230 immigrants will take an Icelandic language test next month, as part of the process of applying for citizenship, Vísir reports. The tests are given twice a year, in June and December, and cost 7,000 ISK.
The language test is a relatively new requirement for citizenship, having only gone into effect earlier this year. The tests themselves are conducted by Námsmat, under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice. According to their website, the tests are pass-fail, and will test to see such abilities as “possess[es] a sufficient vocabulary to be able to participate in conversations on familiar subjects” and “able to identify the main points of media coverage, television and radio broadcasts, on familiar subjects”
As in most other countries. that newcomers gain proficiency in the national language is important to locals and immigrants alike. For immigrants, because it helps take a greater part in daily life as well as find a better paying job; for Icelanders, because the small size of the nation makes many feel that preserving the language needs great attention.