Do you want to learn Swedish to a conversational level in 3-6 months without studying several hours every day? Keep reading..
I have myself learned English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Hungarian to a conversational level or higher. I’m a language tutor and have taught several hundred hours of Swedish lessons. I don’t call myself and expert, but I do know what it takes to learn a language!
Right now I’m creating a program, using my past ten years of experience in learning languages, as well as my more recent experience in teaching Swedish. I’m doing my best to focus on the key elements that will bring the most progress from the least amount of time, while avoiding all the common mistakes that I and others have made in the past.
The goal of the program is to become conversational. What does that mean? When I say conversational, I mean that you can have conversations with natives about everyday topics, only using Swedish. That can be talking about what you like doing, your plans for the summer, what you did during the weekend, asking about other people’s interests and hobbies, have small talk with your colleagues by the coffee machine, order food, give opinions, discuss what happened at last Saturday’s party, gossip about your boss etc.
Why this goal? Well there’s a big reason, so let me explain. It’s all about the most important thing when learning a language. What is going to bring the most fun, the most enjoyment, and most importantly, the most progress: Conversations with natives! Anyone who have learned a language can account for this. However, during the first phases of language learning, when you’re still learning the first ~1000 words and the most important grammar, it’s quite difficult to have any meaningful exchanges with natives. You will constantly have to ask them to repeat, you will have a hard time finding enough vocabulary to express yourself, and worst of all, the damn Swedes will probably switch to English before you even had the time to think of those things!
So it’s very hard to interact with natives when you’re a beginner or lower intermediate, but having conversations is still the most efficient (and fun) way to improve. This is why a private tutor is without doubt the greatest tool to use in this phase. A good language teacher knows exactly at what pace to speak and what words to use to enable the student to have a great conversation at any level. They also know at what rate to increase the difficulty level to make sure there is a steady progress. Combine this with tasks for reading, listening and writing, as well as vocabulary and grammar exercises that you can do on your own, and you’re gonna get conversational fast!
Of course, even when you’re really advanced, taking private classes is still a great way to improve and you might want to keep doing that, but there is a difference. As soon as you can start having conversations with natives without switching to English, then you don’t need classes for the sake of having conversations with natives anymore. You can start living your life through Swedish while getting better with every interaction. What can possibly be a better motivator? Everyone wants to learn new languages and when you fail, it’s usually because of lack of motivation. That’s why reaching this level is so important. You want to be able to start using Swedish as a part of your life as soon as possible! This point cannot be stressed enough.
So, how to do that? I know you don’t need years in regular classroom style courses to do this. I have seen it happen in months. It’s mostly about two things:
2. Good methods
I explain it all in this article. You don’t have to read it now.
What is it that I offer? My aim is to design a program that is as efficient as possible for getting to a conversational level fast. The main structure and the learning material is done. I now need people to try it. I obviously can’t offer a guarantee on specific results yet, since the program isn’t finished. However, since my success depends 100% on your success, you can rest assured that I will do my absolute best to provide everything you need in order to reach the goal. This is probably the most important point. My success equals your success.
What about content? When learning a language, you’ll need different kinds of input and output. The most important learning is the conversations in class, and the rest is other assignments to do in between classes using material and resources for reading, writing, listening, grammar, and vocabulary training.
What about the price? Private classes are never super cheap, and this is no exception. If you’re on a tight budget, this might not be for you. You can still reach a conversational without taking any classes at all. I have done it. It just requires a lot more time and effort, and you’ll need to find other ways to speak with natives. If you think it’s worth spending some money to get it done efficiently and without lots of research on your own, this might be for you. And to be honest, since this is a pilot project, the price will be much lower than for the final product 😀
Who is this for? You probably live in Sweden and want to learn the language, but various things have put you off so far. Everyone already speaks English, you don’t have that much time, you don’t have an acute need for it, and so on; but you do know that it will greatly enhance your experience and opportunities in Sweden. You just don’t want to spend time in a classroom, and you don’t want to make a lot of research yourself on how to learn it fast and well. If you could just create a time slot in your schedule and have someone else set it all up, then you would be willing to pay a reasonable price for it.
So what is the price? The final product will be a 13-week intense program with two house per day of studying five days a week, where three of those hours are in class. In total 130 hours of studying, 40 hours in class. The price for that is set to 1995€. That is 50€ per hour if you only count the private classes or $15 per hour if you count all the hours. This pilot project, however, will only cost 795€. That is a very normal 20€ per hour if you count only the private classes, and a mere 6€ per hour if you count all the hours you’ll be studying on average. I will provide all the material you need, but I will encourage you to find your own too!
Now I understand that no one will study exactly ten hours every week. Some weeks will be less, some might be more, sometimes you have more shit to do, sometimes you have less motivation. Sometimes you end up having a bunch of free time. The most important thing is that you will be talking, and during the classes you will be the one doing it the most – around 80% is the aim. That means that you will have been talking for about 32 whole hours by the end of the course! If you have been talking Swedish for 30+ hours already, then some small talk by the coffee machine will be as easy as having a bit too much fika 🙂
So if the price is low, what are the catches? There are some things I will need you to do, and if you see those as catches, that probably also means that this is not for you. I need to properly track the progress to see what modifications I need to do for the next version. That means that you have to keep a journal on what you have studied and for how long, each day. I will also record at least one in-class session every other week. This is not only valuable data for me, this will also increase your motivation since you will clearly see your own progress. Lastly I’m going to use this data for demonstration purposes and modifications of the program.
You will need to:
– Be able to free up ten hours per week for 13 weeks
– Be on a beginner level
If this sounds interesting to you, or if you have any questions, please send me an e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to me on my Facebook page. I need it latest February 18, and the course is set to start by the end of the same month. Feel free to share this with anyone who might be interested!