Malin Helgesson

Language coach

Malin Helgesson

As my mother is Polish and my father Swedish, I have grown up with two cultures side by side. I am very engaged with exchange students at my university and truly enjoy traveling all over the world. I have encountered many different cultures through my work as a Swedish language coach with Swedish for Professionals, which can truly add a lot to my international experience!

The languages I speak are Swedish, English, and Polish as well as a bit of German. During high school, I studied Chinese for two years, but unfortunately, I cannot claim that I remember much.

I enjoy both reading and writing during my leisure time and have spent many hours learning languages. Being able to “change sides” and teach instead of just learning is a great challenge and, most importantly, really fun!

I cannot pick one favorite memory as there are so many good ones, but I do have a favorite exercise: a discussion about international experiences. I’ve done this exercise with many of my students and every time is different. For example, one of my students has spent a few years in the army in his home country and worked worldwide with all kinds of companies, among them a casino in Las Vegas. When I do this exercise we usually spend the entire lesson telling stories – in Swedish of course- and discussing differences in culture. In my opinion, this lesson combines an inspiring discussion with a great opportunity to learn new words, expressions and explore different cultures!

As I am a student myself, I know what is the best way to explain grammar, vocabulary, and phrases in a simple and straightforward way. Also, being an older sister, I often help my sisters with homework and that has also helped me to develop a better pedagogical approach. Now I have worked for Swedish for Professionals for quite some time and I have also contributed to developing our course material.

The best thing with teaching is that “aha” moment when my students understand what I am explaining. My students are very ambitious and have many interesting experiences so when every time we are discussing cultural differences, I am always learning just as much about their cultures as they learn about our Swedish culture.

Malin Helgesson