Garance Merholz

Let's Chat and Play |  “So much better for picking up pronunciation”

 “I think it really accelerates the learning to practice in this comfortable setting because most of the time it would take me months before I was confident enough to speak up while learning a language”

says Garance Merholz from France, a regular guest at the Reykjavík City Library‘s program, Let's Chat and play in Icelandic or Spilum og Spjöllum. The program takes place three times a month at three different libraries, Grófin (downtown), Gerðuberg (Breiðholt neighbourhood) and Spöngin (Grafarvogur neighbourhood). It's free, open to everybody, regardless of Icelandic level. No need to sign up,  just show up.

Practice with people in real life
When asked what are her biggest obstacles to learning Icelandic, Garance says she is an absolute beginner so right now, everything about Icelandic is difficult for her.

“And moving here was very expensive, so I cannot afford the paid courses for now. I am really missing people to practice with in real life, so Chat and Play is really perfect!”

Board games good icebreakers
The teachers at the events have years of experience teaching Icelandic as a second language. In the program at the Library they use all kinds of board games as icebreakers to have guests practice speaking the language in a relaxed setting.

“I really enjoy the relaxed and playful aspect, even though we are mostly playing simple games targeted at young children to learn words, the animators always make it really fun!

Garance Merholz

Less afraid to try to speak up
According to Garance, Spilum og Spjöllum is different from other language programs she has tried:

“First of all because it is in person which is so much better for picking up pronunciation and more colloquial phrases, compared to the online resources I found; and also because it is much more casual than any formal language class I've been to, so I'm much less afraid to try, speak up, really practice the language and ask a lot of questions.”

Want to go to all of the events
Garance has already attended Spilum og Spjöllum at all three libraries where it‘s offered.

“Chat and play is actually fun with the games and chats, which makes me want to come to all of them, not like formal classes where I sometimes skip because it gets to feel obligating and boring!”

The library in Spöngin is Garance's favorite one, with the natural light and good atmosphere, but she also likes Grófin downtown with the large selection of books in foreign languages.
It's worth mentioning that there is also a good selection of books in other languages than Icelandic in Gerðuberg.

Here you can read more about Spilum og Spjöllum and see the fall 2022 program.