you live in the EU; for other countries, you can ask the author or consult your local authorities). Students do these exercises independently as the book has an answer key, and they are expected to finish 75% of this book when they finish Icelandic 3.
Students pay for their materials.
✅ 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 recipe database in Icelandic so that you can test your cooking skills and Icelandic at the same time. The key you will receive will work throughout the course and until thirty days after the last class, but depending on when you sign up and Snara renews our key, you may have access for an entire year. Save up to ISK 7,776 (ca. EUR 53) yearly.
✅ Bonus #2: A native revisor will correct your homework
As the number of students has grown and I teach more classes per week, it’s become more difficult for me to keep up with my students’ assignments. A native revisor can do this much quicker, which means you will receive personal feedback earlier. Value: ISK 10,000 (ca. EUR 68).
✅ Bonus #3: Planning tool so you can succeed 🚀
Many students have good intentions and want to work on their own. However, the course flies by, and 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 (listening to podcasts, watching movies and series in Icelandic, etc.) Value: ISK 10,000 (ca. EUR 68).
✅ Bonus #4: A list of resources in Icelandic you can enjoy on your own 📺📓
You will receive a PDF with links to resources to watch Icelandic movies, films, series, etc. You’ll also find out where you can find free e-books in Icelandic or how to buy e-books in Icelandic for your e-book reader (Kindle). Value: ISK 14,000 (ca. EUR 95).
✅ Bonus #5: An accountability buddy 👦👩
All students are matched to another student with whom they share their progress and what they have done every week. An accountability buddy helps you keep accountable and motivates you to do more. Many people set New Year’s resolutions, such as learning a language, but only 8% achieve their goal. An accountability partner turns the odds in your favor as they hold you accountable for your goals. Many start a course, and it seems that they’re suddenly in the last class and haven’t done as much as they wanted. Value: ISK 14,000 (ca. EUR 95).
Next round: live classes start on Friday, May 5th, 2023
- Live classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
- Hours: 21:00-21:00 CEST (Central European Summer Time). It equals 19:00-19:55 GMT (Icelandic time). You can use this converter if you don’t know what time it is in your time zone.
- The equivalent of five students must 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 to start.
- 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.
This round starts on May 5th, 2023, 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 classes then. From experience with other students, I know that many employers in Iceland are willing to allow some flexibility or that lessons become part of the work schedule. Many employers are interested in you learning Icelandic.
🟢 Our calendar:
Start and end dates are flexible. Officially, we should start on Friday, May 5th, 2023, and finish sometime by the end of July or the beginning of August. I regularly check our courses’ progress to have realistic forecasts about when the course will finish and we can start the next one.
Several factors can affect the dates, such as adding extra classes to finish the base materials (at no cost), technical problems, sick days, the teacher’s personal and professional commitments, and catching up with holidays or high days, among other things.
In the same way there is flexibility and students will receive free extra classes if necessary so that we can finish the materials, it is expected that students will be flexible about dates. Mastering a language takes 2,000-3,000 hours, which means it is no use to get frustrated because the end date changes a few weeks or a month. Students can also use the recordings in case that expanding the course or a delay doesn’t allow them to attend some classes (many students travel during the course, and this works for them).
I follow Castile and Leon’s (Spain) school calendar and Burgos’s (Spain) work calendar. As this course will start in May 2023, these are the most relevant dates for holidays and non-school days (in the case of a range of dates, both days are included):
- Curpillos: June 16th.
- St. Peter + holiday: June 29th-30th.
- Holidays: July 4th-7th.
- Holidays (unconfirmed): July 26th-August 6th
There can also be administrative days. I take administrative days when I launch rounds of other courses or have pending work that requires canceling classes. Administrative days usually take a full day, and classes are canceled. There shouldn’t be many, but in any case, don’t worry, because you’ll have plenty of work 🙂, which means you won’t be stuck. I’ll be available to you via email on those days for any questions you may have.
How much is the course? With all the bonuses, the value of this course is up to ISK 93,776 or EUR 637. But you don’t have to pay that.
ISK 93,776 or EUR 637 ISK 38,000 or EUR 258
The course has 31 55-minute classes and costs ISK 38,000 or €258.
💰 Grants, easy payment terms, and promotions
If you live in Iceland:
ℹ All employees in Iceland are unionized, and most unions offer reimbursements for courses their members take. So far, I know unions Báran, BHM, Efling, Hlíf, and VR refund students, and many more unions may do. Ask your union about your situation and 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 course price, so hopefully, money is not an obstacle for anyone who lives in Iceland and wants to learn Icelandic. Check with your union or other institution if you live in another country. You may be able to access some scholarships.
Putting grants in perspective: with a 75% refund, the 31-lesson course would cost ISK 9,500 (each class would be ISK 306); with a 50% refund, the course would cost ISK 19,000 (about ISK 613 per class).
If you live in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and the US, and you can’t access any grant, you can pay in no-interest installments with Affirm, Afterpay/Clearpay, Klarna, and PayPal (I can only offer to pay in installments with PayPal to students in Spain). To do so, choose to pay by card in euros in the form below. When I see your application, I’ll send you a link in which you’ll be able to choose your favorite payment method. Filling in the signup form doesn’t commit you to anything. Because of this, it is an excellent way to get in touch and see which discounts or easy payment terms you can access. There is a text field you can use to explain your situation (where you live, if you’ll take this course with more people, and anything else you consider relevant).
If you live in another country, you can write me to see which payment methods are available (some may let you pay in installments). Fill in the signup form below (it doesn’t commit you to anything) and tell me about your situation (among other things, in which country you live). I have also implemented a grant program for students outside Iceland and Spain. The idea is that the course price is in line with the prices in other countries according to an economic indicator. You’ll need to submit proof of residence. Not all students in other countries will receive a grant because, for example, it doesn’t make sense to give grants to students in Luxembourg, one of the wealthiest countries in the world. You can also email me or message me on Messenger, and I’ll provide you with information without any commitments. Using these grants excludes other promotions (incompatibility).
For all countries: if you find it difficult to pay the tuition all at once, you can use a credit card or consumer credit that lets you divide the payment or pay later. Ask your usual financial institution.
Bring a friend who hasn’t even been our student, and both of you will receive a 10% discount (for both of your first signups or your next one; both of you must pay at the same time or as we see fit). This plan is incompatible with other discounts and the grants I offer. If you can benefit from two or more promotions/grants, I’ll help you choose the most convenient one.
Families that study Icelandic together have a 10% discount for each signup. We’ll apply this discount as long as at least another relative is in the courses. This plan covers relatives up to the fourth degree (parents and children; grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings; uncles and aunts, nieces and nephews, great-grandparents and great-grandchildren, 1st-degree cousins, and great uncles/aunts). This plan is incompatible with other discounts and the grants I offer. If you can benefit from two or more promotions/grants, I’ll help you choose the most convenient one.
Couples who study Icelandic together have a 10% discount on their signups as long as one of them is a student in our courses. This plan is incompatible with other discounts and the grants I offer. If you can benefit from two or more promotions/grants, I’ll help you choose the most convenient one.
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 five students have paid). Places are granted depending on who makes the reservation earlier (on a first-come, first-served 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 for the person leaving.
- This course is offered on-demand and finishes when the 31 classes are over. There is no official end date.
- 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. If no teacher is available, if the course’s dates need an extension, the teacher will try to find a solution taking into account the students’ schedules 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 ask 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 a feature to raise your hand). If you are in a situation where this is impossible, the teacher offers private lessons that could better fit your needs. 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 student’s expulsion from that class or the course (no refund).
- If no student shows up, the teacher will teach the class with no students. The students will be able to watch the recording afterward.