- Introductions (knowing how to say your name, 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 asking when something happens or what part of the day).
- Work (professions, opinions), talk about what you or others 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
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 2. So, you will get started in the following skills (which you will hone in Icelandic 2).
The general description of the A1 level as it appears on Wikipedia is this:
- 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.
My name is Fernán González Domingo, and I teach this Icelandic course. I hold a BA in Icelandic as a Second Language, a three-year diploma as a 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 (validation of my teacher diploma from Spain). I am also a sworn translator from Icelandic into Spanish (Icelandic certification). I have been an interpreter for multinationals and in public services in Iceland (hospitals, health clinics, schools, municipal service centers, police stations, courts, etc.)
I have years of experience as a teacher, both on my own and as an employee, and have worked as a freelancer since 2012. I am always studying a language (or something else, to remind me what being a learner is) and learning about Second Language Acquisition to improve my training as a teacher. I no longer translate or interpret; all my work (full-time) is in the language education sector—more information.
Why should you take this Icelandic course with me?
Because I have walked the path you have in front of you and reached professional proficiency in Icelandic.
Derek Sivers (former student and TED speaker) left this comment:
«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. Everyone can learn Icelandic, 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 progress significantly. 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 experienced the process you will go through. This makes a difference because, in the end, the materials you will see are similar, but understanding the learning process and developing attitudes that will help you learn matters the most. 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.
Besides teaching you Icelandic in class, I’ll help you 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 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 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; you need clear Icelandic. Having clear pronunciation also helps you to understand others. As an additional benefit, you’ll learn 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 Icelandic course uses:
– Íslenska fyrir alla 1 as its textbook. Students can view it electronically for free, but having a copy to write on is recommended. If you live in Iceland, Bóksala stúdenta sells this book, already bound. If you live in another country, I recommend having it printed and bound at a copy center (I’ll send you the PDF before you start the course).
Students buy their materials (the tuition doesn’t include them).
- Live classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
- Hours: 19:00-19:55 CEST/CET. The official timezone for this course is Central European (Summer) Time. This means that for Iceland students, the hours will be from 17:00 to 17:55 until the end of October. After that date, the EU changes the clock, and the Icelandic time will be 18:00-18:55. If you live in another country, check this converter for summertime and this one for winter. Not every country changes the time (the case of Iceland). Nothing will change for countries that change the clock on the exact dates as the EU, but please note that some countries/states do it on different dates than the EU. Contact me if you have any questions. In any case, Google Calendar will handle everything and show you the right time for each class.
- 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.
- 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 October 2, 2023, and finishes when we finish the 32 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. From experience with other students, many employers in Iceland are willing to allow some flexibility or that lessons are included in the work schedule as many employers are interested in you learning Icelandic.
🟢 Guidelines about the course’s calendar:
Start and end dates are flexible. We should officially start on October 2, 2023, and finish on December 13 if the course had no pauses. However, Icelandic 1 will take a few weeks more: there are public holidays, I still owe myself a free week from last year, and I still have this year’s two free weeks (I may take some of these before Icelandic 1). I regularly check each course’s progress to forecast when one course finishes and the next starts realistically. We should finish by mid-January.
More factors can affect the dates, such as when the group needs more classes (at no cost) to finish the official material, technical issues, sick days, the teacher’s personal or professional commitments, etc.
In the same way that there is flexibility and students will receive free extra classes if necessary to finish the official material, the teacher expects students to be flexible regarding dates. Learning a language takes about 2,000 hours, so getting frustrated because a date changes a few weeks or months is useless. One of this course’s features is that students can watch the recordings of the classes, which can help if the course’s extension happens when you are traveling (many of my students travel during the course, and this works for them).
Nevertheless, if you have much availability and can do more than the official material, I can assign you more materials to help you solidify what you’ve learned and keep moving forward.
- Teacher’s Day: October 13.
- All Saints’ Day: November 1.
- Constitution Day & Feast of the Immaculate Conception: December 6th-8th.
- Christmas holidays: December 23 – January 7.
- Add up to three weeks of holidays, and we should finish by mid-January.
How much is this Icelandic course? With all the bonuses, the value of this course is up to ISK 98,900 or EUR 671. But you don’t have to pay that.
98 900 ISK o 671 € 39,500 ISK o 267 €
The course has 32 55-minute classes and a cost of ISK 39,500 (or EUR 267).
Contract conditions for this Icelandic course
- Students pay for the course in advance, and the payment formalizes the reservation of a seat. Students will receive an invoice and receipt in their email as proof of charge 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 course’s fixed costs unless other students are on the waiting list and 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.
- We offer this course on-demand, which ends when the 32 classes are over or when we finish the material if we need more classes. There is no official end date.
- The teacher of this Icelandic course is Fernán González Domingo. Still, in case of illness or due to professional or personal commitments, another teacher can replace him at those times. In case 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, we ask you 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. Still, if there is noise, you must turn your microphone off (or we’ll do it for you; you can turn it on again to participate at any point). The virtual classroom has a feature to raise your hand. Private classes may fit your needs better if your situation makes participation impossible. 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.
💰 Grants and easy payment terms
If you live in Iceland:
ℹ All employees in Iceland are unionized, and most unions offer reimbursements for courses taken by their members. Ask your union about your situation and how much you could receive before signing up for the course. If you need the invoices in 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. With the grants and all the bonuses, it’s almost like getting paid for learning Icelandic 😉.
Putting grants in perspective: with a 75% refund, the 32-lesson course would cost ISK 9,875 (each class would be ISK 309); with a 50% refund, the course would cost ISK 19,750 (about ISK 617 per class).
Check with your union or other institution. You may have access to some scholarships. I also offer scholarships (partial grants) for students in some countries.
If you can’t access any grant from your union or other institution, these options can help:
- Students in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Finland, France, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, the US can use buy now pay later options that let them pay in 3-4 installments without interest (selecting more installments may add interest) through Affirm, Afterpay/Clearpay, Klarna, PayPal (only Spain) and Zip. The availability of these platforms depends on your location and the currency for the payment. Let me know if you need any accommodations to use these services (such as using another currency). I’ll see if it’s possible 🙂. Filling in the form doesn’t commit you to anything. It can be an excellent opportunity to get in touch and see what’s available.
- If you live outside Iceland, besides the buy now pay later plans, I also have partial grants for students in certain countries. The idea is that the course’s price is in line with the prices in other countries, according to an economic index. You’ll need to prove you live in the country you say you live in. Not all students from other countries receive grants because, for example, it wouldn’t make sense to give a grant to someone living in Luxembourg, one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Feel free to fill in the form (no commitments); we can go from there. You can also email me or send me a line on Messenger, and I’ll provide more information. Using these grants excludes other promotions. If there are different promotions and discounts available, I’ll help you choose the best one.
- Remember that if it is hard to pay at once, you can use a credit card or consumer credit. Ask your bank or another institution that provides loans (but please avoid falling into a credit trap).
Bring a friend
Bring a friend who has never been our student, and both of you will receive a 10 % off discount. You must pay at the same time (depending on the situation, a different time could be ok). This promotion/discount excludes any other promotion/discount. If you could benefit from various promotions/discounts, I’ll help you choose the best one.
Family members who learn Icelandic together have a 10 % off for each signup as long as at least another relative is enrolled. “Family” covers up to fourth-degree relatives (parents and children; grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings; uncles and aunts, great-grandparents and great-grandchildren, first cousins and great-uncles and great-aunts). This promotion/discount excludes any other promotion/discount. If you could benefit from different promotions/discounts, I’ll help you choose the best one.
Bring your partner
As long as both of you are enrolled, you’ll have 10% off your signups. This promotion/discount excludes any other promotion/discount. If you could benefit from different promotions/discounts, I’ll help you choose the best one.