I am originally Finnish and now working in local immigration office as teaching Finnish to immigrants. Is here anyone who is working as teacher of Finnish language? I would like to learn more about teaching immigrants, get good tips and share experienses of course.
Basic about my work; most my students have studied something but many times we need to start from beginning (alphabeths, basic pronunciation, simple single words, simple grammar...) or then praticing some everydaylife situations like what to say when you go to shop or to bank or to health center.
Any contacts are welcomed.
And as typical shy Finnish: sorry my English is not perfect.
Well, one thing is to get them to learn to read and speak so they don't sound stupid messing up stuff. First thing though is to learn how to be silent and stop waving hands. Its very hard for some people, but a Finn will run away if a windmill babbling incoherently approaches. Tell them of the diplomat tango. So there is no need to rush anywhere. This also helps in learning to listen and taste the words, because theres the double vovels and double consonants that make the whole difference. You can say joo...mmm..niin and let the other person speak. There is no necessity to babble, silence is comfortable, so this gives time to think that fraction more of the grammar. Nobody thinks you are stupid for being silent, thats one cultural thing that causes grief, they think you are wise you think so much.
Teaching the alphabet. Go with Takero. I mean, aa, pee, see, tee, ee ähvä, kee.... no fancyisms, they'll learn the dialect on the street. A Finnish letter is like a finnish person, stubborn and independent so it has one sound for one letter and it doesn't give it up. (nevermind the diphtongs) So like the french write(you write on board) "eau", and pronounce it öö, then say in Finnish e-a-u , not (write on board) öö.
Everyone can grab a metro or two on their way. Have the students read out loud. They don't have to know what they read, as long as they read so that your ears don't bleed. So that they can say Mannerheimintien hammaslääkäriasemakeskuksen ajanvaraukset without getting their tongue in a twist. Teach syllabzation. Maybe even get the yellow pencils and do tavutus. Finnish has a rythm, tak-tak-tak-tak. If they complain they don't understand, you don't know names on a map either, its for being able to pronounce and deprogram the other alphabet and program the Finnish alphabet in. The next excersize is for you to read, dicatate, and they write. This is very important as how can you look up a word in a dictionary if you can not write it down? (grammar part in advanced class teaches them how to get rid of the ending and make the letter back to the basic form to actually find it).
Useful things to learn, common signs, greetings, shopping, survival in the city "heitä röökii - en mä polta" etc. you can get small dialogues acting daily situations. Make funny ones: smurf attack in metro matkalippujen tarkastus, everyone has to explain where they are going. etc.
Last edited by Pursuivant on Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
"By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes."
Not a teacher just a student - but I would say talk talk talk. Every course I've been on begins with learning to speak, but within a few months it is all grammar and practicing writing. The most effective teachers I had made us speak more than write. And not just repeating things out loud but having conversations. Forcing us to talk to each other, ask and answer questions. Even as simple as making us ask each other what our plans are for the weekend.
All too often we learn a phrase one week and it is never mentioned again. The only way to cement what we learn is to use it and use it often. You will find that most of your students walk out the door and use exactly 0 Finnish until they come back in a week later. These people will take YEARS to progress even if you keep telling them to practice.
The absolute best teacher I ever had used to set homework every week: She would write on the board that the homework was PUHU SUOMEA!
I am planning to make lessons outside to my students like go to market, to streets, to railwaystation or labour office to situation use Finnish language like "could you tell where is railwail station", how I can fill "toimeentulotukihakemus", has this ice cream contains gelatin?