The Smart Method

Lessons with a Smart Dansk teacher is different from traditional language lessons. Our methods have been developed since 2015, and is constantly being refined, with an eye to the latest second language acquisition research. With the Smart Dansk Method learning Danish is much quicker than with traditional methods.

Not just learning about Danish

Lessons are highly individualized, and revolve around the conversation. There are no typical grammar exercises, since second language acquisition research has shown that traditional grammar exercises are close to worthless, when the aim is to learn a language, rather than learning about the language. This distinction is vital, although often overlooked by language teachers, since language teachers tend to be fascinated by grammar, which they should be. However, insisting on giving the language learning typical grammar exercises is misguided. Instead, the Smart Dansk teacher will engage the student in a natural conversation, while being aware of the linguistic problem issues, which will be pointed out when there is a learning moment for this.

The 1:1 advantage

There are countless advantages with private lessons compared to a classroom setting. The obvious one is how much time each student interact with the teacher and how much time the student actually talks. In the classroom the attention of the teacher is divided between 10-20 students, rather than being exclusively dedicated to one student and their specific learning needs.

a) Classroom with the teacher being the center of attention and the students having about 3 minutes of teacher attention and time to talk. b) Private lesson with the student and the Smart Dansk teacher in an engaging dialog, where the student is given plenty of time to experiment with the Danish language in a safe environment.

With a few minutes of teacher attention in the classroom learning is slow, and there is a great risk of mistakes not being corrected which leads to fossilization, which are mistakes that are habituated and later will become hard to change. In private lessons the student gets to talk about ten times as much per hour, with immediate feedback from the teacher. This prevents fossilization and bad language habits to form.

The interpreter brain

In 2016, Smart Dansk began experimenting with a new language learning exercise based on research on how the brains of interpreters differ from “normal brains”, including the brains of highly proficient language learners. Over the years, these initial experiments have matured, and are now a stable of the Smart Dansk method which greatly accelerate the language learning. Below is a TED Ed video explaining some of the training an interpreter must go through, which is somewhat similar to some of the Smart Dansk practices.

Language learning consultant

Having a good teacher when learning a language is essential, since the good teacher will know what to focus on at any given moment to facilitate the language development. Knowing this and being able to provide the student with the best possible materials to work on between lessons is a must. For this reason the Smart Dansk teacher is more akin a consultant than a traditional teacher.