Course Syllabus


Language and Culture in Denmark

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Semester & Location:

Fall 2021 - DIS Copenhagen

Tuesday & Friday

8:30 - 9:50

Class room: F24 203

Type & Credits:

Elective Course - 3 credits



Corequisite Course: Child Development and Education in Scandinavia
Course Instructor:

Nina Honoré Lahav 

Program Director:

Andreas Brøgger

Assistant Program Director

Anna Sommer, 

Padlet Padlet link

Description of Course

This course is an integrated language and culture course. We will study different aspects of Danish culture and we will operate with a complex view on culture through various representations. The focus will be on dominant national narratives, values, and symbolism, which we will approach from both a historical and contemporary perspective. 

When studying the Danish language, we will employ a functional approach. The course will focus on spoken everyday Danish, reading comprehension and basic grammar, and in the CDD classes we will include vocabulary, especially, aimed at your needs in practicum.   

The course will explore how culture is reflected in language. By analyzing keywords and concepts and applying appropriate etiquette, you learn how to navigate in a foreign culture.

An important component of the course will be your own observations and critical analysis.

Learning Objectives

  • Acquire a higher level of cultural awareness
  • Acquire knowledge and overall understanding of Danish history, culture, and society.
  • Be able to speak, read and understand Danish on a basic level
  • Get an understanding of the connection between language and culture


Nina Honoré Lahav is a Master of Teaching Danish as a Second Language from University of Århus 2001. Bachelor in English and Spanish Business Language from Copenhagen Business School 1992. Nina Honoré Lahav studied Hebrew in Israel in 1993-95. Nina took courses (linguistics & psychology) at Harvard University 1996-97. Nina has been with DIS since 2001.



On Canvas, you can find podcasts that you can use to practice vocabulary, phrases, and pronunciation. In the textbook DIS DANSK, they are marked with a little headphone symbol. The podcasts can be found on Canvas under Danish Language Resources, Modules.

DIS has a subscription to Ordbogen, a Danish-English/English-Danish online dictionary. Go to and follow the instructions you will receive by email from


Required readings

Inge Adriansen, National Symbols

Alexander, The Danish Way of Parenting

Michael Billig, National Identity in the World of Nations

Bo Lidegaard, Prologue 1849-1901

Bo Lidegaard, Countrymen

Jørgen Carlsen, The Danish Folk High School

Claire Kramsh, The Relationship between Language and Culture

Feilberg, Messel and Stout, Fighting for the Flag

Gert Tinggaard Svendsen, Trust

Richard Jenkins, Where the Crows Turn

Knud Jespersen, Church and Culture

Knud Jespersen, A tribe or a nation?

Christiane Tjalve, Bird Flight

Jester Trollet Linnet, Money can't by me Hygge


Thomas Vinterberg; Festen (The Celebration)

Thomas Vinterberg; Kollektivet (The Commune)

Thomas Vinterberg; Jagten (The Hunt)

Thomas Vinterberg; Druk (Another Round)

Online sources

Grundtvig: Interview with Clay Warren, author of an extensive biography about Grundtvig: The School for Life: N.F.S. Grundtvig on the Education for the People ( Folk High Schools, Adult Education, and the Philosophy of Nikolaj Grundtvig

Kids Gone Wild: Documentary produced by Journeyman Pictures, a leading independent supplier of award winning stories. The Danish School Where Children Play With Knives

Trust: Trust and Safety in Denmark

What is a Folk High School? : What is a Folk High School?


Field Studies 

We have three Field Studies in this class. The purpose of the Field Studies is to use Copenhagen as our extended DIS classroom. (For details see study plan).

  • Field Study 1: Gilleleje I WWII and the Jewish Escape I October 20 at 8:30am-12:30am.
  • Field study 2: Bagdad in Copenhagen I Tivoli Gardens I September 23 6pm-9pm.
  • Field study 3: School visit I December 1, 1pm-5pm.


Approach to Teaching and Expectations of the Students

The teaching style of this class is interactive. You are expected to actively participate in class discussions, to have done the readings and other homework, and come to class with notes, questions and relevant observations.

Learning a language is hard work and requires a lot of commitment. The ambition is to create a classroom culture in which everyone feels at ease trying to pronounce the unfamiliar Danish sounds and words.

Engaged participation is an integrated part of class and will be a large part of the course evaluation. Participating in class discussion requires a high level of preparation and a voluntary contribution of knowledge and ideas. In addition, when speaking Danish or discussing the connection between language and culture it is important to meet the level of preparation required to be an active participant.


Through the semester there will be different graded/ungraded quizzes, worksheets, presentations and assignments as a part of the overall evaluation of your work and participation in class.




Engaged Participation


Cultural Assignments


Written Exam


Oral Exam


The grades are based on the rubrics found in Canvas under Danish Language Resources, Modules.

Academic Regulations  

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on: 


DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia -


Course Summary:

Date Details Due