Quick questions for Daniel

Daniel is a Swedish teacher here at Swedish Made Easy. He teaches all levels, from 14962990_10154660030213735_856244307_nbeginner to advanced. He comes from Göteborg in Sweden (which he would adamantly argue is the best city in Sweden), and lives with his family in London, UK. He has worked in education for over 8 years, and taught Swedish since 2013. He has a real passion for languages and has helped to improve literacy levels of children in secondary schools in London (and even helped a school to set up a library!). He also writes books and short stories (check it out).

Here are 11 quick questions for Daniel!

1. Can you play any instruments?

I learned to play the guitar when I attended a music course at university. Wrote and composed a Gospel song called “Godissången” for the children’s musical we performed at the end of term. Radio stations across the world played it for years and years and … oh, right. That part was just a dream.

2. What was your favourite TV show when growing up?

Transformers, He-Man, and Star Fleet in the 1980s; X-files and Twin Peaks in the 1990s.

3. Favourite Swedish band?

I realised in 2000-2001 that my favourite band was Kent. Favourite “foreign” band is R.E.M.

4. Do you collect anything?

I had a strange fascination collecting postcards for a long time, but these days that obsession has changed to coffee mugs. I like drinking my fancy Italian coffee in style.

5. Choose a movie title for the story of your life.

A Life Less Ordinary.

6. What is the oldest thing in your fridge?

A frozen House elf from 1821. Mind you, the fridge is from the glorious year of 1816.

7. What, or who, are you a “closet” fan of?

Dolly Parton.

8. What is the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time?

I’m a member of a Swedish film site and record each new film I watch. So far, I’ve watched 2603 of them. The latest one was Independence Day: Resurgence, which I gave a solid 1 (out of 5).

9. Favourite film?

Are you crazy? There are too many to pick from! Help! Okay, okay, depends on the genre. Overall I’d go with the original 12 Angry Men.

10. What about a favourite Swedish film, then?

That’s very difficult too. I’ll go with a timeless classic comedy and say Att Angöra en Brygga. All my favourite Swedish actors gathered on an island to celebrate Midsummer, what can go wrong?

11. What are three things still left on your bucket list?

Publish books, travel outside Europe, and provide tools for my children to become decent and caring human beings.

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To book a lesson with Daniel or to check his availability, click on “Swedish with Daniel” on the booking system

Welcome Daniel – Swedish teacher

Swedish Made Easy is growing and we now have a new teacher onboard. I am very pleased to introduce Daniel Lind, who from now on will work as a Swedish teacher at Swedish Made Easy.

Daniel comes from Göteborg in Sweden, and lives with his family in London, UK. He has
worked in education for over 8 years, and worked with students of all ages. He has a real passion for languages and has helped to improve literacy levels of children in secondary schools in London (and even helped a school to set up a library!). He has taught Swedish to both children and adults since 2013. Daniel is also an author, and writes books and short stories in his free time (check it out!).

Daniel will be available for Skype Swedish lessons via the booking system, under “Swedish with Daniel”, and he teaches all levels – from beginner to advanced.

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How long to learn Swedish

Many students ask how long it takes to learn Swedish. I have previously written a longer blog post about it, but I have now also worked out a little rough guideline to how many hours it usually takes to reach each language level. This is a very rough estimate, and can vary considerably between individuals, but it may at least give an idea of what to expect.

How long it takes to learn Swedish will depend on a number of factors. Some of them are individual learning pace in general, previous knowledge of grammar (those with much knowledge tend to progress faster), how much homework the learner is able to do between lessons (faster if more homework), and also if the learner has any particular areas that they find challenging.

The calculation below is based my own students and how long people in general spend to reach each level. It takes into account whether the student is a slow, medium or fast learner, and also on how much time the learner spend doing homework and other things outside of the lessons. The more hours you spend learning outside of the tuition hours, the faster you will progress (and it will be cheaper for you too!).

The calculation is also roughly correlated to the guided learning hours according to Deutsche Welle for German, Cambridge English Language Assessment for English, and Alliance Française for French.

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This is in my opinion longer than most people need. My fastest student reached level A1 after only 17 hours tuition on Skype! But some students have needed at least double the time. 

Interview with a Swedish learner – Elena

Learn Swedish – interview with a learner

Elena has been living in Stockholm since January 2013. She worked in a Swedish telecom company in Russia and almost 3 years ago she was invited to work in Stockholm. It changed her life! She fell in love in Stockholm, with a swedish guy.
IMG_2484Elena’s first impressions of Stockholm was not so nice: darkness, cold, windy, introverted people, crazy salary day… But with each passing day and month, the city and the people in it slowly started to appear in a new way: the Swedes catching the rays of the sun on a bench in the park, colleagues who do not dare to take the last cookie during the fika, amazing Swedish Design and musicality, old family traditions and at the same time absolute freedom of expression. This may sound standard, Elena points out, but the studying the language help her to explore the country on a deeper level and feel at home.

What led you to want to learn Swedish?
I’d like to know the Swedish language to understand local culture, to use it for my job, to communicate with my husband’s family.

When and how did you start learning Swedish?
I started my journey with the Swedish language in the autumn of 2013. My first courses were with a Russian teacher. Now I am doing Skype lessons with Anneli.

How much do you currently use the Swedish language, and why?
I use Swedish language when I communicate with my husband’s family in Sweden and during informal meetings with my work collegues.

What have been the challenges for you in learning Swedish?
It is difficult for me to remember new words, to use partikelverb (phrasal verbs), the articles en and ett.

What is your proudest moment as a Swedish speaker?
I am proud to have an opportunity to communicate with my husband’s family. And my collegues were surprised when I suddenly answered them in Swedish!

Can you recommend any Swedish books that are good for learning Swedish?
Avancera ord, Se upp, Svensk grammatik med drillövningar och facit, books by Liza Marklund.

Can you recommend any online/media resources for learning Swedish?
Anki, Duolingo

Do you have any other advice for future, budding Swedish learners?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes!

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Click here to view availability and book your Swedish lessons!

Happy 10th anniversary!

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10 years ago, I started teaching my very first student. This was before Skype had gone mainstream and was only in its infancy. I was studying for my PhD, and I took on another couple of students – the idea of teaching Swedish was so much more appealing than working extra in a pub.

Since then, I have taught over 210 students, for more than 9,000 hours. I set up a website, an online booking system, social media profiles. I have become a qualified SWEDEX examiner. I have got a teaching degree (oh, and my PhD too of course!).

Some of you have popped in for a lesson or two, whereas some have now been with me for over 5 years. Some of you have studied intensively, some less frequently. Some of you have stopped and then come back again. Some of you now live in Sweden. Some of you have now got children. Some of you have lived in Sweden and now moved somewhere else. Some of you became sambo or got married. Some of you are now divorced. I have talked to teenagers and pensioners, men and women. I have talked to doctors, nurses, midwives, authors, IT programmers, students, lecturers, managing directors, editors, archaeologists, solicitors, store managers, computer game designers, psychologists, priests, football coaches, sales people, HR people, marketing people, embassy workers, postmen, economists, bankers, musicians, film makers, translators, dancers, dog kennel owners, marine biologists, veterinary surgeons, post docs, PhD students, pharmacists, recruiters, entrepreneurs, unemployed and more. I have taught via Skype from the UK, from Sweden, from the US. You have Skyped in from all over the world, into my little computer, across time zones and space.

I have taught Swedish conversation, grammar, pronunciation, culture and quirks. You have shared your life stories with me, taught me your culture, shared your experiences. We have together seen the fruits of your labour (and sometimes it has been hard), and I have been so proud of your progress. Like the first time you asked a Swede something on the streets and got a Swedish reply back. Like when you first watched a Swedish movie without subtitles. Like when you read your first Swedish book. Or managed your job interview in Swedish. And got employed. Like when you started speaking Swedish more regularly with your partner. All those little moments that have been so rewarding for us both.

Language builds bridges. Language builds cultural understanding. Language is integration. Thank you everyone who’s been with me on this journey so far. I have loved every minute!

Here’s to the next 10 years!

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How long does it take to learn Swedish?

One of the most common questions that I get, and rightly so, is how long it takes to learn Swedish. Unfortunately, it is really difficult to say how long it will take for someone to make a certain progress, as there are a number of factors that come in to play. Some of them are individual learning pace in general, previous knowledge of grammar (those with much knowledge tend to progress faster), how much homework the learner is able to do between lessons (faster if more homework), and also if the learner has any particular areas that they find challenging.

The course book that I work with for beginners, covers levels A1, A2, B1 and B2 (acc to the Common European Framework of References for Languages):

A1: Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

A2: Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

B1: Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

B2: Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

Cambridge ESOL said that each level is reached with the following guided learning hours:

A1: 80-120

A2: 180-200

B1: 350-400

B2: 500-600

C1: 700-800

C2: 1,000-1,200

This is in my opinion longer than most people need. My fastest student reached level A1 after only 17 hours tuition on Skype! But some students have needed at least double the time. 

More hours per week obviously means faster progress. But it is not only about simply ‘clocking up’ the hours and do nothing in between, it is very important to revise things – often! Apparently, we forget 80% of what we have learnt within 24 hours, unless we revise. It is recommended to revise once after 10 minutes, after 1 day, after 2 days, after 1 week and after 1 month. It is also recommended that you study in short sessions and often, rather than do longer sessions more seldom. So, in other words, it is better to do 1 hour a day, than a 7 hour-session once a week.

How do you tend to study? Do you have any tips? If so, do comment in the comment box below – many people find it inspiring to read about other people’s study techniques.

 

5 benefits of learning Swedish via Skype

Are you curious and like to be flexible? Are you interested in learning Swedish? Boy, do I have a service for you! Here are my top five reasons for why learning Swedish via Skype is so great.

1. Location

Learning online means you can learn a language even though there are no teachers available locally where you live. Generally speaking, it can be quite difficult to find a language teacher, unless you live in a major city that has language schools with your chosen language available. The other option is to travel to the country in question and do an intensive course, which is highly effective but may be on the expensive side for many learners. Therefore, learning through the internet means you can still go ahead and learn, regardless of where you live. This is particularly important for those learning less common languages, which can be hard to come by even in major cities.

2. Listening and speaking skills

Whereas some may see the lack of face-to-face tuition as something negative, my experience is that it can actually be beneficial for the learner. The learner automatically focuses more on listening to ‘the music of the language’, and the experience will be mainly auditory. This builds confidence for both speaking and listening, and it stops the learner relying on body language – which often happens when trying to communicating face-to-face. And in a sense, it is still face-to-face communication if you use the Webcam!

3. Using the chat box

In Skype, there are other features that can be used during a language lesson. Both learner and tutor can use the chat box in Skype in real-time, to check spelling and to emphasize other aspects. I often use the chat box to illustrate emphasis in words (only last week, I wrote to one learner to visually illustrate the emphasis of the word ‘studerar’ in Swedish, which is ‘stu-dEEEEEErar’). A few times I have had completely text-based sessions, where the learner and I have practiced writing to each other. I also use it every time I run conversational practice sessions with more fluent students, as I can type out new words as we go along and the learner can save the chat record to their computer after the session.

4. File transfers, sharing links and giving examples

Sitting in front of your computer means more flexibility. The tutor can instantly transfer files or documents that can be useful in addition to the lesson material. Both learner and tutor can share links and use images to exemplify meanings and concepts. A picture says more than 1,000 words, the saying goes, and I find it highly effective to sometimes be able to quickly find a picture on the internet that illustrate exactly what I mean. It also provides the learner with a more varied learning experience. This level of flexibility is not possible to the same extent in traditional ‘classroom’ tuition.

5. Saving time

Learning online saves time and money. Travelling cost is none. Travelling time is, if not completely eliminated, minimized to however long it takes to turn the computer on, or walk down the stairs to the office/kitchen/lounge, or wherever the computer is located.

 

20% off!

Hej!

As a little treat, and to kickstart the new year, I am unveiling a discount offer – ta ta dadaaaa:

10 lessons for £199 (British Pounds)

Terms and conditions:

–Payment for all 10 in advance

– Valid for 14 weeks from the first booked

The offer is valid for new students as well as students who have already studied with me. If you wish to grab this offer, then e-mail me to let me know, and then book your lessons here.

My other prices can be found here.

Swedish lessons and prices for 2013

It’s a new year and I have just updated my lesson offers, and even stuck in a discount offer – 20% off! – see below. Here is a guide to what I can offer:

Swedish beginner level A1-A2

• Introduction to Swedish for beginners
• Start speaking from first lesson
• Focus on speaking and listening
• Basic grammar with focus on sentence construction
• Material used: Rivstart A1+A2, Mål 1, Form i fokus A, online material, PP slides, audio clips, youtube videos

Swedish intermediate level B1-B2

• Widening of vocab
• Accent reduction, speaking confidence
• Intermediate grammar
• Material used: Rivstart B1+B2, Mål 2, Form i fokus B, online material, PP slides, audio clips, youtube videos

‘Speak like a Swede’

• Conversational practice
• Accent reduction
• Modern, everyday expressions (including slang)
• Material used: mainly conversational, music, videos, comic strips

Swedish at work

• Developing specialised, technical vocab
• Business etiquette (e-mail communication, phone calls, formal meetings etc)
• Presentation skills
• Accent reduction

Swedish at university

• Developing an ‘academic voice’
• Building a specialised vocab in your discipline
• Presentation skills
• Accent reduction

Holiday essentials

• 5 hours in total for £99 (British Pounds)
• Completely conversation-based
• Quick phrase-based learning of essential phrases for being out and about in Sweden:
– Greetings, 1 hour
– Travelling, 1 hour
– Shopping, 1 hour
– Eating, 1 hour
– Emergency, 1 hour

PRICES:

Day rate (7 pm – 6 pm UK time, Monday-Friday):
from £25 (GBP), appr: $40 (USD) / €32 (EUR) / 260 kr (SEK) per hour (for individual students. Groups start at £30 per hour.)

Evening rate (6 pm – 10 pm UK time, Monday-Wednesday):
from £30 (GBP), appr: $48 (USD) / €38 (EUR) / 315 kr (SEK) per hour (for individual students. Groups start at £35 per hour.)

SPECIAL OFFER for 2013:
10 lessons for £199 (British Pounds) – 20% discount

• Terms and conditions:
– Payment for all 10 in advance
– Valid for 14 weeks from the first booked lesson