I have learned more Danish in half a year than Irish after 14 years
Paul Gordon came to Denmark to visit a couple of Danish friends whom he met at the University in Dublin. He told his parents that he would just be gone for a week. Now he has been here for over two years. He fell for Copenhagen, and the many opportunities life in Denmark offers. And attending the Danish education at UCplus has helped a lot.
It is very important to Paul that he learns Danish properly, so he turns up for Danish classes at UCplus’ language center in Gyldenløvesgade in Copenhagen every Saturday morning.
It is the teaching here that makes the difference
It was a huge surprise for Paul Gordon that he could already use his Danish after just half a year. He hadn’t expected that because his previous experiences with learning languages had had completely different results.
“I’ve been learning Irish for 14 years, but I still can’t speak Irish,” Paul says with a laugh. But he also knows what it is that has made the difference.
“At UCplus, we already started practising to speak Danish in the first lesson! I had never tried that before. When I was learning Irish and French at school, it took years before we tried speaking because we had to learn all the grammar first.”
Danish lessons help with everyday situations
The Official Danish education is not only about mastering the language, the lessons also include knowledge of Danish history and culture. And in Paul Gordon’s opinion, this is definitely an advantage. During the Danish course he is attending, he has covered topics such as the Danish Parliament and the role of trade unions in Danish society. And especially the latter has given him useful knowledge.
“I am glad that I have learned about trade unions in the lessons. I understand what it means to be a member and what my rights are. And it helped me when I had to talk to my own trade union here in Copenhagen and had to fill in various forms.”
Paul has just started Module 5, and he is looking forward to learning more about politics in general. Like the rest of the class, he has the PD3 exam in his sights right now. But he is also interested in continuing with Module 6 to become even better at Danish.
Paul’s advice: Take every opportunity to speak Danish
Paul knows why he has learned to speak Danish so quickly – because he tries to speak Danish as often – and as much as possible.
Since his job takes up his time during the week, he has chosen to attend Danish team classes every Saturday morning. When he has told others that he attends lessons on Saturdays, he has experienced that quite a few people are surprised that he spends weekend time on it. But for Paul, it’s the only right thing to do. In the same way as he practices speaking Danish with his girlfriend and her parents, and with the Danish friends he has.
“For me, it’s about taking all the opportunities in which I can speak Danish. It is about being willing to go out and meet up with people. Because the more people you talk to, the better you get at speaking Danish.
I have agreed with my girlfriend’s parents that we only speak Danish when we are at their house. At first, I only understood a few words, but now it’s fine and I can follow the conversations.
I also meet with my Danish friends to practice my Danish. They help me improve because they tell me when I make mistakes. Or they explain which words I need to use if I’m at a loss for words. If you want to learn Danish, you have to prioritize it.”
The Danish education helps you become good at Danish
UCplus offers the three official Danish courses, which give you access to official tests and a good start in Denmark. The education is offered at 3 levels, each of which consists of 6 modules. You will be offered to start at exactly the level that suits the number of years of schooling you have and your qualifications.
In the first 2 modules of all 3 Danish courses, we focus mostly on oral skills and on getting you ready to speak Danish at your job and in your education. In the following modules, you will gradually get better at speaking, reading, listening and writing in Danish.