Here is a small glimpse:
It is Saturday morning on the terrace of the Norwegian Seamen’s Mission. The teacher stirs his coffee and leafs through the lesson plan. “Consolidate possessive pronouns, noun-adjective formal agreement in gender and number, questions with interrogatives, the future tense” he reads. That should be enough for one lesson he thinks to himself. Beyond the terrace the cranes shifting shipping containers work incessantly. Soon the students arrive. Some have ventured up the steep hill on foot and gulp down glasses of water before settling down to coffee and conversation – in Swedish.
In August 2017 Nanyang Technological University became the first university in Singapore to offer Swedish language courses. So great was the response that Måns Hedberg, the course coordinator and lecturer, realized there was serious work to be done, also outside NTU. The course he gives at the Norwegian Seamen´s Mission caters for those not eligible for the university course.
Around the coffee table the conversation has turned to national stereotypes. Dave from Ireland discusses with Sharon from Singapore and Elina, who is soon to move to Stockholm, listens. Soon there is a scraping of chairs as the group moves upstairs for the weekly lesson. The worksheets are handed out and the beamer projects the first slide. The atmosphere is relaxed, friendly and forgiving. When for the 4th time Mike cannot pronounce “hus” correctly his friends roar with laughter.
After the 90-minute lesson the pupils go downstairs for porridge, waffles and more coffee. Some of them have a Swedish spouse while others hope a new language skill will give them a competitive edge in the work place. Sharon offers to drop Fatima and Agnes off at the Haw Par Villa MRT station and they wave and smile as they glide, top down, towards the road.
“Hej då!” Sharon calls out. “Vi ses nästa lördag!”
The Swedish language course takes place at the Norwegian Seamen´s Mission in 300 Pasir Panjang Road. Haw Par Villa MRT is a 10 minute walk away.
The fee is 60SGD per lesson. That includes course material and everything else.
The level 2 course begins 13 January and the beginner´s course kicks off 20 January and continue until June. For those keen to join please write to: [email protected]
Source: FB post by Embassy of Sweden in Singapore