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  • Ingela Haaland

Ingela-Selda Eilert Haaland

How long have you been teaching at ASI?

I have been teaching regularly at ASI since fall 2014, with numerous years of teaching Swedish outside of ASI to students from pre-school age through adults.

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

I was born in Helsingborg, in southern Sweden, to a Danish mother and Swedish father. As a family, we lived abroad for a number of years, first in Australia and later in Japan. My family soon spoke Swedish, Danish, English and a smattering of Japanese for good measure at the dinner table. After graduating from high school in Malmö, Sweden, I came to Minnesota for what was meant to be a year abroad. Here I am today still, almost two decades later, a dual citizen of Sweden and the U.S. with a B.A. in literature and a M.Ed. in education, continuing to revel in the unraveling of language and literacy musings as I keep one foot in Minnesota and one in Sweden.

How would you describe your teaching style?

I enjoy connecting language and literature studies with music, history, folklore, media news, listening comprehension, grammar and etymology. With advanced students, I have a passion for studying and discussing literature and cross-referencing it with other works. I welcome student input for which works we read, and I enjoy gathering for movie nights a few times each year to watch movies of some of the books we have read. For beginner students, I follow a textbook for continuity while supplementing grammar, oral and written fluency work with exercises from a variety of sources. I love to laugh with my students and enjoy the process of learning as much as the outcome.

What is your favorite Swedish word and why?

One word I enjoy is mysig, or cozy. Staying cozy is just as important during the long, dark winters in Sweden as during light, endless summer nights when the sweet, musty smell of freshly threshed barley fields wafts past my parents’ front veranda. It is mysigt to sit there together, talking about the day and planning for the morrow. I might sit and mysa with my daughter in my arms, or think about the mysig day spent with good friends the day before. Mysig is a word that I associate with camaraderie, family, nature, and being content in life.

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