Swedish and English teacher Viktoria Tengelin has spent much of her life living outside her native Sweden in countries including the USA, Australia, Egypt and China. Along the way she has learnt a number of foreign languages, but despite holding a BA in Swedish and English, she believes that she has acquired these skills through hard work rather than being a natural linguist.
‘I picked up languages from being prepared to work hard, from writing and revising, I have always tried to practice it and use it,’ she says.
Details about Viktoria
Viktoria has a distinct process that involves practising in a very focused way which has helped her in her language journey.
‘I have something prepared that I want to practice, then I find a native speaker and practice it and it sticks. It could be practising the past tense or ordering in a restaurant. I will sit with the text in front of me and practice it and ask the other to use the same phrasing. You have to be the one that makes sure you learn the language, you can’t just rely on having the chance to do it. You have to always do things with intention.’
Viktoria is from Gothenburg, Sweden. She speaks Swedish, English, Japanese, Arabic, some French, German and Spanish, tiny bit of Chinese. She mainly teaches Swedish and English and she likes helping people, learning languages and exercising.
She has recently spent a lot of time in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, where she has sought to apply the same skills that have helped her learn Japanese and Arabic to also learning Spanish.
She is originally from Gothenburg, Sweden’s second biggest city, but has since relocated permanently elsewhere, ‘it has everything you need but it’s not a huge city. It’s clean and has interesting restaurants, nice parks, we call it little London,’ she explains.
And when she is not teaching or travelling she enjoys exercise – going to the gym up to six days a week; practising and teaching yoga – and keeps very busy taking university courses and studying German.