My swedish learning experience began in July this year. I knew a few words (and how to pronounce them horribly), but knowing that I was going to be on sabbatical and studying at the Folkuniversitetet on their intensive course I hadn’t tried to learn too much beforehand.
In total I studied 4 classes there A1, A2, B1 and B1+ and overall had a very good experience there. The two techers I had (the same lady from A1 and A2, then the same lady for B1 and B1+), were very motivating – particularly the first, and I felt like I learnt a lot. The teaching was based from the Rivstart books (A1+A2 and B1+B2), though we didn’t rely on them too strongly. I felt that my language skills initially came pretty fast from the courses, and that studying for a few hours every day was manageable, though you were expected to put more time in out of class (which as the level increased got more difficult).
The structure at Folkuniversitetet is very formal and academic in my opinion – and while this was great to begin with, once it started with word useage, and more complex intricacies of the language I felt that I lost some interest, hence not continuing to B2- or B2. Some things were repeated a little too often, and speaking/listening didn’t seem as important as perhaps I felt it should.
Regardless of this, I would recommend the place to someone who is for example travelling to Sweden for a few months and wants to learn some of the language. Testing at the Folkuniversitetet from the courses isn’t formal though – the most you get for studying a course is a letter saying you completed it (if you ask for it). They do an internationally accredited test in Swedish should people want (Swedex, I think), but that of course costs extra!
Postives to the Folkuniversitetet
- People tend to study there because they want to learn swedish
- Small class sizes
- Generally focussed and interested teachers
- Issues can easily be brought up and dealt with
- Cost is quite high ~4500kr for one months intensive course
- Missing a lesson for whatever reason can set you back quite far
- (In my opinion a formal way of learning – this could be positive either!)
During the B1+ group I finally got a place on SFI in my commune, so while I was studying at Folkuniversitetet I was also studying SFI – which I am still doing.
To be continued – Swedish part 2 – SFI