question about kielikahvila in wider Helsinki area

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metsämurmeli
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:16 pm

question about kielikahvila in wider Helsinki area

Post by metsämurmeli » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:29 pm

I thought it was a good idea to go to kielikahvila that are organized by the local libraries to learn the language. I have to admit though, I am quite astonished at how they are held.

To give some examples, just as examples:

I am sorry to say, while I am reading Finnish quite ok by now, my speaking skills are very low. The first "teacher" reacted to that fact in a way, I can only call highly passive-aggressive. I sat beside her, I am pretty sure that she noticed that after an hour or so. When she asked the group something, like "what is the largest animal in your home country", she would smile and turn... to my side. The smile died on her face, and she would turn to someone else quite demonstratively. I was just a tiny bit crushed, I have to admit it. I figured, you get what you pay for, kielikahvila is free, so I am not complaining, and I just go look for another place.

The second place there were a couple employees from the library, and a couple volunteers. The first time I was alone with them, so I got a lot of "talk time" (or "stumble time" maybe :) ). The second time there were more learners, so naturally we all spoke less than I did the first time around. One of the volunteers likes to talk a LOT herself, she told the other dudes what I had told the first time. Yeah, if I wanted to tell that stuff to the new dudes, I would do so myself, no? After the time was up, I stood up, not thinking much, and she pulled me into a tight embrace talking Finnish. Uh. The second time I see that person? I am a bit peculiar about being touched by strangers, and a tight embrace leaves me rather disturbed. Someone I see for the second time is not a close friend I would embrace like that.

The third place I was the only female with about 10 refugees. It is nice that they can, and want to learn the language but honestly for me it is too much to deal with Finnish, and a couple refugees trying to flirt with me. Of course, I ignore that, but I am also a bit peculiar about feeling safe. Seeing that I have been learning Arabic in the past, and have been reading a LOT, I like to think that I am not your average racist person. But I am absolutely NOT willing to risk anything in that regard.

I begin to wonder whether kielikahvila is at all worth it. It is free, and I feel bad for seemingly complaining about it. But I just do not work like that. Does anyone here have good experiences that they could share, maybe including which library's kielikahvila in the wider Helsinki area is worth attending? I do not need help learning words by going through word lists, but actually speaking.



question about kielikahvila in wider Helsinki area

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Rosamunda
Posts: 10640
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2004 12:07 am

Re: question about kielikahvila in wider Helsinki area

Post by Rosamunda » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:46 am

Did you give them feedback? It might be a good idea to send them an email telling them how you feel. Teachers talking too much is a classic problem with inexperienced teachers! Hugging is just weird!

I know there is a Language Café in Iso Omena library but I have never been.


biscayne
Posts: 632
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:43 pm

Re: question about kielikahvila in wider Helsinki area

Post by biscayne » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:34 pm

This is the information I got from an actual Finnish teacher about the kielikahvila thing:

Because asylum seekers are not yet approved for residency and do not get the integration package, the kielikahvila is the only free way for them to learn any Finnish at all. (Remember, there is a difference between asylum seekers and actual refugees with status). Therefore, the kielikahvila is usually full of them. Their culture and social interactions are going to be very different and their attitudes to women probably too. The teacher basically said it's a waste of time.

Teachers opinion, not mine.


metsämurmeli
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:16 pm

Re: question about kielikahvila in wider Helsinki area

Post by metsämurmeli » Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:20 pm

Thank you both! I did write an email, the head of the library played it down. After I insisted she agreed to talk with the "boundary-less" person. She sneaked up on me from behind, so I have to admit I felt borderline assaulted, heh. Weird indeed. Oh well.


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