quality for "Finnish as secondary language" teaching

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stadinslangi
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:51 am

quality for "Finnish as secondary language" teaching

Post by stadinslangi » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:30 am

I read a second grader boy's text book for "learning Finnish secondary language" ( (Suomi toisena kielenä ja kirjallisuus) and found it is the text book I used 20 years ago.

Image

The book is black and white printed on some matte paper, a bit lower quality than what we use in office today. All the image are line drawings
Image

The textbook is full of vocabulary but many of them are obsolete. There is lack of lively conversation, not much real life case of grammar, no practical cases of language scenarios. Also, by gathering big amount of words in one page I do not think it is a good roadmap for learning.

However, the school is very insist to use this book. When parents giving objections, the school ask parents to find other resources. I wonder why it is like this. updating textbook is one of the basic responsibility of school. How to put it forward?



quality for "Finnish as secondary language" teaching

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Upphew
Posts: 10214
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:55 pm
Location: Lappeenranta

Re: quality for "Finnish as secondary language" teaching

Post by Upphew » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:04 pm

stadinslangi wrote:I read a second grader boy's text book for "learning Finnish secondary language" ( (Suomi toisena kielenä ja kirjallisuus) and found it is the text book I used 20 years ago.

Image

The book is black and white printed on some matte paper, a bit lower quality than what we use in office today. All the image are line drawings
Image

The textbook is full of vocabulary but many of them are obsolete. There is lack of lively conversation, not much real life case of grammar, no practical cases of language scenarios. Also, by gathering big amount of words in one page I do not think it is a good roadmap for learning.

However, the school is very insist to use this book. When parents giving objections, the school ask parents to find other resources. I wonder why it is like this. updating textbook is one of the basic responsibility of school. How to put it forward?
I'd note that that book falls under adult education in oph.fi 's list of learning material. See www.s2opettajat.fi/linkit/oppimateriaalit/ last link.
Sure the teachers can use any material they want, but imho 2nd grader and adult education shouldn't use the same materials.
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stadinslangi
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:51 am

Re: quality for "Finnish as secondary language" teaching

Post by stadinslangi » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:14 pm

Thanks Upphew for your reply. I actually quickly forward this message, after a couple of steps, there is such reply from the teacher
"Thank you for your suggestion. We are using those materials we have."

:shock: :(
I thought it is school shall make the suitable material available, not another way around.

But since situation is such, I would like to ask you gals/guys suggestion for putting it forward. Kid's time is valuable and it is not subject to be wasted.


Upphew
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Location: Lappeenranta

Re: quality for "Finnish as secondary language" teaching

Post by Upphew » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:26 pm

stadinslangi wrote:Thanks Upphew for your reply. I actually quickly forward this message, after a couple of steps, there is such reply from the teacher
"Thank you for your suggestion. We are using those materials we have."

:shock: :(
I thought it is school shall make the suitable material available, not another way around.

But since situation is such, I would like to ask you gals/guys suggestion for putting it forward. Kid's time is valuable and it is not subject to be wasted.
Teacher, principal, head of local education department, your councilor. That would be the path of escalation imho. As I said, teachers can use any material they like. This case it seems they use any material they can. Maybe some other teacher could talk some funds for new books, but now it seems that it is up to you to do that.
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stadinslangi
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:51 am

Re: quality for "Finnish as secondary language" teaching

Post by stadinslangi » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:34 pm

thanks! will try one by one


Rosamunda
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Re: quality for "Finnish as secondary language" teaching

Post by Rosamunda » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:04 pm

I was also using those books 15 years ago. They are for adults. They are incredibly boring. The focus is on rote learning of grammar and vocabulary. It is quite possible to complete many of the gap-fill grammar exercises correctly without actually understanding the meaning of any of the sentences :roll: . The whole approach is very, VERY outdated.

I would guess that the teacher is using this book because he/she knows it off by heart which means there is minimal preparation involved, minimal effort. It's so easy to turn up for a lesson and plough through the book one boring page at a time. It doesn't encourage communicative activities. In fact, it doesn't encourage communication at all. The language is not representative of the kind of language a 8 year-old child needs in order to communicate with peers. So, it's pretty useless for giving a child the language it needs to integrate with native speaking kids.

There is, in my opinion, little justification for using ANY FFL textbook with a class of second graders. My suggestion: chuck the books in the bin and get the kids DOING stuff: playing games, role play, doing other stuff in Finnish (eg art, sport, music, maths).

I would also guess that the teacher is 50+ and has no qualifications in teaching foreign languages. Probably a semi-retired Finnish mother tongue teacher. At least that's the raw deal that my kids got when we arrived here and they are still paying the price of that mess up.

In a nutshell, I would go straight to the Rehtori and if he/she does not listen, then go to the School Board (parents have representatives on the School Board), then take it to the municipality level.


Rosamunda
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Re: quality for "Finnish as secondary language" teaching

Post by Rosamunda » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:23 pm

This series is for 7-9 graders but is aimed at A1-A2 level. I haven't looked at it, but it might bea good one to consider.
https://finnlectura.fi/oppimateriaalit/suomea-sinulle

You could write to FinnLectura (a Finnish publishing house that specialises in foreign language learning, including Finnish Foreign Language - FFL) explain your problem and ask them what they suggest. https://finnlectura.fi/kustantamo [email protected] (They speak excellent English :wink: )


stadinslangi
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:51 am

Re: quality for "Finnish as secondary language" teaching

Post by stadinslangi » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:44 am

Thanks Rosamunda

The PTA (parents teachers association) in public school seems to be more like volunteer organisers for event, not much other functions. I will check the text books publisher and look for right ones to recommends to teacher.


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

Re: quality for "Finnish as secondary language" teaching

Post by Rosamunda » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:29 pm

stadinslangi wrote:Thanks Rosamunda

The PTA (parents teachers association) in public school seems to be more like volunteer organisers for event, not much other functions. I will check the text books publisher and look for right ones to recommends to teacher.
No, I'm not talking about the PTA. As you say, that is a voluntary organisation that runs bake sales etc.

The School Board is something else: every school has a Board where there are representatives from the teachers, the parents and also the students. Elections are held every 3 or 4 years. There are three meetings per year, if I remember correctly. One of the roles of the School Board is to approve the school budget. Also the School Board may be consulted on the appointment of a new rehtori (but that's purely a formality). Then other things can be discussed like feedback from parents, concerns about bullying or anything else.

The names of your parent representatives should be posted on a noticeboard somewhere in the school, or maybe on Wilma. Or ask the Rehtori or your child's homeroom teacher.


stadinslangi
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:51 am

Re: quality for "Finnish as secondary language" teaching

Post by stadinslangi » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:16 am

Thanks a lot, Rosamunda

I found the school management board info from official page, will recommend further.

Thanks a lot for this forum. The information really helps a lot to put things straight and efficient.


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