The second time we met was at the school cafeteria for our first Finnish lesson. Inna wanted to write an answer to an advertisement and I promised to help her with it. We first talked about the content of the advertisement and what she wanted to answer, and then went to the library to find a computer since we thought it would be easier to edit the text that way. We could search for the right words from the internet and she could just copy and paste the text to the answer box.
Teaching your native language is really difficult when the learner already knows the basics and starts to ask the ‘why’s and ‘how’s. It really feels really stupid to say I don’t know when it is something I have done for over twenty years fluently. I know it’s not something one think as a native speaker but I couldn’t help but apologize time after time when Inna asked why for example kissa becomes kissan but tyttö doesn’t become tyttön but tytön.
Luckily she understood my bad answers and she managed to write the answer with my help and her problem was solved.