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The Local _ Life in Sweden _ Qualifications required to teach English in Sweden

Posted by: sarah-on-net 19.Apr.2009, 01:56 PM

Hi
I am an English student studying Scandinavian Studies Degree at UCL London, Swedish Language is my main language topic, and I will soon be doing my year abroad in Sweden.

I am interested in teaching English in Sweden once I have finished my degree. I should have by then an advanced level of spoken and written Swedish and am obviously a native English speaker.

My question is about Swedish teaching qualifications. As some of you may know, here in England once you complete your degree you can do a one year PGCE course that trains you to teach your degree subject to secondary school level. Is there a Swedish equivilent that I would study in Sweden, if so what is it called and if anybody knows of a university that offers it, a link to the right page on their website would be a great help.

Any other suggestions or coments on my plan would be greatfully recieved.

Thank you, Sarah

Posted by: Nomark 19.Apr.2009, 02:44 PM

Can't help with the answers but I have a question of my own; why do you want to be a teacher in Sweden ? From what I've heard teachers are pretty badly paid here and are starting to complain about student indiscipline in the same way as teachers in Britain.

Posted by: Lingonberry 20.Apr.2009, 12:40 PM

QUOTE (sarah-on-net @ 19.Apr.2009, 01:56 PM) *
Hi
I am an English student studying Scandinavian Studies Degree at UCL London, Swedish Language is my main language topic, and I will soon be doing my year abroad in Sweden.

I am interested in teaching English in Sweden once I have finished my degree. I should have by then an advanced level of spoken and written Swedish and am obviously a native English speaker.

My question is about Swedish teaching qualifications. As some of you may know, here in England once you complete your degree you can do a one year PGCE course that trains you to teach your degree subject to secondary school level. Is there a Swedish equivilent that I would study in Sweden, if so what is it called and if anybody knows of a university that offers it, a link to the right page on their website would be a great help.

Any other suggestions or coments on my plan would be greatfully recieved.

Thank you, Sarah


I trust they are just typing errors, but if you intend to teach English, in any country, you need to be able to spell English correctly : equivilent , coments and recieved which should be equivalent, comments and received !

Puffin probably knows the answer to your questions.

Posted by: Puffin 20.Apr.2009, 12:57 PM

If you want to be a qualified teacher then you need to have a teacher training qualification - you could take the Swedish version which is 1½ -2 years depending on whether you take a basisc Kompletterande pedagogisk utbildning (KPU) programme or a full Masters in education. The course is free but you will need to finance your living expenses while you are training in Sweden as there are no bursaries. An alternative is to get a PGCE in the UK.

Before you enter the programme you will need to take the TISUS test in Swedish or Gymnasiet Svenska B (A-level) as this is a minimum requirement for all teachers and University courses in Sweden. I think it's possible to take the TISUS test in the UK. You can find information and sample papers here
http://www.su.se/pub/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=2572

The one thing that I am not too sure about is whether you will be able to train as an English teacher. You will need some academic points in English in order to be able to train as an English teacher. Some programmes require a BA in English.

In Sweden you are also usually required to teach 2 subjects.

Posted by: Janie 20.Apr.2009, 01:30 PM

But if someone already has a degree, and that degree was studied through the medium of the English language, wouldn't that be enough? Or when you're doing the teacher training, wouldn't they teach you what you need to know?

Posted by: VikingHumpingWitch 20.Apr.2009, 02:16 PM

I did an English degree, and while I never try to claim it was anything more challenging than lounging around reading books and writing a bit about some of them, it is a bit more than "knowing how to speak and write in English." (I would however have thought that a TEFL course would be more useful for the purpose of teaching English to Swedish schoolchildren, as I'd say there's a big difference between being able to explain linguistic and grammatical oddities and being able to waffle on about the crushing sentimentality of late Victorian literature.)

Posted by: Puffin 20.Apr.2009, 02:16 PM

It doesn't work like that - If you did a full 4-5 year teaching degree then yes they would teach you what you need to know - but if you are taking a 1-1½ year teaching certificate then the emphasis in on teaching skills and you are expected to use the subject knowledge from your degree - often over half of the time is spent out on placement in schools.

So if you are taking a post grad certificate you would be expected to have a good knowledge of language and literature and be able to teach grammar, writing styles and poetry etc etc.

However there are some ways around it by exploiting the requirement to offer 2 subjects - the simplest is to take some points in English. There is someone I know from another board doing this. She has a degree in History (I think) and has taken 30p (1 term) English level A so that technically she will get her teaching certificate as a history and English teacher.

With a degree in Scandinavian studies you could offer Swedish or possibly Samhällskunskap

Posted by: Janie 20.Apr.2009, 02:20 PM

So if, before doing a Swedish degree, someone got a British university undergraduate diploma which had 200 credits in religious studies and 40 credits in philosophy, then they went on and did some kind of Swedish teaching degree, they could, in theory, teach RS and philosophy?

Posted by: Puffin 20.Apr.2009, 10:32 PM

Yes - although you will need to check the specific requirements depending on which type of teaching certificate you want.
- Usually until the age of 13/year 7 Swedish teachers are general and teach all subjects including Swedish. maths, hostory, English, Geography etc etc - although specialist teachers may teach pratical subjects such as PE, Woodwork, music sometimes modern languages etc - it is usual for teachers to have a BEd - or teaching certificate for school's earlier years
- specialist subject teachers are used post 13 and there are 2 tyoes:
- compulsory school's later years - basically GCSE teachers
- Gymnasiet or A-level teachers
The requirements are usually a little more strict if you want to be a gymnasiet teacher - but the number of points varies from subject to subject - one he's in Sweden it could be a good idea to arrange an appointment to see a University studies counsellor in the department of education and also get the degree course translated into Swedish points by HSV (Free)

As long as they learned Swedish to Svenska B/TISUS level they could apply for teacher training.

Alternatively if they also had a UK degree + PGCE you can get this translated and just learn Swedish to become fully qualified - or get a job in an international school which teaches in English.

Posted by: inallsincerity 17.Aug.2011, 02:09 PM

I have some questions along the same lines. Maybe you, Puffin, can answer them? I have a master's degree in biology from a Swedish university and am married to a Swede (we live in Sweden). I would like to teach science and maths for grades 6-9 at an English school in Sweden. One that has a focus on science, naturally. So my questions are 1) do I need the teaching certificate? 2) is it necessary to obtain fluency in Swedish (I'm working on it, but am not quite there yet) to get the certificate if I'm going to be teaching at an English school? and 3) is it possible to do the teaching training part of the certificate at an English school? Thanks so much!

Posted by: Don_Right 17.Aug.2011, 02:47 PM

Schools are allowed to hire uncertified teachers for one semester at a time providing they can show that they didn't find a certified applicant and don't have too many uncertified teachers to begin with.

There are numerous schools that have a somewhat lax attitude towards regulations, especially among those with an international or English profile. You might be able to convince one of these to habitually rehire you. It is the sort of thing that happens.

However Sweden isn't Asia and a TEFL or being a native speaker will not count for much.

Posted by: PACurtiss 25.Apr.2013, 05:38 PM

From the end of March to the first week in April my wife and I visited some friends in Gävle. During our visit, it was brought to my attention by many people that I possibility could teach English in Sweden. I have a BA in English from the University of Northern Iowa, a medium sized university in the Midwestern part of the USA. I know very little Swedish. The university I attended offers a MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Others Languages (TESOL). Does anyone know if an MA in TESOL would help me in acquiring an English teaching job in Sweden?

Posted by: mdj126 24.Mar.2014, 01:07 AM

I had the same question as PACurtiss. I am currently getting my Master's degree in Teaching in social studies and French, and heard that if I was interested in teaching English abroad that I would be able to if I got a TESOL license. I am married to a Swede and we would like to live in Sweden, but from what I know about teaching in a public school in Sweden my US teaching degree would be worthless. Would it not be enough to get a TEFL/TESOL certification?

Posted by: roine 24.Mar.2014, 09:51 AM

Me and my wife both worked as teachers in Sweden. My wife taught Swedish in a school in Uppsala and I worked in EFL in folkuniversitetet. My wife was not a fully qualified teacher but had worked abroad teaching English and had the CELTA. I think the school were able to employ her without being fully qualified as they were not able to find more suitable teachers.

If you want to teach English language in Sweden your best bet is to take a CELTA course after you graduate. With this it is possible to get some work with the unions and learning circles or folkuniversitetet. Beware it is pretty hard to break into and even then you might only get a couple of hours a week and as the semesters are pretty short it might mean only about 9 months is available for teaching.

I f you had more experience in this field ( 2 to 3 years) it is possible to become an IELTS or Cambridge examiner. There is a dire shortage of these in Sweden . Whether you could get enough work every month I don't know but I the last time I looked into it they were willing to employ me immediately in Lund and Gothenburg.

Posted by: mdj126 24.Mar.2014, 09:09 PM

Thanks for the reply. We are a few years away from being able to move to Sweden and hopefully by then I can get something that may help me out. Thanks for the information.

Posted by: meme 15.Dec.2015, 08:59 PM

I have a masters degree in secondary education and I am a qualified English teacher for grades k-12 in the United States. I also have a TESOL and have 6 + years of teaching experience. I submitted my application to Skolverket 2 years ago to have my teaching credential accredited in Sweden and have recently received the response that they have chosen to decline my application. I have the required Swedish courses and my teaching education was accepted. The problem seems to be that I do not have enough credits in English, but I have not been given any information on how many credits it has been deemed I have or specifically what I lack. I did luck out and get a job a few years ago here in Sweden, but I am considered technically unqualified. This means I do not have a permanent position. The more information I gather, from in person meetings with guidance counselors at various universities in Sweden, the more I realize what I would need to do is take a so far undetermined number of courses. I may even be required to become a student teacher (although I've worked several years in Swedish school, have already been a student teacher in Sweden, and have even been the guiding teacher for 3 student teachers here). I continue to do what I am suggested to do by various agencies, yet I still can't seem to get anyone to tell me what actual courses I have to take. I have been accepted into the foreign teacher complimentary courses, so I might finally get an actual answer.

So you may be able to get a job with a foreign education (although the unemployment agency here has said it takes years for teachers with foreign educations to manage that), but the teacher credentialing process is a mess. My tip is to just plan on doing most if not all of your education in Sweden if you'd like it to count. Unfortunately, I am not the only teacher I know here that has a similar or worse story when it comes to having their foreign teaching credentials accredited.

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