The Swedish School in Sydney is happy to announce that on the 5-7th of May 2023, there will be an international conference held in Sydney for Swedish language schools in Oceania. The conference is organised by the Swedish School in Sydney in close collaboration with Swedish schools in Melbourne, Perth and Newcastle.
The language conference is open to teachers and school administrators working with supplementary teaching of Swedish as a community language. Swedish schools are funded by the National Agency of Education in Sweden (Skolverket) but also by state-specific organisations like the New South Wales Community Language Schools (NSWCLS), where a requirement for students is that Swedish is used as a living language at home. This year, the Swedish language conference will be based around the theme of “Swedish as a second language”. The conference is anticipated to attract around 60 participants across Australia, New Zealand, and nearby regions.
Teaching at a community language school is often demanding, as lessons are organised after a regular school day or in the weekend, and classrooms include mixed age groups and different levels of language proficiency. This requires additional pedagogic strategies to ensure that lessons are engaging, fun and valuable for all students. The conference program will therefore include a mix of theory driven sessions around how to teach a second language as well as practical tips to use in the classroom. There will also be opportunities for teachers to catch up, exchange ideas around teaching strategies and to form collaborative networks. The conference program will also include a roadmap for students interested in studying at a Swedish university later on.
To keep all delegates inspired throughout the weekend, there will also be some holistic aspects included in the program such as sunrise yoga at the Opera House, tasting of the traditional and much-loved Swedish cinnamon bun (kanelbulle), and plenty of time to discover all the wonderful things that Sydney has to offer. There are also plans to include some indigenous aspects of teaching and living.
As with many non-profit organisations, the schools are dependent on enthusiastic voluntary work, where in many cases, participants will fund their own airfares to and from the conference. We are seeking additional funding and are inviting Swedish companies to become event sponsors. By supporting the conference, together with the National Agency of Education (Skolverket), Svensk Utlandsundervisnings Förening (SUF) and Riksförening Sverigekontakt, your company will contribute towards keeping the Swedish language and culture alive. If you are interested in more information regarding the conference, or just pop by for a kanelbulle, please contact Pernilla at email@example.com.
Thank you SACC, for giving us the opportunity to write this article. We would also like to extend a special thanks to the National Agency of Education, SUF, Riksförening Sverigekontakt and the state-specific organisations like NSWCLS for making it possible to keep our language and culture alive.