Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Intro

Alisha: What are some common Swedish proficiency tests?
Jesper: And how do I choose the right one for me?
Alisha: At SwedishPod101.com, we hear these questions often. Imagine the following situation: Emma is talking to Jack about her attempts to motivate herself to study Swedish harder. She says, "I have to take the TISUS exam."
Emma Eriksson: Jag måste ta TISUS-provet.
Dialogue
Emma Eriksson: Jag måste ta TISUS-provet.
Jack Jones: Testet i svenska för universitets- och högskolestudier?
Alisha: Once more with the English translation.
Emma Eriksson: Jag måste ta TISUS-provet.
Alisha: "I have to take the TISUS exam."
Jack Jones: Testet i svenska för universitets- och högskolestudier?
Alisha: "The Test in Swedish for University Studies?"

Lesson focus

Alisha: In this lesson, you will be learning about Swedish proficiency tests and how to choose the one that is right for you. Our discussion will focus on a few of the more common tests along with some details that will help you to make your decision.
In the dialogue for today's lesson, Emma mentioned TISUS, which stands for "The Test in Swedish for University Studies" or
Jesper: Test i svenska för universitets- och högskolestudier.
Alisha: As the name implies, people who take this test are those who wish to prove that they are competent enough in Swedish to study at a Swedish university. Because it is designed in accordance with advanced standards recommended by students and university educators, TISUS is recognized by all universities in Sweden. If you are a non-native speaker with an upper secondary school diploma from a foreign country and you want to apply for academic studies in Sweden, then this is the certificate for you.
If you take the test, you will be asked to do a reading and writing test and will also be required to do a speaking test which consists of a discussion and a task you will do on your own. You will have to pass all three of these components of the test if you are to receive a
Jesper: godkänd
Alisha: or passing grade. You can always repeat the test the next year, should you receive a failing grade or, in Swedish,
Jesper: underkänd.
Alisha: Make no mistake: this is not a test for beginners. It is advisable to make sure that you are quite proficient in Swedish before attempting it. This is not the kind of test you can study for because you are tested on your overall proficiency. There is no specific textbook or other material you can study. The good news is that your pass in a TISUS test has no expiration date and is like a grade in that sense.
An excellent alternative to the TISUS certificate is the Swedex certificate. This Swedish language exam is designed by
Jesper: Folkuniversitetet
Alisha: which also offers free web-based language tests that allow you to test your proficiency in the language. The test is designed in accordance with factors related to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, and it is approved by the Swedish Institute—a government body. Furthermore, you will be allowed to take the test no matter where or how you learned Swedish and the test allows for multiple levels of proficiency. This means that you need not be fully proficient in Swedish in order to take the test. Not only that, but you will have multiple options for where you can take it. This could be either inside Sweden or out, including, approximately, ninety-two cities and thirty-two countries. Swedex tests your proficiency in speaking, reading, listening and writing, and a Swedex certificate validates your proficiency in these areas, meaning that it can open many doors for you.
Perhaps the doors you would like to open are more specifically ones that can lead to a job. If that is the case, then you might want to check out the certificates offered by the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce or
Jesper: Stockholms Handelskammare.
Alisha: There are several test providers who work with the Chamber of Commerce and offer courses and examinations throughout the year. You can do courses at either a beginner or an advanced level and the certificate you receive will validate your proficiency in business Swedish.
Should you wish to be assessed on your real-life Swedish language skills, a great option is the ACTFL OPI. This rather lengthy initialism stands for the "American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Oral Proficiency Interview." Phew. Imagine trying to say that in Swedish! From now on, let's just refer to it as the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview. You can tell, from the name, that it is not a test in the same sense of the word as tests that are provided by other institutes. Instead, it assesses your ability to use Swedish in real-life situations through a one-on-one interview.
This interview takes approximately twenty to thirty minutes and is conducted by a certified ACTFL tester. It is also unique in that the tester will adjust their approach to the interview based on the level of proficiency that the test-taker displays. Much like in a conversation, there is an element of adaptation that takes place as the participants assess the proficiency of the other speaker. Because it assesses your ability to use the language in real life and not in a formal, academic format, this test is perhaps a better indicator of your level of proficiency than a formal test would be. Personally, I can imagine many employers preferring someone who has passed this kind of test.
Practice Section
Alisha: Let's review what we heard in this lesson. I will say the target sentence in English, then you should respond by saying the sentence out loud in Swedish. Jesper will then model the correct answer. Listen to him carefully, with the focus on pronunciation, and then repeat.
The first sentence is "I have to take the TISUS exam."
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Jesper: Jag måste ta TISUS-provet.
Alisha: Did you get it right? Listen to Jesper again, and repeat.
Jesper: Jag måste ta TISUS-provet.
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Jesper: Jag måste ta TISUS-provet.
Alisha: The second sentence is "The Test in Swedish for University Studies?"
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Jesper: Testet i svenska för universitets- och högskolestudier?
Alisha: How did you do this time? Again, listen to Jesper and repeat.
Jesper: Testet i svenska för universitets- och högskolestudier?
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Jesper: Testet i svenska för universitets- och högskolestudier?
Cultural Expansion
Alisha: If you are a non-native speaker and an immigrant in Sweden, the test you probably want to take is the SFI level test. The letters "SFI" stand for "Swedish for Immigrants." It is a good way to assess your current level of proficiency and can be a good way to "refresh" your skills if you haven't used Swedish for a while. It is also convenient in that you can simply show up during office hours and take the test without a reservation. All you need is your ID or passport, but do take note that you will not be allowed to take the test if you are taking an SFI course at the time. Also, take note that there is no central SFI website and that you should visit your local municipality website in order to find out where the nearest SFI testing center is to you.
At the same testing center, people are also able to take the SAS level test. "SAS" stands for "Swedish as a Second Language." Just as with the SFI test, you need not make a reservation and you will need to bring your ID or passport. You'll get your test results immediately, but take along a snack and make sure you are fresh and rested before you take this test—it's approximately three hours long!

Outro

Alisha: Do you have any more questions? We're here to answer them!
Jesper: Vi ses!
Alisha: See you soon!

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