-In collaboration with Learn Swedish Now, LLC –
Jessica Tovesson met the love of her life in Kalmar in 2005. Like many Swedes before her, she made the decision to move to the United States to be with her now-husband. Little did she know that this would be the start of her great American adventure and that she, with the use of her experience in education, would go on to start her own Swedish language education company, Learn Swedish Now LLC.
Today, Jessica lives in Chicago and teaches virtual classes from beginner to advanced across the United States. Swedes in the States decided to catch up with her to learn more about her, Learn Swedish Now LLC, and her Swedish classes.
Jessica, tell us about the start of your journey from Sweden to the United States?
I met my future husband when both of us were visiting family in Kalmar in 2005. He is a scientist and was living and working in the US at the time. After a long-distance relationship, we decided to settle down together in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
How did you get started with teaching in the United States?
The Embassy of Sweden in Washington, DC had an event that I participated in where I was introduced to staff at the Swedish School for the greater DC area. Given my background as an educator and language instructor, I was invited for an interview at the school and was offered a position as a teacher for the adult groups.
I started the position in 2017 and promptly learned about the diverse group of people interested in the Swedish language and culture. Some of them are relocating to Sweden for work or school, or a new relationship; others have a close friend or family member that is a native speaker. There are also those that want to reconnect with their family heritage, and some have a general passion for Swedish culture and language.
What is your experience teaching Swedish?
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Stockholm University and have been an educator for most of my adult life. After teaching elementary and middle school for a few years in the US I decided to expand my teaching into adult education and started working with clients that needed to learn the Swedish language and our culture. In 2017 I moved to the Washington, DC area and got
involved with the Swedish School. I teach beginner adult classes there and was also the Deputy Director of the Swedish School before relocating to the Chicago area. In parallel, I have been continuing to teach advanced classes in Swedish to private clients, which has included Embassy personnel, Scientists, and Government officials, all of whom have relocated to Sweden for business.
Why did you decide to start your company Learn Swedish Now, LLC?
Listening to my students over the years, I realized that there was a strong interest in small group lessons and it was often on my mind as students kept bringing it up.
Students at all levels of proficiency were seeking additional support and felt that they needed more than what was offered in the larger group classes and that more frequent interactive learning opportunities would help them advance faster.
Many of those students now enjoy learning Swedish in a small group setting and the lunch classes we offer are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, which is a great way to learn to speak Swedish with confidence.
What can your students expect from your classes?
The students will learn to speak Swedish in small virtual instructor-led classes. The curriculum is designed to be engaging, fun, and immersive. We work with students to accommodate their particular learning styles and incorporate different tools and techniques into a holistic learning experience. Our Swedish language classes will teach you to speak Swedish with confidence due to our small classes, that are limited to a maximum of 4 students. With more than 15 years of teaching experience, we can customize the learning experience in a way that helps every student speak with confidence.
What are your favorite spots in Chicago?
I am a huge soccer fan and played competitively from the age of seven through high school. I greatly enjoy watching women’s soccer and I can’t wait to watch the Chicago Red Stars playing live again once.
What do you miss the most about Sweden?
I miss my wonderful family a lot, my dear Swedish friends, the fantastic island Öland with its beautiful sunsets and, of course, the Swedish godis (candy) that is one of a kind.
Learn Swedish Now, LLC offers everyone an entirely free, no-commitment trial class. If you want to sign up for your free trial, you can find more information about that here: https://www.learnswedishnow.com/free-trial
You also receive a 15% discount with the code “swedes15”.