My Experience With Integration Finnish Classes So Far

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Kössi K
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Re: My Experience With Integration Finnish Classes So Far

Post by Kössi K » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:52 pm

Interesting to read about the experiences, and I hope you guys will also post some updates as you progress.
More importantly, I seriously truly hope that those of you who have varied experiences, especially regarding the mandatory TE's kotoutumiskurssi, would give honest feedback to those teachers and other people involved in planning those courses, as well.
And if feeling daring, even to the TE worker that you deal with. (Proceed with caution :wink: ) Even if it is copypasting + emailing exactly what you've all told here in this forum! Maybe it's safest (as some people at TE can get all butthurt if get any negative commentary) to give them feedback after you're done with the course, or if you've moved onto some other courses instead.

They don't need the Yes Mens adoring feedback every time, but rather feedback regarding these well analyzed troubling spots, the too-slowness, the overwhelming speed or odd structure. That's the only way that they can ever improve it (if they have the will..), especially if a lot of people drop out. And at least the constructive feedback would give them something to think about why some people struggle or why some drop out.

Indeed, for many the courses that are slightly more advanced than one's current level, are usually better for them than the too slow ones. You'll lose interest very quickly, if forced to go to the slow basic TrueBeginners' course, when you might already know a bit and they keep droning on an on about the ABCs and lists like minun kirjani, sinun kirjasi, hänen kirjansa, for several days on end. :D
Quote from a friend: "Goddammit, there really is a book, all day long, and it is usually never my book. I get it!! *rips hair out* "

Don't be afraid to give feedback, during the course or after it. Even straight to the teachers but especially if you get a chance to write it out, so they can go through it carefully.
If people seem to be following the teaching, they might not have a clue that it is too much too fast, or why someone is looking a bit baffled or bored - might just write them down as unmotivated or lazy, and doesn't do any good to anyone.
As for the slower speed learning; yes indeed, would be great to find the ideal pace for everyone. No shame in slower learning either. Hey, we even have a saying here: "Hiljaa hyvä tulee."

Onnea matkaan, jatkakaa samaan malliin!


Joha mie sanoi, vaikken mittää virkkant.

Re: My Experience With Integration Finnish Classes So Far

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uzzdenus
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Re: My Experience With Integration Finnish Classes So Far

Post by uzzdenus » Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:04 pm

Hey everyone,

Being the OP, I thought it might be helpful to give an update :) We have three months left ahead including the 5 week job-training program and I don't expect things to take a dramatic turn from now on.

I've sure made some progress since then although I can safely say that I've missed 60% of what we've been taught. The idea of the integration language course is to cram enough content into 8 months, which is actually 6 months after the language and job training sessions, hoping that we'll be speaking Finnish at B2 level by the time we walk out the door for good. In order to achieve this, we've been constantly introduced to pieces of some advanced text and teachers who speak so fast that I missed almost all the important bullet points unless I asked someone who didn't or managed to figure it out on my own. So much has been lost on us except for the ones who already spoke some Finnish from day one. The long hours, combined with the advanced content, have also turned it into an exhausting process where we cannot stay focused throughout the class hours. I no longer worry about it though, I've just come to terms with it: I try to get as much as I can and call it a day. It's merely impossible to catch up with it for normal human beings.

To sum up, I still recommend that you plan your own Finnish language education if possible, rather than being dragged into a class by the TE. Living in Finland and studying Finnish, I personally believe that Finnish classes should take an easy-going supportive role, giving you the tools to use outside the class, rather than wearing you out and discouraging you to speak a single word in Finnish by the end of the day.


Rasikko
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Re: My Experience With Integration Finnish Classes So Far

Post by Rasikko » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:04 pm

Yeah that's basically the gist of it. On month three and we're at the ammatti part of the course, I'm feeling pretty jaded already.

I get through the days knowing I have my trusty Suomen Mestari in my bag and I continue self teaching for an hour everyday before class. The mental drain comes from the teachers shoving too much linguistic info down your throat and expecting it to stick. In short, learning finnish in the TE course is not fun. It is only the newness of the language(for people learning it as an L2 and above) that keeps the drive going. The Finnish language is pretty cool, and I especially like formal side of it, but as with learning any language, it should be fun.


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uzzdenus
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Re: My Experience With Integration Finnish Classes So Far

Post by uzzdenus » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:57 pm

Rasikko wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:04 pm
The mental drain comes from the teachers shoving too much linguistic info down your throat and expecting it to stick. In short, learning finnish in the TE course is not fun. It is only the newness of the language(for people learning it as an L2 and above) that keeps the drive going. The Finnish language is pretty cool, and I especially like formal side of it, but as with learning any language, it should be fun.
Exactly, my point exactly. From day one, we've been treated as if we already spoke the language but just needed some polishing. I personally enjoy the language myself as well and feel great once I manage to use it properly but those happy moments are only outside the class. Inside the class, it's all about fooling around with google translate and calling it a day.


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uzzdenus
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Re: My Experience With Integration Finnish Classes So Far

Post by uzzdenus » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:10 pm

Kössi K wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:52 pm


Don't be afraid to give feedback, during the course or after it. Even straight to the teachers but especially if you get a chance to write it out, so they can go through it carefully.
If people seem to be following the teaching, they might not have a clue that it is too much too fast, or why someone is looking a bit baffled or bored - might just write them down as unmotivated or lazy, and doesn't do any good to anyone.
As for the slower speed learning; yes indeed, would be great to find the ideal pace for everyone. No shame in slower learning either. Hey, we even have a saying here: "Hiljaa hyvä tulee."

Onnea matkaan, jatkakaa samaan malliin!
I haven't contacted the TE about it and yet had a few polite discussions with our teacher, it didn't help except for having myself written down as slightly dimwit. And many classmates, who had pointed at the exact same issues did not back me up on it (not that they had to). They insist to ignore the fact that the students who keep the show going had already studied Finnish (and some lived here for a much longer period) before they started the classes. Someone once said that these language classes used to be slower and take longer but they had to reform the whole program due to increasing number of refugees and immigrants. Now I wouldn't argue about the course period if that is a fact, but I would argue that their theory is faulty. Efficiency is being sacrificed for the sake of crammed content and insane pace.


Y77
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Re: My Experience With Integration Finnish Classes So Far

Post by Y77 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:41 pm

when I did my 10-month integration course in 2011 there were only 2 groups, one for the people that could read and write and one for those who couldn't. I was really shocked when I found out that in this day and age there were still analphabet people around. The teachers were generally good but the students were really disappointing, most of them sat on their arse all day and did nothing, some of them slept, they came just to get the 700 euros monthly payment. Anyway for me it was good because it confirmed the stereotypes that I already had, but I was pleasantly surprised by the South Americans in the class, really friendly, witty and clever. Looking back at it I can say it wasn't a waste of time, but only because back then I didn't have a job, nothing better to do and I was keen on learning the language. Moreover it gave structure to the day.


Rasikko
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Re: My Experience With Integration Finnish Classes So Far

Post by Rasikko » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:44 pm

With the exception of the really obvious ones that ARE there for the money, like the "Soon to be mothers" that will leave in 2 months, I'd say my classmates genuinely want to make something of themselves in Finland.


Rasikko
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Re: My Experience With Integration Finnish Classes So Far

Post by Rasikko » Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:26 pm

Nearing the end. December being the final. I noticed that the push for teaching the language got less and less in October. There had been a lot of changes, including the big change for the program next year, which is why the current one was cut short.

Pretty much came to the conclusion that they don't want to teach finnish anymore. The aim has strongly shifted towards just getting you a job. Any job. It was both demoralizing and disappointing to see these people push their own language to the way side like this.. but it is what it is. If you wanna learn finnish, a private class is the way to go, or.. do it on your own.


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uzzdenus
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Re: My Experience With Integration Finnish Classes So Far

Post by uzzdenus » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:05 pm

Rasikko wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:26 pm
Nearing the end. December being the final. I noticed that the push for teaching the language got less and less in October. There had been a lot of changes, including the big change for the program next year, which is why the current one was cut short.

Pretty much came to the conclusion that they don't want to teach finnish anymore. The aim has strongly shifted towards just getting you a job. Any job. It was both demoralizing and disappointing to see these people push their own language to the way side like this.. but it is what it is. If you wanna learn finnish, a private class is the way to go, or.. do it on your own.
That's curious, what sort of changes will be applied next year? I wouldn't be surprised to see some fundamental changes in the enrollment process or in overall design of the program. From cost - benefit point of view, it doesn't seem to serve their intended purpose at the moment.

Our classes have been extended until March as it seems that the subcontractor institution has managed to have a deal with the TE. However, there is a second 4 week "työharjoittelu" which makes the extension merely obsolete given that we'll have another two weeks off around Christmas time. These "occupational training" thing is another joke of integration Finnish classes. With absolutely NO HELP from teachers finding a potentially helpful place, you're expected to ask around, get ignored a million times, and then finally go some random place that would never ever hire you, and put to work like the free labor you are. Nothing works as intended here.


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