Svenska Som Andraspråk

So for those of you that have been following me on Youtube, you would have known that I am now done with Swedish For Immigrants ie SFI.

While a lot of people give the system a whole lot of crap, I must say that even though I am still not fluent in Swedish, it was better than not doing anything at all. I switched to evening classes when I started working and it forced me to listen to full Swedish for at least 2.5 hours a week. I found that my Swedish (in terms of reading and listening especially) got better over time although it might also be because I am more exposed to the language when living here.

Anyway being done with SFI feels good, a bit like a mini accomplishment. However I was also a bit clueless as to what to do next. My teacher at SFI literally told me, “Congrats. All the best. Good luck!”.

So I went a big round trying to email different schools/departments/people to eventually learn that I need to fill out an application on my kommun’s education portal to enroll for class. I required Jens help because the online portal was not user friendly especially for non-fluent Swedish users.

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The course in my kommun was once a week at 5pm which meant that I would never make it on time so I requested to be placed in a school in the city instead. Thankfully my kommun approved my request and I applied to ABF. It is a school that was highly recommended by my friends who have been through the system and also just perfect that the school is near my workplace. Thankfully I was accepted and I just started out in the beginner’s course for Swedish Som Andraspråk ie SAS.

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When we went for the first lesson, we had to take a test which comprised of a comprehension test and a letter writing segment. On the second lesson, we were split into different “levels” and I was shifted to SAS Grund 2. There are 3 Grund courses in total so essentially I got to “skip” one course.

I really appreciate the fact that we have a proper study plan and homework every lesson because it makes the whole course more structured (and also intense). We are basically going through bits of the textbook every lesson and chapters in the storybook so by the end of the course (ie before Christmas) we need to be done with the storybook so that we can write an exam. In fact there would be 4 components to the exam for this course incl Comprehension, Listening, Speaking and Literature.

The texts that we are given to read now involve more complex Swedish words that I have never seen before and till now cannot remember. Hence usually by 2030, my brain is double fried from both work and school.

I really hope that I can keep this up but the commitment level is very high and while the spirit is willing, the flesh is quite weak. I usually come home too tired to move and would need to drag my feet to work the next day.

Anyway I hope this is remotely useful for anyone going through Swedish and if you need any tips just drop me a comment!

Julmarknad aka Christmas Market

It is the time of the year for Christmas markets here in Sweden (and probably the rest of the world too I know). Anyway, Irene and I went out to explore a little and soak in a bit of the festive spirit. It is her second Christmas here so she is definitely more aware of what to expect.

“You see those decorations hanging there? It was the same last year. In fact I think it is the same every year.”

So just so you know, you only need to come to Sweden for winter/Christmas once in your life. Just once and you would have seen it all. But maybe more to see me (haha!).

Anyway the market we went to was in Gamla Stan aka the Old Town and it was probably the one most worth checking out because 1) It is in Gamla Stan 2) It is free (no lame entrance fee unlike Skansen). 3) You will find proper Swedish products, unlike the random one in the city center.

You can expect to find groups of school children singing to raise funds for their school event, lots of Christmas ornaments, Swedish products like jam, bread, candy and booths selling glögg (what else do Swedish people drink in December right?).

With that said, it is definitely fun to have such things to look forward to and it makes the dark and gloomy December much more…exciting.

Till the next time!

 

 

 

Speaking Swedish

As most of you would know, people in Sweden speak Swedish. Even though most of them are really good with their second language English, it is absolutely necessary to learn Swedish to “fit into society” and have better job opportunities etc.

I cannot say that I have been particularly hardworking with my Swedish (especially speaking!) just because it is really easy to get by with English/basic Swedish. In addition, it has been very helpful that I have been able to understand more, even if I cannot always reply fluently.

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(Picture with my Swedish teacher and classmates from SFI)

I have been with SFI (Swedish for Immigrants) for a couple of months now and while it is great that I can listen to 3 hours of Swedish each time, I know that I need to practice so much more on my own. Some of the various ways that I have been trying to learn include:

1) Watching Swedish TV – I would recommend watching on TV4Play so that you can watch with Swedish subtitles and pause/replay anytime.

2) Reading Swedish newspapers – While it is a little hard, I feel pretty accomplished whenever I go through one article.

3) Subscribing to sites like LearnWithOliver where you can get daily newsletters and do quizzes etc.

So while I am not fluent in Swedish, I thought that it would be fun to do a video where I only speak Swedish so that I can look back in the future and remember where I started. And for anyone curious to know how Swedish sounds like, or rather how I sound when I try to speak Swedish…here you go:

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As a disclaimer (especially if you understand Swedish), this is a raw unedited version just because I wanted this video to be a true reflection of my current standard of Swedish. Please be kind!

Also, if you would like to see more of such videos, please feel free to let me know by commenting or liking the video.

Till the next time!