Jan 10 2006

Old dogs and new tricks…

I’m in the process of negotiating a new “permanent” contract with my company (which basically means the job is mine until I decide to go elsewhere or until I screw up, which ever comes first) and one of the conditions being imposed by our HR Director is that I go “back to school” for more Swedish. Now even though I do 95% of my work in English, this is pretty reasonable request…especially since the company is willing to give me both time (either during work hours or in the form of comp time) and money to attend a course.

So I’ve been investigating my options for Swedish lessons, ranging from a private instructor to a twice-weekly class with other students who are presumably at a similar level of competence.  I had to have three different options to present to our HR Director (AKA “Språkpolisen” = The Language Cop) and my boss yesterday, and had figured out pretty quickly that I did not want to tie up a two nights a week going to a class, especially if the teaching method is going to be total immersion. (Been there, done that, HATED it.) I need to work specifically on my writing skills and vocabulary, two things I will be able to improve much faster if grammatical concepts are explained to me in English and I don’t have to look up the translation of every new word.

Thanks to the splendid web searching skills of Dr. Darling, I was able to submit a proposal from a local language training firm that seems ideal for my needs and preferred schedule.  They are suggesting 90 minutes of individual instruction per week for 10 weeks and the day and time are flexible from week to week.  Their office is located very close to Malmö‘s Central Station, so getting there on my way to or from work won’t be a problem. Best of all, their instructors only work until 6 p.m. at the latest…so I will won’t have to tie up a single evening in order to go to class!  It was not the cheapest of the three options, but it wasn’t the most expensive, either. The only challenge that remained was to get Språkpolisen and my boss to go for it….which to my delight, they did.

So now I’ve gone from dreading my return to the classroom to very much looking forward to improving my skills.  Not to mention getting the HR Director off my back!


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Feed my ego!

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