Spring 2021

Course Syllabus


Swedish Language and Culture | Section 1

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Semester & Location:

Spring 2021 - DIS Stockholm

Type & Credits:

Elective Course - 3 credits 

Major Disciplines:

Anthropology, Language



Program Director:

Andreas Brøgger

Assistant Program Director:

Anna Sommer, 


Maria Carlsson, 

Academic Support: 

Time & Place:

Mondays and Thursdays 10:05-11.35, 1D 509


COVID-19 syllabus statement

We all have a collective responsibility to avoid the spread of COVID-19 at DIS. Throughout this semester, please monitor yourself carefully for symptoms of COVID-19 (dry cough, high temperature, breathing difficulties, sore throat, headache, muscle pain, loss of smell/taste). If you experience any of these symptoms, please stay home and contact the DIS emergency phone. The respondent will coordinate with Academics at DIS Stockholm, who will in turn contact your individual faculty. If you are otherwise well but isolating due to possible exposure or mild symptoms, it is your responsibility to keep up with your coursework - we will organize hybrid classes for you to join via Zoom. If you are unwell due to COVID-19 and unable to attend class or study, your absence will be excused. Your faculty will work with you to ensure you are able to make up missed course content due to illness. You are still responsible for completing any missed work.

Description of Course

This course is an integrated language and culture course. We will study different aspects of Swedish culture and we will operate with a complex view on culture through various representations. The focus will be on dominant national narratives, values, and symbolism, which we will approach from both a historical and contemporary perspective.

When studying Swedish language, we will employ a functional approach. The course will focus on spoken everyday Swedish, reading comprehension and basic grammar.

The course will explore how culture is reflected in language. By analyzing keywords and concepts and applying appropriate etiquette, you will learn how to navigate a foreign culture.

An important component of the course will be your own observations and critical analysis. 

Learning Objectives

  •  Acquire a higher level of cultural awareness
  • Acquire knowledge and overall understanding of Swedish history, culture and society

  • Be able to speak, read and understand Swedish on a basic level

  • Get an understanding of the connection between language and culture


Language part: 

DIS SVENSKA Spring 2021

Cultural part:

Booth, Michael (2015), The Almost Nearly Perfect People

Carr Werner, Lisa and Robinowitz Christina Johansson (2001), The Rise of the Swedish Model, Modern-Day Vikings - a Practical Guide to Interacting with Swedes, p. 81-95

Castineira, Angel (2011) Imagined Nations: Personal identity, national identity and the Places of Memory

Kramsch, Claire (1998), The Relationship of Language and Culture, Kilde: Language and Culture.

Lindgren, Astrid (1945), Pippi Longstocking

Nordstrom, Baron. J (2002) The History of Sweden

Other sources for the Culture part:

 Reports and articles from The Sami Parliament, Sametinget:

Judicially, there is a difference between being an indigenous people and a minority. A simple explanation to the view of Sami self-determination is that the …,218347,en.htm (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)

Articles from the offical information website


Course Intranet (Canvas)

Your readings – both when, what, and where; all assignment instructions, test materials, power point presentations, handouts etc.; as well as Reading Guides, which put the individual readings in perspective and indicate where you should place your focus of attention when preparing for class. The reading guides are also useful tools for preparing for quizzes and exams.

Continue learning outside the classroom

 While living and studying in Sweden, you can immerse yourself in the culture in a variety of ways. Try these:

  • Watch Swedish movies with English subtitles • Watch American sitcoms with Swedish subtitles • Turn off your iPod on trains and busses and LISTEN to what is being said around you • Watch the news in Swedish

  • Make a daily habit of reading and translating the headlines of the newspapers • Observe advertising in Swedish as you see it when moving around in the city… etc. etc.

Field Studies

The class encompasses two mandatory Field Studies, as well as an optional cultural excursions. The purpose of the Field Studies and excursions is to use Stockholm’s cultural resources as our extended DIS classroom. Material covered during the Field Studies will be included in assignments and the final exam. Missing a Field Study will impact your participation grade.

Approach to Teaching

Expectations of the Students

The teaching style of this class is interactive. You are expected to actively participate in class discussion, to have done the readings and other homework, and come to class with notes, questions and relevent observations.

Learning a language is hard word and requires a lot of commitment. The ambition is to create a classroom culture in which everyone feels at ease trying to pronounce the unfamiliar Swedish sounds and words.

Engaged participation is an integrated part of the class and will be a large part of the course evaluation. Participating in class discussion requires a high level of preparation and a voluntary contribution of knowledge and ideas. In addition, when speaking Swedish or discussing the connection between language and culture it is important to meet the level of preparation required to be an active participant.


How to get a good grade:

  • Get involved! Use your Swedish, meaning the language as well as your historical and cultural knowledge outside the classroom - the more the better. The more you know the more you see and experience.

  • Use the knowledge and insight obtained in class through readings, lectures and discussions to enrich your study abroad experience and to start fun, thought-provoking and interesting discussions with Swedes.

  • Get organized! Notice all due dates assignment, set aside time to prepare for tests, papers etc., especially at the end of the semester.

  • Prepare for class! Studying a language is like taking care of a new and vulnerable plant, it needs constant attention, water and sunshine in order to grow.

  • Participate! Practice your language in a “safe” environment and get relevant feedback, this is essential in improving. Sharing your thoughts and ideas in class is one of the best tools for developing your analytical skills.




Engaged Partiticpation


Oral Proficiency


Cultural Assignments


 Written Final


Engaged participation 20%

Participation in class requires arriving on time and being prepared in relation to readings and other assignments both for culture and language. Your participation grade reflects the importance of being actice in this course, which reliwes in great part on the reflections, discussions and exercises in class. Active participation is essential, both in culture discussions and language exercises as well as Field Studies. Attendance is mandatory.

Oral Proficiency 20%

At the end of the term you will have a short (approxomately five minutes) intervju with questions and vocabulary asked based on our language book DIS SVENSKA Spring 2021. You are expected to have done your language worksheets and exercises during term in order to succeed.

Culture assignments 40%

You will write two assignments during term, which will be graded separately. The first paper "Getting under the Skin of a famous Swede" and the second paper on a topic we discussed in class. Detailed assignment descriptions will be made available on Assignments on Canvas and be on your calendar. Formal guidelines and Policy you find further down in this Syllabus.

Written exam 20%

The written exam will cover chapters 1 to 6 in DIS SVENSKA Spring 2021 and consist of both grammar exercises, reading comprehension and test your own ability to write a text in Swedish.

Academic Regulations  

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on:

Policy on papers: formal guidelines, late papers

Formal guidelines:

Minimum use of two class texts/sources to which there are clear references.

Minimum use of two relevant texts chosen by student.

1500 words (300 words pr. page = 5 pages)

Font and font size: Arial, 12

Line spacing: 1, 5

Name, Class Section number and teacher´s name in the left  upper corner.

Please note that for late papers I will deduct 5 points for every late day. However, if you need an extention please reach out before the due date.


Policy on classroom etiquette - laptops, cellphones and food in class

Laptops/Tablets/iPads are not allowed to be open in the classroom unless agreed upon for specified tasks, notes on paper are much less disruptive. Cellphones should be on mute and are not to be used in the classroom. Food is not allowed in class but you may bring a drink.

Academic Regulations

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on: 


DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia - 

Course Summary:

Date Details Due