Bonjour! Salut! Coucou!
Je m’appelle Nina, ravi de vous rencontrer! Yesterday was the first time we officially met with Getuar and Morgan after the course info on Wednesday. We met at Café Europa in the evening, sat down and bought ourselves some nice coffee and hot cocoa.
Morgan is from France, Paris, and both me and Getuar are from Finland. Morgan teaches us some French and we help her learn Finnish. Getuar is new to the language, but I know a bit French from elementary and middle school. Morgan is also new to Finnish. Our plan was to meet at the café to hang out and teach each other about the languages. Morgan had prepared a great list of common greetings and phrases in French, which we went over together. We also practiced the alphabet, some pronunciation, numbers, days of the week, and random words like “pain, vin et fromage!” In the process of learning, we could apply the words in a practical concept, such as numbers with how to say one’s age; J’ai vingt ans = I’m twenty years old.
The list was a great way to review some basic French, I was very surprised how much I could remember. I learned new things as well, and noticed how important to pronounce the words clearly. I have to pay more attention to listening what I’m saying, because many words are written differently than how they’re actually said in French. Sentence structure and verb conjugation is slowly coming back to me, and the articles before the words. This first time was a good way to ease in to the language on my behalf at least, Getuar got a lot of new material to go over, I hope he’s not too confused, hehe! Morgan is a great teacher, because she explains thoroughly why the sentence or word is pronounced the way it is, and how it differs from English.
This style of learning a language I think is the most productive way of learning, because you can ask anything you want and you can choose what you want to learn, instead of just sitting in a classroom and going over books with twenty-something other students. The teacher seldom has time to pay very close attention to every single student’s learning capability, sot this close contact, practical language learning is, in my opinion, the best way to stay motivated and interested in the language. It’s also a great way to get to know new people!
Morgan is taking a Finnish class, so we are not sure what they have been learning so far, so we decided to to teach Morgan at least the weekdays for now. We also went over some expressions, words and the importance of double letters in words and the difference between ‘Ä’ and ‘A’ (or ‘O’ and ‘Ö’.) Teaching others makes you actually notice some new things in your own language as well, and thinking of the rules of the language and the technique to pronounce different vowels. Example words are important, and putting the learned things into practical concept, for example weekdays with the expression ‘Today is…’ or ‘Yesterday was…’ The grammar is hard one to teach in a simple way, but it’s something that’ll come later on, I think!
My expectations for this first meeting were quite similar to what we actually accomplished; we had fun together and had a great communication, learned some basic things in each other’s languages, and made it fun. It’s also good to know, that you don’t have to know everything, we can always google things..! I wish we had more time to teach Morgan some other Finnish words, but next time I’ll prepare something fun for her to learn!
I’m hoping to meet up with my group soon again, we’ll decide the date soon in our Whatsapp group 🙂