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Instructor Profile: Liz Stopka

How long have you been teaching at ASI?

Fall 2017 will be my first session teaching adults but I have been teaching with Svenska Skolan since 2016. I’ve also taught Swedish for several summers at Sjölunden, the Swedish immersion camp at Concordia Language Villages.

How did you learn Swedish/what is your connection to Sweden?

My mom decided I needed to learn more about my Swedish heritage and sent me to Sjölunden at age 10. With my first taste of pannkakor, I was immediately hooked and have been learning and using the language ever since. After several summers studying Swedish in the north woods, I decided to major in Scandinavian Studies and had a chance to study abroad at Uppsala University for a semester. In Uppsala, I deepened my knowledge of Swedish language and culture, while having a lot of fika in the process! Since then I have been teaching Swedish at Sjölunden and Svenska Skolan and finding ways to use the language as much as possible.

How would you describe your teaching style?

I strive to create a fun, comfortable environment where students feel free to take risks and make mistakes, a natural part of learning a new language. My classroom is learner-centered and I focus on teaching useful language relevant to students’ goals as well as offering opportunities to use and be creative with the language. I believe it is impossible to separate language and culture and so try to bring in as much culture to the classroom as I can through incorporating topics like current events, music, art, and literature, whenever possible.

What is your favorite Swedish word and why?

Nöjd which means satisfied or pleased because it is particularly pleasing to pronounce!

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