I am Zsófia from Hungary, a permanent student at TAMK. My pair is Hanna from Finland. We are both Business Administration students. I teach her Spanish since I have a master’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature, and she teaches me Finnish. She is a beginner and I’m at the lower-intermediate level, being able to communicate in Finnish but still far from being a proficient language user.
We had our first study meeting at my home. Hanna likes cats, and I happen to have two of them 😉 You can see them below, Moha on the left and Zuzika on the right.
For the Spanish learning, we use a coursebook: Nuevo español sin fronteras 1. We started by pairing up widely known Spanish words, such as tomate, sangría, toro… with the corresponding images. Then we listed other words and expressions that Hanna already knows. We also talked a little about the dimensions of the Spanish language: how many speakers it has, in which countries it is spoken and a few differences between the different varieties.
After that, we read a few dialogues from the book. The first unit is about meeting people, so we learned how to greet people, introduce oneself and say goodbye. We also listened to the dialogues from the audio material that belongs to the book.
We also had a little grammar: personal pronouns and the conjugation of ser, which is one of the “to be”-verbs in Spanish. We reviewed the rules for Spanish accent and a few pronunciation rules. Next time we need to review all the pronunciation rules to be done with it at once 🙂 Luckily, Spanish pronunciation is straightforward and there are no exception from the few existing rules.
We already talked in Finnish sometimes while we were reading from the book, but after finishing reading, we walked to school and had lunch together, all in Finnish 🙂 We talked about several topics, for example jobs, movies, family, travelling, hobbies… and cats 😉 Now I know how to say Moha and Zuzika’s names in Finnish. Both are Hungarian names and they mean “moss” and “lichen”, in Finnish: sammal and jäkälä. I have also learned that “Zuzika” is a lempinimi, nickname 🙂
We also discussed what else we could do during our following meetings. The discussion was in Finnish, of course 🙂 We had very nice ideas, like going to the Rauhaniemi sauna, with or without avantouinti 😉 We may also have lunch in the city center some time, go to a Finnish-language church service or attend one of the meetings of the Tampere Spanish speakers’ group.
It is very nice that I can have these meetings with Hanna because she speaks very clearly, so it’s easy to understand her. She is also very patient, which I unfortunately need due to my level requiring development 🙂 I really need to practice both Finnish and teaching Spanish as I haven’t had any students since I moved to Tampere and it is very easy to get out of routine. This is a great opportunity to do both and I am already looking forward to our next meeting!