New type of Icelandic course a success Skip to content

New type of Icelandic course a success

A highly successful work-related Icelandic course organized by the City of Reykjavík in October was offered to foreign born employees working at Dalbraut 27, which houses service apartments for pensioners.

The employees who took part in the course work in the kitchen and laundry room of the service apartment complex and as social assistants and caretakers. They come from Tanzania, Vietnam, Lithuania, Kosovo, Ghana, Thailand, The Philippines and Nigeria.

This type of work-related language course had never been organized by the City of Reykjavík before. It focuses on the daily life and the environment of the workplace, and helps the employees deal with common problems and misunderstanding related to Icelandic language and culture.

“I would definitely recommend such language courses to other employers,” Líney Úlfarsdóttir told Úlfarsdóttir is a psychologist at the City of Reykjavík, and took part in organizing the course.

“We have noticed an immense difference in our employees’ knowledge of Icelandic and in their confidence when speaking the language. We are already planning a new course in January,” Úlfarsdóttir adds.

The course was taught by Halldóra Thorláksdóttir from the Intercultural Center in Reykjavík, in four 90-minute sessions each week during October.

“My Icelandic improved a lot after the course,” Fatmira Hoda from Kosovo told “I have added many words to my vocabulary and I am determined to learn more.”

Hoda moved to Iceland in 1997, where she met her husband, who is also from Kosovo and has lived in Iceland since 1992. They now have two children and live in the western part of Reykjavík.

“While the children were small I just stayed at home and didn’t learn any Icelandic. After that I started working at Hótel Saga, but everyone spoke English there, which I don’t understand,” Hoda says.

She began working as a caretaker at Dalbraut 27 in 2002. “My colleagues are great and so are the residents; they help me by correcting my Icelandic. I also learn the language from my husband and children,” Hoda adds.

The end of the course was celebrated last Wednesday at Dalsbraut 27. Participants received gifts and certificates, and demonstrated their improved knowledge of Icelandic by reading poems by Davíd Stefánsson, one of Iceland’s most treasured poets. “I was a little bit nervous, but the pensioners were happy with my poetry-reading,” Hoda explained.

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