Danish Classes

Each week the Danish classes will explore a particular theme relevant to Danish culture and society.

WEEK 1 –

Prepare for a deeper understanding of the Danish society when listening to Associate Professor Poul Erik Flyvholm, School of communication, University of Aarhus. His lecture will provide you with knowledge of 10 chosen values that shaped the Danish society and give you an understanding of the norms that have developed among us through generations.  

This week will also welcome a visit to Kongernes Jelling where you can experience our ancestors, the Vikings, and their way of living.  

Main objective
To facilitate contact between the students and Danish families in order to experience a direct and personal meeting with ”Denmark and the Danes”.

Content/items of language instruction
Personal introductions and life stories will serve as points of departure for the teaching of Danish. Students will be working with self-introductions, everyday life conversations and the meeting of cultures from the perspectives of language, knowledge and personal experience.   Week 1 concludes with students’ written assignment and oral presentations of their individual projects titled ”Portraits of a Dane”.  For the projects, the students will make a characterization of a Dane they have met, a contemporary celebrity, or a historical figure of their own choice.

WEEK 2 –

Imagine how it would be to work and live in Denmark. Visiting a Danish company not only gives you an insight of the company and its background. Meeting foreign speaking employees here will give you an idea of how it is to work and live in Denmark.   

Experience the cultural sites, Aros Museum of Art located in Aarhus, and Godsbanen, a cultural powercenter in Aarhus. Godsbanen is the diverse and opportunities space in Aarhus. Founded in the old goods yard in 2012 it welcomes all kinds of activities such as theater, a cafe, project offices and small companies. Seeing the architecture is worth a visit in itself 

Main objective
To illustrate how art, design and architecture in the local environment contribute to the narrative about Denmark, Danish values and the population’s enthusiasm for both minimalism and so-called ‘’hygge”. 

Language instruction
Focus is set on cityscapes and how living conditions and Danish society have developed in tandem over time. The students’ perceptions of Denmark will guide the discussion as we look at ”Denmark from without”, referring to visual artefacts, design and architecture. We will also examine the Danish notion of ”hygge” and approaches to design as they come into expression in contemporary cityscapes. The week concludes with students’ written assignment and oral presentations of their individual projects titled “Living in Denmark”. The projects may be concerned with Danish works of art, design or architecture that students have encountered, or read or heard about. 

WEEK 3 –

Discover Grundtvig and his thinking about providing ordinary people with insight into conditions that enabled them to participate in community life. In this context, you will be informed about the function that “højskoler” have in today’s Danish society.
Visit the Town Hall and be guided in how Danish democracy works in practice. Here you will meet some local politicians making you discover how democracy is organized at national and local levels. Also prepare for a prison journey experiencing how the idea of detention has changed in the field of criminal policy. 

As this is the last week of the course, we hope to settle a fun and cozy experience for everyone. 

Main objective
To give insights into how Danish literature and music reflect the development of Danish democracy built on a foundation of free speech, moral standards and equal opportunity.

Language instruction
We take point of departure in both earlier and modern Danish literature and music, exemplified by Hans Christian Andersen, Benny Andersen and Tove Ditlevsen, traditional songs and the national anthem. We will also discuss the significance of modern pop music and journalism. We practice Danish phrases, pronunciation and language in use and also experiment with literary analysis and interpretation within a Danish social and cultural context. Week 3 concludes with students’ individual or group presentations where students present their analysis of a literary work or a piece of music.