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Swedish Language and History Classes

Are you taking a trip to Sweden? Or maybe you want to keep up your Swedish language skills you learned earlier. Whatever your motivation, you are invited to take Swedish language classes. Classes are offered year round, including beginning, intermediate and advanced Swedish. Costs vary. Average class size is eight to 12 students.

Fill out a registration form and return it to Swedish Club, 1920 Dexter Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98109.

One of our instructors, Laura Wideburg, literally wrote the book for once-a-week language students. In fact, she's written six of them. They're the textbooks for several of our classes—get yours today!
  • Beginning I–IV: Start with no Swedish at all and work through Swedish: The Basics and Swedish: More Basics. Pronunciation, basic grammar, basic conversation, etc. At the end of the year, students should know about 1,500 words/phrases and how to use them in sentences. IV is offered in summer to review and fill the gap between classes.
  • Intermediate I–III: Work through Swedish: Beyond the Basics. Review and build on Swedish vocabulary, grammar and conversation. Beginning and Intermediate add up to a year of college-level studies and a vocabulary of 3,000–4,000 words.
  • Pre-Advanced: Between Intermediate and Advanced. Activities and readings lead to more competence in conversation and at least another 2,000 words.
  • Advanced: Read Swedish-language books over two quarters.
  • Expert: Equivalent of the last year in college. Students usually can read a book in just nine weeks and carry on conversations.

Fall 2017 Schedule

Students: Download class materials here
History of Sweden: The Vasa Dynasty
Tuesdays, 6–7:30 p.m., Oct. 10–Dec. 5
Instructor: Laura A. Wideburg, Ph.D.
Course outline

The Vasa name is on everything from parks to crisp bread. What made the Vasa dynasty so important that the name lives on?

Gustav Vasa is considered the founder of modern Sweden, and his family held on to power in both Sweden and Poland for more than 200 years. No other royal dynasty is as bound up with the history of Sweden as the House of Vasa.

Come learn about this tempestuous family from one of its direct descendants. (In fact, 10 percent of Swedes can trace their lineage back to Gustav Vasa today!) Taught in English; no books required.

$85 for all

Beginning Swedish I
Section A: Mondays, 6–7:30 p.m., Oct. 9–Dec. 4
Instructor: Laura A. Wideburg, Ph.D.
Section B: Tuesdays, 7:45–9:15 p.m., Oct. 10–Dec. 5
Instructor: Laura A. Wideburg, Ph.D.
Section C: Fridays, 10:30 a.m.–noon, Oct. 6–Dec. 8 (no class Nov. 24)
Instructors: Catharina Lundin and Carina Hurtig Boczar

Start with the basics! In this class we start with the basic word Tack and its variations, and move through nouns and present-tense verbs—to end with ordering a sandwich and a slice of princess cake (prinsesstårta). Covers the book from the beginning to Chapter 3. The book is used throughout the Beginning class series.

Text: Swedish: The Basics by Laura A. Wideburg (please purchase before class begins)

$85 blue card Club members, $100 general public

Beginning Swedish II
Thursdays, 7–8:30 p.m., Oct. 12–Dec. 7
(The Oct. 12, Oct. 19 and Nov. 2 classes will go until 9 p.m. No class Nov. 23.)
Instructor: Laura A. Wideburg, Ph.D.

Continuing from Beginning I. Shopping and vacationing in Sweden are the themes while we work on using verbs, adjectives and time expressions. Chapters 4–7.

Text: Swedish: The Basics by Laura A. Wideburg (please purchase before class begins)

$89 blue card Club members, $112 general public

Intermediate Swedish I
Mondays, 7:45–9:15 p.m., Oct. 9–Dec. 4
Instructor: Laura A. Wideburg, Ph.D.

Moving on from the Beginning level to more intricate conversations in everyday situations. The second-year series brings students from the basic 1,000- word vocabulary up to 3,000 words and increased comprehension of written and spoken Swedish. The text is used throughout the Intermediate series.

Text: Swedish: Beyond the Basics by Laura A. Wideburg (please purchase before class begins)

$89 blue card Club members, $112 general public

Advanced Swedish I
Section A: Tuesdays, 6–7:30 p.m., Oct. 10–Dec. 5
Instructor: Catharina Lundin
Section B: Tuesdays, 7:45–9:15 p.m., Oct. 10–Dec. 5
Instructor: Catharina Lundin

Take your Swedish to the next level! More vocabulary, more conversation, more practice as you add to your skills. From 3,000 to 5,000-plus words and increased fluency through life events. The text is used from beginning to end. Following quarters will use the next two books in the Advanced series.
Text: Swedish: Becoming Fluent—Step One by Laura A. Wideburg (please purchase before class begins)

$89 blue card Club members, $112 general public

Expert Swedish A
Mondays, 6–7:30 p.m., Oct. 9–Dec. 4
Instructor: Pia Nyström, M.Ed.

För dig som kan svenska! This class, a level beyond Advanced, is held primarily in Swedish, and students are expected to be able to read a simple Swedish book in nine weeks. The class will focus on conversation, grammar review and reading/discussion of a novel chosen by the previous Advanced Swedish class. We also have lots of fun and lots of laughs—in Swedish, of course.

$89 blue card Club members, $112 general public

Expert Swedish B
Mondays, 7:45–9:15 p.m., Oct. 9–Dec. 4
Instructor: Pia Nyström, M.Ed.

För dig som redan kan flytande svenska men vill förbättra dina kunskaper! This class is at the top of our language pyramid. For those who want to delve into Swedish at a high level of conversation and reading. På svenska, förstås!

$89 blue card Club members, $112 general public

Drop-In with Berit
Thursdays, noon–2 p.m., Oct. 19–Dec. 7 (no class Nov. 23)
Instructor: Berit Lehner

Berit will take your questions and practice with you. Focused on what you need to know. Schedule can vary depending on demand.

Per drop-in session: $12 blue card Club members; $15 non-members

Conversational Swedish
Fridays, noon–1 p.m., Oct. 6–Dec. 8 (no class Nov. 24)
Instructors: Catharina Lundin and Carina Hurtig Boczar

Focus on spoken Swedish and general conversation skills. Must have taken at least Beginning Swedish III in order to benefit the most from this class. Contemporary topics and day-to-day life. A great way to brush up your speaking skills before a trip to Sweden!

$59 blue card Club members, $79 general public; $10 per drop-in session

Meet Your Teachers

Laura Wideburg

Laura A. Wideburg, Ph.D.

Laura () is the Club’s lead teacher in the Swedish language program. She will celebrate her 10th year at the Club in June 2018. “The Swedish language is my passion,” she says.

Laura has written a six-book series for the Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced classes at the Club. During 2017, she revised and updated the entire series. “My students have contributed to the books and the development of the classes,” she says. “I teach to allow people to develop an interest not just in the language but also the culture and the way English and Swedish, as language cousins, developed over time.” Laura has also taught a number of classes focusing on Swedish history, and selects a new theme for one history class every fall quarter.

Laura has a Ph.D. in medieval German literature and historical linguistics from the UW. She has translated 20 books from Swedish to English and has seen 16 of them appear in print, of which a number received great reviews and awards. She is now focusing on her own writing. She lives in Seattle with her husband and two young adult children, as well as her two beloved cats.
Pia Nystrom

Pia Nyström, M.Ed.

Pia (), a native Swede, has a Master of Education degree in Swedish and English from Stockholm University, and is working on her bachelor’s degree in teaching Swedish as a second language, at Dalarnas Högskola. In Sweden, she worked as a language teacher and taught Swedish and English for sixth to ninth graders. She moved to Seattle in 2009 and started teaching Swedish for the Club in spring 2014.

In addition to teaching for the Swedish Club, she also teaches the oldest children at the Swedish School (Svenska Skolföreningen) on Sundays. Pia loves teaching and feels fortunate that she has been able to work as a teacher here. She has recorded all the texts in Laura Wideburg’s books and made them available to the students, for an additional opportunity to practice their Swedish. Pia tries to make her lessons fun, with a mix of reading, grammar, games and other activities. She has three grown children, and lives with her husband and three dogs in Sammamish.
Berit Lehner

Berit Lehner

Berit () was born and raised in Stockholm. After completing college, she came to the United States to work as an au pair. Now retired, she spent most of her professional years in the insurance business. Berit travels back to Sweden and other parts of Europe every other year to visit friends and family and keep up with what’s happening.

Berit reads extensively in Swedish. She is the lead volunteer for the Club’s library, co-founded our book club and conceived the annual Swedes Read Book Sale. She also helped to edit Laura Wideburg’s book Swedish: The Basics. She teaches a drop-in language class every Thursday. Her students craft the curriculum for every session, which can vary from translating or writing letters to discussing current events to learning vocabulary. Berit and her husband have two sons and three grandsons, and live in Seattle.

Catharina Lundin, M.Sc., M.B.A.

Catharina () moved here in 2002 from Stockholm. She works as a teacher and principal at the Swedish School (Svenska Skolföreningen) for children on Sundays at the Club. She also teaches Swedish online for Rosetta Stone. Previously she worked for Ericsson in Sweden.

“I really enjoy meeting new people and teaching them Swedish,” says Catharina. “I have learned to teach at the Swedish School and at Rosetta, which focuses on speaking Swedish through immersion. In my classes we practice speaking Swedish, reading, grammar and other activities. We usually fikar the last day of class.” Catharina lives in Sammamish with her husband, three children and a dog.

Carina Hurtig Boczar

Carina () was born, raised and educated in Sweden. Her career path in Sweden included photography, but since moving to the U.S. Carina has been a Swedish instructor at Berlitz, and teaches Swedish to children for the Swedish School (Svenska Skolföreningen) on Sundays at the Club. She also substitutes for other instructors in the evening and for the Friday conversation class. She and her husband have three children and live in Redmond.


Scandinavian Folk Dancing Class & Dance Party

teaches Scandinavian folk dancing and German Zwiefacher dances on the second Friday evening of every month. Come with or without a partner, with or without experience! Informal dance class at 7:30 and sometimes instruction is sprinkled throughout the evening too. If you only want to dance, come at 8 p.m.! Cost: Club members $7, public $9.

Weaving Classes

Beginning Weaving Classes. “From yarn to finished cloth.” No prior experience necessary. Learn from experienced weaver/instructor Lois Gaylord. Series of four two-hour classes. Blue card members $89; nonmembers $112. 2 to 4 p.m. Download the registration form and bring it to the first class with your payment.

You can use the Club’s looms. We have six four-harness looms; three are table looms and three are floor looms. They're all from different manufacturers, and a couple of them are handmade. A big part of the class is learning how to set up the warp or “dress” a loom.

For fall 2017, the four-class series will be offered on the following schedule:
  • October session: Wednesdays, Oct. 11–Nov. 1, 6:30–8:30 p.m.
  • November session: Wednesdays, Nov. 8–29, 6:30–8:30 p.m.
Call the Club at 206-283-1090 for further information.