24 June 2013

Last day of school at the Danish course

Intro Danish

First class of Danish language students, all international employees, have had their last day of school.

Intro Danish

It’s a hot Friday in June; 15 young men in a small classroom at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences are playing bingo. Winners are rewarded with a cream puff – if they can pronounce the winning numbers in Danish. And that is the challenge.

"They were really good at the numbers today”, says the satisfied teacher Katja Aarosin Laursen, who praises the students for their commitment. Since March 1st they have been attending the language school every Friday in the small classroom on the fourth floor. Plus online exercises every Wednesday.

The 15 students have finished the first of five modules. Teaching continues in late August, with shorter and more intensive modules. Their teacher gave them homework for the summer holidays: Speak Danish.

"That will be difficult,” says postdoc Giovanni Gandini, participating in the course. "I don’t meet many Danes. My colleagues and neighbours here at the department are non-Danish postdocs. So it's difficult to get an opportunity to speak Danish, "says Giovanni. But he says that his written Danish has improved - and he praises the teacher.

Katja Årosin Laursen

Katja Aarosin Laursen comes from CIP, UCHP’s Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use. CIP is responsible for organizing these language courses for international staff. Courses are funded by the City of Copenhagen as "work related Danish course".

"It's a win-win situation for all parties; the department houses the language school and find the participants, and our new international employees are served Danish lessons here on site," says Katja Thorseth, administration manager at MATH. "We use it to promote social integration and – in the long term - make some of them able to teach in Danish."

MATH focuses on the Danish language skills this year. In addition to courses in "Intro Danish", the department offers small conversation classes to the employees who speak Danish on a basic level. The conversation classes focuses on building a vocabulary about mathematics and MATH, making it possible for employees to talk about their research and work in Danish.

A new beginner's course for employees will start in September. Questions on courses to kat@math.ku.dk

Danish course