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

Quick questions for Sophie

Sophie works as a Swedish teacher at Swedish Made Easy. She is a native image1-1-jpgSwede who spent her 20’s in London, but these days she is based in Stockholm where she lives with her husband and two children. She works as an rhetoric consultant as well as a equality consultant, with a focus on communication. She has a great love for the Swedish language, its development and uses of languages generally.

 

Here are 12 quick questions for Sophie.

1.Which Swedish storybook/cartoon character turns you on the most?

Pippi, because she did everything the other way around, didn’t follow conventions and had her own very cool look.

2. Can you play any instruments?

A bit of piano and a little bit of guitar

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

Laverne and Shirley

4. Midsummer, Lucia or Christmas?

Midsummer!

5. How old is the oldest pair of shoes in your closet?

My Doc Martin, I bought them in 1996!

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

Make up tutorials

7. What is the oldest thing in your fridge?

A year of coconut butter. I know it’s good, but can’t eat it.

8. What Swedish food do you never want to live without?

Sill!

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

Play simpsons on my phone

10. Do you have any strange phobias?

Dirty hands

11. Favourite Swedish saying?

Det ordnar sig!

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

Jump out of an airplane (preferable with a parachute), Tatoos, My own TV show.

 

Sophie is available on Thursday mornings for lessons. To book Sophie, go to the booking system and select “Swedish with Sophie”.

Welcome Amanda – conversational trainer

Skype-fika seems to be a sought after service here at Swedish Made Easy! So much so, that we now introduce another conversational trainer: Amanda. She will be available to book for some Skype-fika (conversational training).

Skype-fika does not include specific grammar training, but it is a chance to increase your confidence in speaking, by speaking with a native Swede, who will of course help you with new words, correct pronunciation and grammar glitches. You should be on at least B1-level to do conversational practice with Amanda. You book her through the booking system.

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Here are a few words from Amanda:

My name is Amanda, and I offer Skype-fika; conversational training. I grew up in Sweden in a small town called Lindesberg, though I have my roots in Stockholm and in Jukkasjärvi. I live in Exeter in the U.K now since a couple of years back, and I lived in Colchester when I was studying at university. I have always had a great interest in and passion for language and literature, and I have a BA in both Creative Writing and Literature. I currently work for a travel company called Risskov, and I also work with ceramics and art. My wife and I also have two crazy happy dogs, a hamster and a big stash of yarn since we are both avid knitters. I love talking to people about anything and everything, and I can’t wait to have a chat with you at a fika! Because of my flexible schedule, I’ll be offering fika almost all times of the day.

Jag heter Amanda, och jag erbjuder Skype-fika; konversationsträning. Jag är uppvuxen i Sverige i en liten stad som heter Lindesberg, fast jag har mina rötter i Stockholm och Jukkasjärvi. Nu bor jag i Exeter i England sedan ett par år tillbaka, och jag bodde i Colchester medan jag pluggade på universitetet. Jag har alltid haft ett stort intresse och passion för språk och litteratur, och jag har universitetsexamen i både Creative Writing och litteraturvetenskap. Just nu jobbar jag för ett resebolag som heter Risskov, och jag jobbar också med keramik och konst. Min fru och jag har två galna glada hundar, en hamster och ett stort lager garn eftersom vi båda älskar att sticka. Jag älskar att prata med folk om allt och inget, och jag ser verkligen fram emot att prata med dig över en fika! Tack vare mitt flexibla schema, så kommer jag erbjuda fika nästan alla tider under dagen.

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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Welcome Jessica – conversational trainer

Today, we welcome a new trainer to Swedish Made Easy – Jessica! She will be available to book for some Skype-fika (conversational training) a couple of hours a week.
Skype-fika does not include specific grammar training, but it is a chance to increase your confidence in speaking, by speaking with a native Swede. You should be on at least B1-level to do conversational practice with Jessica. You book her through the booking system.
Here are a few words from Jessica:
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Hej!

Jag heter Jessica och är född och uppvuxen i Stockholm med rötter i Österrike. Lyckligt gift med barn. Med tre språk flytande i bagaget har människor och kommunikation alltid varit av intresse i olika sammanhang. Som ambassadör för ”The Swedish Number” så pratade jag med folk från hela världen vilket jag tyckte var spännande och kul. Jag har bott utomlands i både Tyskland och Österrike i olika perioder av mitt liv.

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Jag vet hur svårt det kan vara att hitta rätt ord och utrycka sig, men även hur underbart det är när man kommit över tröskeln. Jag jobbar med ekonomi inom underhållningsindustrin på ett företag i Stockholm (SoFo). När jag reser så föredrar jag att besöka storstäder och sol med bad, att tälta är inget för mig. Långa promenader med snabba steg är något jag gärna gör så ofta jag kan.

Jag är en god lyssnare och pratar gärna med dig, men med ett varierande morgonhumör hoppas jag att vi hörs senare på dagen 🙂

Hoppas vi ses!

//Jessica

My name is Jessica and I am born and bred in Stockholm with roots in Austria. Happily married with a child. Having three fluent languages under my belt, people and communication have always been an interest of mine in various contexts. When I worked as an ambassador for “The Swedish Number“, I spoke to people from all over the world, which I found fascinating and fun. I have lived abroad, both in Germany and Austria, through different periods in my life.
I know how difficult it can be to find the right words and express yourself, but also how amazing it is when you succeed. I work in finance in the entertainment industry for a company in Stockholm (SoFo). When I travel, I prefer to visit cities and beaches to soak up some sun, camping is not my cup of tea. I go for long, fast-paced walks as often as possible.
I am a good listener, and I would love to talk to you, although given my varied morning mood, I hope that we can chat later on in the day. 🙂
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Astrid Lindgren läser sagor på Spotify

Astrid Lindgren’s own readings of some of her most-loved stories are available on Spotify. Listen to Astrid herself reading her stories.

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The following stories are available:

Nils Karlsson-Pyssling a boy the size of a thumb who lives under the boy Bertil's bed

Nils Karlsson-Pyssling a boy the size of a thumb who lives under the boy Bertil’s bed

Ronja, a girl who grows up among a clan of robbers living in a castle in the woodlands of early-Medieval Scandinavia

Ronja, a girl who grows up among a clan of robbers living in a castle in the woodlands of early-Medieval Scandinavia

Bröderna Lejonhjärta, the story of two brothers who fight tyranny, death and disease, but it is also a story of loyalty, hope, courage and pacifism.

Bröderna Lejonhjärta, the story of two brothers who fight tyranny, death and disease, but it is also a story of loyalty, hope, courage and pacifism.

Madicken, a 7 year-old middle-class girl growing up in  Sweden during World War I.

Madicken, a 7 year-old middle-class girl growing up in Sweden during World War I.

Mio min mio, the story about the adopted boy Bosse who finds a genie in a bottle who whisks him off to another land where his real father is the king.

Mio min mio, the story about the adopted boy Bosse who finds a genie in a bottle who whisks him off to another land where his real father is the king.

Emil, the story of the little naughty but resourceful boy who lives on a farm in Småland.

Emil, the story of the naughty but resourceful boy who lives on a farm in Småland.

Rasmus, the boy who runs away from an orphanage and meets the tramp Oskar.

Rasmus, the boy who runs away from an orphanage and meets the tramp Oskar.

There is also some interviews with Astrid about her life as an author and her books.

An absolute treasure! What are you waiting for? 🙂

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. 

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.

 

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