New Year. New Swedish you!
Would you like to start (or re-start) learning Swedish, but don’t know where to start? Are you wondering what the best way is to learn Swedish? Do you feel overwhelmed with all the different websites, books, apps, courses and online resources? If this is you, then read on. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the different ways of learning Swedish and the resources you may want to consider, so you can choose what works best for you. We also have a free Resource Checklist that you can download below, to set yourself up for a great year of Swedish language learning.
Self-studying vs lessons
The first thing you should think about is if you want to study on your own, or take lessons with a teacher.
Having lessons will make you learn faster, as you get feedback from your teacher and get more speaking practice. In other words, this is the best way to learn how to speak Swedish. You can do a course at a language school, or do a private lesson (on Skype for example).
But if you are on a tight budget, you can also self-study. Just make sure to get some speaking practice with an actual Swede at some point (in person or via Skype).
4 important resources
There are many resources you can use, and today with all the technology available, more than ever can be found online. But there are 4 categories of resources that you should make sure you have access to.
1. Guiding resources
These are course books that take you from one level to the next. They will have a combination of grammar, texts and vocab, and will allow you to practice reading comprehension, vocab learning and grammar understanding, and probably also listening comprehension (if it has audio support). If you study with a teacher, they will usually guide you through the books and give feedback on pronunciation and discuss grammar with you. The course books often include writing exercises as well, which your teacher can give you feedback on. If you are studying on your own, you won’t get any feedback on speaking and writing, and it is crucial that you make sure to find ways to get this elsewhere.
The guiding resources we use with our students are:
– Rivstart series (A1+A2, B1+B2, B2+C1) – This series is great for going through the levels, but all the instructions are in Swedish, so you will need a teacher to take you through it (at least in the beginning). If you buy them, remember that you need to get both the text book and the exercise book for each level.
– Teach Yourself Complete Swedish – We also use this book in some of our lessons. As it is a self study book and all the grammar explanations are in English, this is a great book if you are learning Swedish on your own. It is also a good complement to Rivstart (because of the English grammar explanations).
2. Practice Resources
Make sure you choose a good practice resource that works for you. It could just be as simple as a book where you write new words down, but there are also many apps and online programmes that you might want to explore. Practising programmes like Duolingo, Babbel, Clozemaster, or flashcard apps like Quizlet, Memrise, Anki, to name a few. All of these are very good for practising, but will not work as a guiding resource on their own. We therefore recommend to combine these with some of the guiding resources above. If you want to get started straight away, we have a free Quizlet lesson for total beginners (100 items) that you can access here.
3. Input resources
Anything online can be an input resource! Videos on Youtube, radio programmes, movies, newspapers online, blogs, Facebook groups, Instagram accounts, Pinterest, etc. Physical easy to read books and other similar things are of course also good input sources when you are learning Swedish.
4. Reference resources
These are usually dictionaries, phrase books, grammar books, and so on. A few good ones that we often use are:
- 2000 Common Swedish verbs
- Form i fokus A (although it is also very much a practice resource). There is also a B and C in the same series.
- Se upp! Svenska partikelverb
There you have it! Make sure you have resources from all 4 categories. We also have a handy Resource Checklist that you can download for free here, to keep your resources organised.
Make 2019 the year you progress your Swedish significantly, wherever you are. You can do it! 🙂
And if you know someone else who would find this useful, make sure to share this article with them.