Doctors, coming to Sweden for specialist training, first need to learn Swedish before they can start clinical training. Language teachers Åsa Terén and Margareta Jonasson have been working with a group of five international doctors since September. We asked Åsa and Margareta to tell us more about Swedish HealthCare Academy’s language training program.
What is different about Swedish HealthCare Academy language training?
– It is more compressed and more intense. The students know that in a short period of time they will be out in real life and work. Therefore they are very motivated. The students know they have a limited amount of time to learn Swedish.
How has the language training been so far?
– You can tell the students are very motivated and engaged. They are really doing everything, as much as they can, to learn.
How many language lessons per week?
– They have seven lessons per day, five days a week, which is 35 lessons a week.
And what are the results?
– They have done very well! All of them have passed their tests.
How would you describe the group?
– They are social, easy-going, open minded and humble. They are very nice to each other, curious and eager to learn.
What else is included apart from language training?
– Study visits, cultural and social training. Today we are going on a study visit to a drug store. We also go to museums, such as the Vasa museum. The group will also attend a conference about brain research arranged by the Swedish Brain Foundation.
How do the study visits contribute to the language training?
– It is another way of learning. They need to be more independent and creative. Before the study visit, the students receive assignments. After the study visit, they summarize and report their assignments to the group. There is a plan for each study visit. We also try to arrange study visits that will help the students in their clinical training, so going to the drug store is part of that.
How do the students respond to these types of activities?
– They are all very positive, and we will increase the number of activities. In general, the students seem to be very satisfied with the whole language program.
What has been the most fun?
– To see the progress. There has been a great progress and it’s really fun to see. It is a really good group with a lot of positive energy.
What have been the challenges?
– Mainly to keep up the good mood. To support and encourage the students and to teach them how the Swedish society works. We have had a few cultural clashes, but still only a few. But the greatest challenge is the short amount of time, which is a huge responsibility for the teacher. Because the pressure is not only on the students, there is a lot of pressure on the teachers as well. We share the stress.
What type of questions do you receive from the students about Sweden?
– Everything, really everything! From how to pick up a parcel from the post office to the most complicated grammar problems.