A few weeks ago I decided to give a full year’s worth of private lessons in Swedish to one person who doesn’t have any knowledge of Swedish what so ever, and throughout this course both the student and I will keep a blog about what we are doing. The aim is to get my student to a conversational level of B1-B2 in this time. The two reasons I am taking on this project is to find out if my ” not-so-pedagogical-way-of-teaching” can in fact teach someone Swedish in one year as well as this being a support project to “Vårdsvenska” a website created for learning health care vocabulary in Swedish.
In addition to practicing situations in Swedish, I got several new exercises, one for all verbs and their forms (irregular and strong verbs), family relations vocabulary, and a grammar exercise. Veronica may provide links to some of these exercises.
Now, we started with different day-to-day situations in Swedish. Opening a bank account, calling someone for inquiry etc. Veronica ha a very long list of topics, I am copying a few here -
Du har problem med en faktura (kundtjänst)
Du är en ny kund på elbolaget och vill veta mer om deras produkter/service
Du vill ändra din Internettjänst/rapporterar om ett problem med Internet
Du vill få reda på någons adress och telefonnummer
Du vill öppna ett bankkonto
Du vill berätta om ditt bolag och dess service
Du vill veta vem som är ansvarig
Du vill boka ett hotellrum
Du vill boka flygbiljetter
One can practice them by taking one situation at a time, think about the context, prepare some vocabulary and try to do it in Swedish (role play) with someone. It truly help
By this time, I have started to read short news paper articles and other swedish texts. I started to bring a news article and we translated it together. Veronica helped by writing all new words that I come across in a paper. I was then given that paper so I can build new vocabulary for me. This approach helped a lot to me.
We also did one exercise where I read the news article and then tried to summarize it in Swedish. It was not so much success to start with but worth trying
We had short question answers in this lesson. For example, ‘Vilken är den längsta flygresan du har gjort’? Answer could be ‘ Det var till Rio’. We did quite a few of them.
In these two lessons, we completed exercises from previous lessons.
We did some new stuff, i, om/per and one exercise on prepositions and time expressions. Prepositions are quite tricky in Swedish. It requires quite much practice to predict correctly which one goes where and when
Today, I had another, very new exercise. This is something I really liked about the course in general. I got something new to practice on in different ways. It kind of helps to keep yourself motivated
Today, the exercise was like short puzzles. For example, ‘du kan se genom mig, men du behöver putsa mig när jag är smutsigt’. The answer is ‘ett fönster’. There were several such puzzles. We did around 12 and the rest I tried at home, with some success
We worked on ju/väl/nog, Veronica has a very nice one page exercise for this, which clarifies all three quite well.
In this lesson, I got a very interesting exercise. There were around 50+ short sentences in English and I translated them in Swedish. The sentences includes all sorts of mixture of tenses, verbs, nouns, en-ett words and so on. There was also another text (Annas dag) in Swedish with several questions related to verbs. Both exercises were very useful. We also revisited kitchen related vocabulary and some new words related to directions. Veronica may provide links to all of these interesting exercises and vocabulary.
We moved on with new stuff again in this lesson. We worked on future tenses. Future tense seems rather easy, especially if you know English grammar quite well. Another stuff we did was about reflexives (min-mitt-mina etc.). They are bit tricky, one needs lot of practice to take real grasp on them. The trickiest part is when to use sin-sitt-sina in the sentence. We also did skulle vilja, helst, vill, ska, kan, kommer att, kanske, and borde. Veronica had very useful exercises on these, she will provide links here.
I was still confused on combination of en, ett and plural words. In this lesson, Veronica helped me with clearer explanation and several examples/exercises on en/ett words. We also started with irregular verbs. Irregular verbs are kind of little tricky but if you practice them regularly, they are not so difficult to remember (in particular past tenses). The list of irregular verbs are available at several places, I think Veronica will also put one that she gave me, here.
In this lesson we started to write short text in Swedish. We also focused on pronunciations of conjugated words and syllables, in particular words with lh, hj, gj. We did a bit of vocabulary (flash cards) on body parts and things at home. The list was quite sufficient with many pictures. Finally, building onto vocabulary of professions, we started to work on ‘who is doing what’ sentences. This was also done with pictures, for example, one of the pictures showed a barber cutting hair and I was required to make up sentence on it.