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David Richardson

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About David Richardson

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  • Birthday 07/27/1954

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    Kalmar, Sweden

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  1. Sorry it's taken me a while to respond - I haven't checked this forum for a couple of weeks. If you go to my portal page: http://www.humsam.hik.se/distans/index.htm and then click on Active Course Sites, you'll find a link to the Toolbox, where I've created links to one or two pages on some of my existing courses which could be of interest to you. I've done a fair bit of English for Technical Purposes, and I've got a great deal of background material on my hard disks. If you'd like some of it, just mail me and I'll send you some of it! My mail address is david.richardson@hik.se
  2. Firstly, I think that 'niche marketing' is more than just important - it's the way that the web is going in general. What is happening is that we're experiencing a return to traditional human values: we believe what we hear from people we see as being like us much more than what 'experts' say. The good thing about these home-produced web sites is that they can reflect much more closely something that real people find useful … so more and more real people find them valuable and visit them. One of my colleagues here has produced a portal site full of links which might be valuable to teachers of
  3. … and I'd like to add that I live in the county of Kalmar in Sweden which experienced a sizeable swing to the Social Democrats when much of the rest of the country swung away from them! We've just topped the league for having excellent and responsive healthcare services (which are organised on a county basis here). Our local politicians now want to make the 90-day guarantee (of the maximum time it takes between going to the doctor and beginning specialist treatment, having been diagnosed) into a 45-day guarantee.
  4. The co-pays in the Swedish system are designed to discourage people from calling the doctor for minor ailments they can sort out themselves. There's a very good medical advice line you usually call in the first instance (which costs one local call unit), and they'll either refer you to treatment you can carry out yourself, to a non-prescription medicine from the chemist's, or to a medical centre where you can get qualified medical advice. I've never heard of a case where someone has stayed away from the doctor's because they can't afford the co-pay (i.e. people are all rich enough here to affo
  5. Just to add a little to my previous post. After you've paid the co-pay, you don't pay anything else at all. There was a case which got a lot of publicity here recently of a young man who had a chronic, life-threatening and very rare condition which required medicines and other treatment costing just over 1 million SEK per annum. The state continues to pick up the bill for that (which actually means that the costs are spread out fairly equally among all of us). No-one even suggested that he should be left to his own devices …
  6. Let me respond to John's original posting and say something about the situation in Sweden. But first let me extend my condolences to John's wife and John himself - I hope that you're both doing as well as can be expected … Last year I earned about 350,000 SEK and paid about 108,000 SEK in direct taxation. My employer paid slightly less than I did in various types of payroll tax (the Swedish economy is doing very well at the moment, by the way). We are subject to a co-pay of 150 SEK each time we visit a clinic (although people under the age of 18 pay nothing at all). That's about $25. There's
  7. We always sing the Internationale on the May Day march - and it amazes Swedes when they hear that there are English words to it too.
  8. I don't know if I mentioned this, but my university is offering the first 'regular' course in Sweden on Kamimo Island, our island on SL in the spring. The course is called Oral Production, and is worth 3 European Credits. It'll be held entirely on Kamimo. You can apply for the course by going to http://www.studera.nu. There's an 'English' link right at the top of the page, and you need to uncheck the box that says something like 'Courses for International Students' in order to be able to find the course. You can read more about Kamimo in general, and about some of the thoughts we've been havi
  9. We're opening Kamimo Island officially on 21st September, but the Social English for Doctoral Students course kicks off on 19th September (though we're probably going to do most of the first session on the Marratech desktop video-conference system). We've got two Italians, an Estonian, three Swedes, two Norwegians and a Chinese person living in Norway as students … about right for a pilot course. Kamimo Island is looking good - even though I say so myself! (Actually I haven't been involved in all the clever stuff, so I feel free to praise it …). It's got a very Scandinavian feel to it, with t
  10. Interesting responses. I trained as a teacher of English in the UK and worked doing that for three years between 1977 and 1980. In other words, my direct experience of the teacher side of the classroom was from the days teaching was seen as a vocation, and we worked per year, rather than per hour. Since 1980, for nearly all of the time, I've been teaching English as a Foreign Language in various places and it saddens me a little to see the damage that's been done to 'my' subject by the demands of the national curriculum. Right now I'm teaching corpus-based (descriptive) grammar to foreigners
  11. Here's the English-language site of Skolverket (the national agency handling schools): http://www.skolverket.se/sb/d/190 Unfortunately most of the information you really need is only published in Swedish. We have a national curriculum document called Lpo 94 which is the 'law' for schools at the moment (Lpo means 'curriculum for publicly-run schools' and 94 is the year it was adopted in). This sets out the information in detail.
  12. Quite. There was a stand-up comic in the US in the 60's called Murray Roman who had a great routine called "You can't beat people up, *and* have them say 'I love you'!" It's a lesson which needs to be re-learned every decade, it seems.
  13. Jean Walker asked me for a description of the post-secondary education system in Sweden, so I thought I'd start a new topic where we might learn about several other countries too. The system in Sweden is basically fairly simple … but it gets quite complicated too! There's basically a three-stage education system here, with a few add-ons. When children are about 12-15 months old, nearly all of them start at a day nursery. These are nearly all run either by the local council or by cooperatives of parents, and have staff who'll have done a 2-3 year training course at a university-level institut
  14. Quite. I keep hearing the punch line from the Aesop's fable: who's going to bell the cat? The problem is that it's much easier to wear a bracelet than to start trying to change society …
  15. Sorry to jump back - I've only just started reading this thread. You should read The Poison Belt by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - it's about the Earth passing through a belt of poisonous gas which apparently eliminates from the Earth all life apart from that of the enlightened (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Poison_Belt). You can read the full text here: http://www.pagebypagebooks.com/Arthur_Cona...he_Poison_Belt/ This was written in 1913 …
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