It’s so refreshing to teach again (Lesson #1)

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Russian & Finnish

It’s been a while since I was last time on the knowledge-giving side. Of course we all give some presentation here and there, but making a year plan, a semester plan, individual lesson plans, examination plan, setting evaluation criteria… Honestly, I’ve been missing this. Here I’m talking about my past teacher career. But now I can be a teacher again, even if it’s for only ten to fifteen lessons, but it feels good. Believe me!

In past years at TAMK we had lots of opportunities to see different teaching styles. The first lesson is usually always an introduction: teacher introduces himself/herself, then it’s students’ turn. And first hour goes by. Then lecturer introduces the subject and shows learning goals and politely asks students to read them carefully as they are important part of the end-of-lecture feedback form. Some lecturers even start with the first lesson.

Today, on September 22, we had our first lesson with Yuliya. I will help Yuliya with Finnish language, and Yuliya will teach me Russian. An introduction wasn’t necessary as we are classmates, studying International Business. Learning goals were not set before the first lesson, because none of us knew how much we are familiar with the languages being taught.

Yuliya has started with Russian alphabet. I more or less familiar with it, since I have long, long, long, really long, LONG time ago learnt Serbian language (in 5th grade, Anno Domini 1983, yes, last millennium), which also uses Cyrillic alphabet. There are a few new letters, but I will manage pretty well. We practiced pronunciation. That was challenging. I also got some homework, but I did it about half of it already in the class. For the real homework I need to check some links and get more familiar with the language.

Russian alphabet
Russian alphabet

My goal for today was to assess Yuliya’s base line knowledge. She already knows a lot and she is SO motivated that it will be a quite an effort to give her challenging enough tasks and exercises to keep her motivation up throughout the lessons. We have checked the verb groups and paid special attention to consonant gradation.

We have quickly checked locative cases, but did not spend too much time with them, because Yuliya is more or less familiar with them.

Based on today’s lesson I will make a short learning plan. I will try not to make it to grammar-based, but rather emphasize interaction, dialogue.

An important part of the lesson are Yuliya’s questions. Today she was so inquisitive that I had to make myself a list of questions to answer on our next session. We have scheduled it for Wednesday, September 24.

Sincerely yours (С уважением),
Sebastjan (Себастьян)

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