English girl in Stockholm

Studying SAS, dreaming på svenska can't be far away!

SAS A Distans with nti skolan Complete!

August 4th, 2012 by midgetgem

Whilst it may have appeared that I disapperared from here into the abyss – I have actually an update to make!

In march, I once more began my mission to complete my swedish courses, and enrolled through my kommun to do Swedish as a foreign language A or Svenska som andra språk A (now confusingly known as 1 or 1b I think).  I decided with a young daughter that studying through a distance course was the way to go – and chose to do the course in 10 weeks which is classified as 50%.

I was very impressed with the course, though some aspects of the weblearning could have been improved (and using skype instead of phone calls could have worked really well too).  My tutor was easily accessible and perhaps because I’m better at communicating online, I had a better working relationship with her than any of my previous swedish teachers in the flesh so to speak.

The course comprised of roughtly following through two books on a week by week schedule (form i fokus C, and Språkportalen), along with weekly tests to be done on fridays, occasional oral assessments over the phone, and every few weeks written assignments.  I also read a book, and three short stories, from which 2 assignments came.

In the begining I was pretty organised and it went very well. I had a slight dip around the middle of the course, but managed to get ahead again by the end. The teacher was very flexible though, and very helpful.

I’d totally recommend distance learning through nti, though sadly my kommun has stopped offering their courses, so I’m going to hopefully be studying SAS B as an evening course… wish me luck!

If you have any questions about SAS A, please feel free as ever to ask in the comments!

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Long time, No update!

July 13th, 2011 by midgetgem

There’s been a lot going on in life – and somehow this blog got left behind – not to worry, it means I’ve got a lot to catch up with!

I’ll post about them all seperately over the next few weeks but:-

*We moved house (to a house, bliss!)

*I’m married

*We’re expecting our first child in September.

So yes many things to update on, and even more to compare to the UK and explain!

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Thoughts on Chile

October 13th, 2010 by midgetgem

I’m so very happy to see the miners successfully rising in Chile.  I’ve been watching the story for weeks and hoping for a happy ending.

As a geologist, the drill equipment is not so unfamiliar and the fears they held for further collapse or issues with the borehole a reality I dealt with every day. To have drilled a hole of that diameter, to that depth and to be able to get a human back up (and down) it, is just awesome.

I’m holding my thumbs till they are all rescued though!

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SAS A and stopping the process

September 23rd, 2010 by midgetgem

I began SAS A mid August.  But as of today have stepped out of the process and won’t be carrying on this term.

I simply don’t have the time to do it, and while it sucks and I’m a little sad to realise that, it’s the best for myself, my teachers and my collegues to accept that and to move onwards.

Instead I may persue the distance Svenska (son andra språk) A, while I work a little more, prepare for the wedding, craft (www.midgetgem.etsy.com if you’re curious), study persian as an evening course and other such exciting things.

So yeah!  I will do a quick rundown of SAS A though when I get a moment, since perhaps it’s helpful even if I didn’t get more than a month in!

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SAS Grund complete!

July 15th, 2010 by midgetgem

Dispite the panicing that I’d failed, I failed at failing, and as such I’m starting SAS A in August.

The final NP for SAS Grund comprised:-

  • Written Comprehension – writing on a specific subject (there was a choice of 3 – growing old in sweden, love and family if I remember correctly).
  • Reading and understanding – this was in two parts and on the topic ‘gränslandet’ The first was reading a magazine – we were given up to 3 hours on that, then a few days later we answered questions on it – these weren’t as easy as I was expecting!

SAS Grund is also based on some other tests than just the NP, and I believe this varies from kommun to kommun.

Will be back explaining SAS A in August!

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Swedex B2 Results…

June 14th, 2010 by midgetgem

So quite a lot has happened in Gem-land (I will of course update accordingly shortly), but today I got my results from the Swedex B2 trial that I undertook about a month ago now, and I wanted to share it here.

I failed!

The breakdown was as follows:-

  • Listening – 16/25, pass mark was 19
  • Reading/Writing – 27/35, pass mark was 26
  • Word and grammar – 57/80, pass mark was 58.
  • Overall, I’m not that surprised – It confirms to me, that I’m around B2 level, but that as ever the European/set system isn’t really one that I fit so well into the boxes of – and I also do know that right now I’m only passing SAS Grund by the skin of my teeth (and may very well not do if I don’t work harder these next few days!).  I’m glad to have partaken in the tests, and hope that perhaps my test helped them somehow.

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    SAS Grund, update from me

    May 25th, 2010 by midgetgem

    So after starting in March and joining a group that had started in January, I’m now going to be attending a summer course (well June course) to prepare me for, and so I can take SAS Grund NP in June.

    This is exciting for me as originally when I started SFI the plan was to pass in November and start SAS in January.  This didn’t happen, but I have ended up in the same position as I would have been in, which in my head is pretty cool.  I am however scraping though exams with the skin of my teeth, and the Sammhällskunskap (swedish history stuff this term on democraty and working life) didn’t feel to go well.  So I need to knuckle down like I did before the NP SFI D.. I can do it? right?

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    Swedex B2 test testing day

    May 22nd, 2010 by midgetgem

    I’ve just got back from testing Swedex B2 Reading, Listening and filling in the semi-blanks (nope I’m not really sure what that *should* be called other than that).

    It was interesting to see or should I say will be interesting to see how I got along – I didn’t have too many troubles, but then I’m not entirely sure that I did very well either, if they were trick questions certainly not.  If there weren’t then still.  My weakness, I felt today was with the number of words I know, but then I felt that before with both SFI NP and some of the SAS Grund learning.  It doesn’t really matter with my outcome though.

    Swedex for those who aren’t aware is another way of testing your swedish and getting a certificate that you can give to employees as proof of your level, they use the European system for language fluency and currently have 2 levels you can test in A2 and B1 (the testing I did today is for a new test at B2 level).  For your interest, here are the different levels explained in english taken from Wikipedia

    A1 Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.


    A2 Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.


    B1 Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.


    B2 Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.


    C1 Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.


    C2 Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.


    I don’t know when B2 will be released with Swedex, but I think it’s a much more *understandable* level for a test to be held at, as lets face it – you need B2 level or higher fluency to really get along in the day to day in a swedish speaking job for example.

    (Random note: I’m not sure I’m C2 in English… meep!)

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    SAS Grund – The information post.

    May 18th, 2010 by midgetgem

    So SAS grund.

    It comes after SFI and before SAS A and B, it seems to work on the basis of re-inforcing grammar and bringing in some more advanced stuff, along with upping the word count på svenska and getting you into the reading habit.  It can take a varying amount of time to complete, and in my kommun this is partially determined by an entrance exam (see previous posts for details).

    To pass there is another NP – I will post links to past test papers as soon as I find them, there are also excerises to complete, which again seem to vary kommun by kommun. (I downloaded one list which detailed 2 novel sized books, 2 pieces of coursework, spoken presentation and grammar knowledge for example).

    If you have studied at folkuniversetet, I would liken the teaching style of SAS Grund to there – quite focussed on targets and on learning in a more linear sense – though more intense and more emphasis on group work still.

    Any more questions, feel free to shoot – I’ve not yet passed the course, so this is by no means definitive!

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    SAS Sorted

    April 22nd, 2010 by midgetgem

    Well with respect to my previous query.

    I’m doing SAS Grund, we were put in the group that started in January as we did quite well in the placement test. This group will finish in May but we have to continue to June to do the NP for clearing SAS grund as well as the final test, that seems to be random.

    I’m looking at going into Yrkesutbildning after this one, so we shall see!

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