Today, we get to know the Chambers Norwegian and English teacher Lene Skaug, who runs her own teaching and translating business from Sydney, Australia. Learning a language is a great way to stretch your brain, and Lene teaches both face-to-face and online, so if you or your staff want to pick up some Norwegian phrases or widen your vocabulary, you should get in touch with Lene here.
- What kind of clients are you looking for?
I’m looking for all people / businesses interested in learning Norwegian and learning more about Norway and the Norwegian culture. I offer private Norwegian tuition in my home office in Manly or lessons via Skype.
I am also happy to create Special Intensive Courses for businesses around Australia interested in their employees learning some typical Norwegian greetings, expressions and/or work-related vocabulary.
- What’s happening in your industry right now?
The interest in learning Norwegian has been steady for the last 10-15 years, but the big change is the new possibilities via Skype and all the online resources and communication tools available for learning languages. Now it is much easier for example to get a private tutor that suits your schedule because of skype, and the increase in tourism and cheaper flights also mean that more people are travelling to Norway more often, e.g. Australian grand parents with grandchildren in Norway, or students and partners with friends and families in both countries.
- What is your passion? Or what drives you to get up in the morning?
I am passionate about learning and self-development, and being part of other people’s journey, other people wanting to learn and to grow. My purpose is to enhance a person’s learning and learning experience. Open up new possibilities in meeting with others and other cultures.
- What is a great learning experience you’ve made in the workplace?
I have learned a lot from the environment and surroundings; the atmosphere is so important for all kinds of work I would argue, and especially learning and teaching. I’m teaching English to immigrants and international students in Sydney, and Norwegian to Australian people in Sydney, and there is a big difference in learning English as a second language (learners live in the country of the language being taught) and Norwegian as a foreign language (you don’t live in the country of the language being taught). I find that most Norwegians really appreciate people who makes that great effort which it is to learn Norwegian, but I think we all forget at times how much time and effort it takes, because Norwegian people learn and hear English around them all the time, which of course is not the case of learning Norwegian when in Australia. Time and effort is necessary to pass that first hurdle when learning a new language. But as mentioned previously, with all the online possibilities today, there are so many more tools available to you to learn a new language.
- What are you interested in learning more about?
I became a member of the Norwegian Australian Chamber of Commerce, because I’m interested in learning more about Norwegian and Australian cooperation and businesses, and the importance of language and culture for this development. Networking and information talks like the one by Ulf Sverdrup on “The future of the European Union” are things I want to take part in.
- Are there any Norwegian traditions you miss?
The value of public schooling and hospitals, equal education for all children and youth. I don’t miss Norwegian food in general, but when I’m in Norway, I love eating typical Norwegian food, and when I’m in Australia, I like my Australian food. However, there is one thing that I miss and that’s Norwegian bread. Last year I came across this great Rye bread at “Rema”, and it’s impossible to find anything like that in Sydney. And of course, I miss keeping track of all the things happening in Norwegian cultural life, e.g. music, arts, writers and movies.
What I don’t miss? Maybe we take things a bit for granted in Norway. Except for the weather. It’s always the weather to keep us grounded.
Lene Skaug, teacher and translator. Master of Applied Linguistics (TESOL). www.norsk.com.au