Tag Archives: conversation

Meeting in Tallipiha

On our fifth EOTO meeting our German teacher Theresa´s friend from Germany joined with our German lesson. We decided to go to Tallipiha because it is an old area and nice to show for tourist. We went to the shop and to the café there. We chose to try the Finnish lemonades and food.


We were discussing in German about Theresa´s and her friend´s hometown Osnabruck and the school system in Germany.  It was interesting to hear that in Germany students should know quite young if they want to get a vocational education or make a higher degree.


After that we continued to the shopping centre and I introduced to our German guest some famous Finnish design and brands like Marimekko and Iittala.

Third One!

We meet this time at Stockmann´s coffee shop, after fall break.

We didnt have chance to talk much about French language beacause Emilie told me shes considering Argentina, Buenos Aires to do her exchage in 2015 so we had tons of stuff to talk about.

First we talked about climate in Argentina (more about my country: www.roughguides.com/destinations/south-america/argentina)and then we play to find diffrerences between Costarican spanish &Argentinian spanish. For example:

Tu/Usted : Vos                             Hola: Che              La Goma: La resaca

Tonto/tonta (in a friendly way): Boludo/Boluda        Borracho/a: En pedo                           Como esta/Pura Vida? : Qué onda?                                 El Autobus: El Bondi                                Piña: Anana(s)                  Melocoton: Durazno                        Maiz: Choclo                   Aguacate: Palta        Fresa: Frutilla                    Coger: Agarrar              Follar: Coger

Qué onda? Nada, al pedo -> What’s up? Nothing much (pedo=fart)                                      Pedo is very much used in all cases,

en pedo: drunk

al pedo: with anything to do, in vain

ni en pedo: no way!

de pedo: no me cai de pedo (i didnt fall luckly)

a los pedos: really quickly

cagado a pedos: to call atention, reprimand

Estoy echo mierda -> I feel like crap

To say “there are a lot of cars”, I would use “Hay muchos coches” but Argentinians would say “Hay une bocha de coches!”

To ignore: Cortar el rostro                         It sucks!:  Es un bajón!photo-2-300x223

Conversation in German


Our study group met again after autumn break and we decided to train our conversation skills. We went to Koskikeskus and found there a nice cafeteria.

We started with introducing our selves and discussing  about what we are studying.   We told each other what we had done last week and what we are going to do next weekend. So we went trough different tenses while we spoke.

Our teacher told us easier ways to speak. I think one of the reasons why I think German is a bit difficult is that study books usually try to teach formal way to speak. Often not so formal way (when you are talking to a friend) is just enough and would be easier to learn.

We tried to tell our teacher what kind of winter time we have here in Finland and she also liked to know what are the best things in winter (what we are expecting and why). It is good that we all can speak and understand English as well, otherwise Teresa could think that all we are expecting is Santa Claus and freezing snow storms :).

Our third Finnish/Korean meeting


Meeting time: 4 hours

We went to Cafe Konditoria where are a lot of comfy sofas and when ordering coffee, you can get one extra coffee for free! This warms my cheap student heart!

This time we talked a lot about all kinds of stuff but what really stuck to mind was South-Korea’s traditional clothes. In South-Korea, they have this absolutely gorgeous dress called ‘Hanbok’ = 한복. It is still worn by people while participating special occasions such as weddings. There are so many colors and variations of hanboks:

I prefer really lightly pastel colored ones or dark deep colors in hanboks:

Men have their own as well but nowadays it is not popularly worn by young men.

Then there are the modernized versions of hanboks. These tend to be shorter, trendier and combined with modern accessories and shoes. The dresses look a lot livelier and brighter. I prefer the more traditional design but these are definitely very pretty! There’s a lot more variation with the modern versions as well in regarding the length of the hemline, colors, patterns and the little jackets.

I was told that even though Hanboks are not that popular these days, their popularity is growing amongst the younger generation now after Korea’s economical growth. I Really want to try one on!


Past, Present, Future_Part 3 (Lesson #8)

As mentioned in the last paragraph of the previous blog post, the Part 3 will focus on future, the week after the Autumn break, where we are hopefully full of energy. The idea of this blog post is to express my wishes what I want to learn from Yuliya, and I can also write down the plans what I will teach Yuliya.

I will write a comment to this blog post after we meet for the eighth time and tell you if my crystal ball told the truth. 🙂

On the Russian learning side I hope to become more fluent. I hope to expand my vocabulary and be able to more fluently express myself. I also wanted to learn a bit more grammar. According to Yuliya my wish to learn more about personnal pronouns (I, me, he, him, she, her…) will make me doubt my decision. Apperently the rules are rather complicated, but I think I need these.

For example: Peter likes a toy. Peter got a toy for Peter’s birthday. The toy is a plane. The plane became Peter’s favourite toy.

You have to agree that it sounds silly!

I want to be able to say: Peter likes a toy. He got it for his birthday. It’s a plane. The plane became his favourite toy.

On the Finnish teaching side I hope to completely eliminate introduction of new grammatical structures and put the conversation on the pedestal. Yuliya has expressed a wish for a conversation to be more structured, to include more diverse grammatical structures and their use in different situations. I plan to prepare a list of keywords all connected to a certain place and we can develop a story from it. A possible example could be the post office:

We could discuss the address, how to get there (locative cases, directions), opening hours, what items and services they are offering (expanding vocabulary, practicing Partitive), talking about past experience (Past Simple tense).

Since we both have lots of ideas, I am sure we will never run out of inspiration. I’m looking forward to see if my plans will materialize. Check the comment to this blog post!

Sincerely yours (С уважением),
Sebastjan (Себастьян)

Past, Present, Future_Part 2 (Lesson #7)

As mentioned in the previous blog post, the Part 2 will be focused on present, this week. This week we have holidays. But from my perspective it was the busiest week this autumn. My Demola project took me about 20 hours, at home we got a visitor from Dubai and had to dedicate some of my free time to being a tourist guide, and I am also participating in a Mentoring program, organized by Unipoli Tampere, which again took some time. It is also worth mentioning that this time of the year is the season when flu is thriving. Yuliya unfortunately became the victim, which is the reason why we only had 1 lesson this week. Because of the autumn break, the most obvious choice for a meeting place was TAMK. Usually we have some troubles finding the empty classroom, but on Monday the building felt like a ghost town; the only thing disturbing the eerie silence was an occasionally blinking fluorescent light.

On the Russian learning side I have used the prepared template with pictures to express:

a)      Where did I work before (Spain, Switzerland, Slovenia, Finland) and what did I do
b)      What am I doing now; it included repeating the numbers
c)       When and where I was born
d)      Greeetings, daily situations regarding interactions: Hi, How are you?, Goodbye

I still had so much energy left, so I have asked Yuliya to engage in a conversation with me. This was an excellent opportunity to repeat what I know and also to learn a word or ten more, because only the speaking situations really prepare you for all kinds of situations that might occurr.

On the Finnish teaching side we had only one item on the agenda. On lesson 6 I gave Yuliya a huge amount of homework. I have written 27 statements in Past Simple Tense. Her task was to change all statements to negative form. Additionally I gave her a paragraph about my daily activities. She had to convert it to Past Tense.

She came very prepared and wanted to read her homework, but I completely crashed her plan. Let me show you how.

The statement was: Her task was to convert it to negative form
Luin tämän kirjan. En lukenut tätä kirjaa.

I have given her a task to convert the past affirmative sentence to present form, make a negative present form, and only then read the homework part.

It was didactically a very good task, because usually the students learn how to make a past form by adding a letter “i” somewhere in the verb. But nobody usually teaches how to convert the past to present form. It proved to be quite a challenge. But this was one of the last grammatical exercises in this course.

This is also an introduction to the last part of this series of three blogs. The last part will deal with the future. I will try to express my wishes what I want to learn from Yuliya, and Yuliya can do the same from her perspective. The blog post will also help us planning the lessons.

Sincerely yours (С уважением),
Sebastjan (Себастьян)

Meeting # 1

Hi everyone!

Two days ago my Greek counterpart, Ioannis and I met for our first EOTO meeting at Café Europa. We have met before after the kick off at TAMK where we right away talked about what we want to learn and teach each other and how we are going do it. But for our first meeting we decided to hang out at a comfortable sofa at the café, which is a lovely and lively place to stay and to get to know other people.

We decided that we try to both, teach and learn each language at every meeting. So Ioannis started to teach me Greek. Due to the fact that some part of my family is of Greek ancestry I understand a bit Greek but cannot talk as much as I want to. Therefore, we started with the alphabet, which you probably know is totally different than the Romance one. I already knew some letters but it is still difficult for me to say the whole alphabet and to remember all the characters, especially in capital and small letters… We proceeded with some useful sentences and numbers as well as the days of the week and the months. Ioannis wrote everything down and explained it to me whereas I tried to speak out loud what he just taught me. It was really fun to practice it this way and the atmosphere in the café made everything easy-going.

However, after an hour or so my head almost exploded of so many new things that we decided to switch. I promised him that I am going to practice what we learned together, which I of course really want to. I guess learning something that you want is much easier than learning something that you have to.

So, it was my turn and Ioannis wanted to first of all practice his German speaking skills. I was really surprised how many words he knew and that his sentence building was quite good. We were talking almost an hour, asking us questions and gave answers and he tried to build every time new sentences and used words he just learned from me. His understanding was already really good and if we practice more often like that I am pretty sure that he will soon understand a simple German conversation and will be able to respond quickly to questions.

What I realized is that, because I am from Switzerland and we usually speak Swiss-German outside of the school, which is by the way quite different than German, I sometimes have to think what that word in German is or how I build that sentence now. However, I just have to get used to speak more German with him and that little problem will solve itself I guess.

So far, our first meeting went really good and it made lot of fun. I realized it because the two hours passed so quickly and there was no second where it was boring! I cannot figure out any problems that will arise during out meetings so far and I think that Ioannis is a really easy-going and interested person, which will make our meetings fascinating and lively.

Definitely looking for the next one! 🙂

Oh, and we totally forgot to take any picture… what a shame, but we will do some next time! 😉


#1 – EOTO starts! How to teach German in a One-Way Learning Group

On Thursday I had my first meeting and lesson with my 3 German students! 🙂 We’re a one-way-learning group of 4 students with me teaching two Finnish girls and one exchange student from Portugal. I personally was very excited about this because this also meant managing interests of three different students while teaching a language. I have been teaching English to a younger student back then when I was in high school  and I hoped it would be around the same now, but frankly, that was some years ago and now I have 3 students instead of one, so I was nervous about this one.

We met at Keskustori fountain and then decided to go to Coffee House because we wanted to get a table and be in a warm place. Luckily we had enough space and I just shoved two tables together to get a big one hehe 😀

Because they all wanted to learn how to talk and hold conversations in German mainnly, we started our session with how to introduce ourselves in German, then we moved on to the basic pronouns and the verb “to be” = sein in German.

Basically, I did some kind of introduction and basics roundup with them. I explained some specialties from the German alpahbet like the “ß” or “z” and “ä, ö, ü” though the last ones are so similar to the Finnish “ä, ö, y” that my Finnish students had no problem with it 🙂 German articles “der, die, das” and “ein, eine, ein” were difficult to explain because there is no logic behind it, when does what article come, it’s just vocabulary and for German people: intuition (sad truth). Pronunciation has also been questioned several times and I had a pretty difficult time with that because I know there are rules for that. Far too many ones though and far too many exceptions so I had a hard time getting all of those together as far as possible. Teaching makes me realise how strange and unlogic the German language actually is altough is comes naturally to me because it’s my mother tongue. The Finnish girls could only laugh about that because their own language is even more difficult haha, yeaaaah that’s so true 😀

They were also super lucky to had some German lessons before so this was only a repitition for them, while Joao, our Portuguese exchange student, had to keep up with that. After teaching some more basics like how to build up a simple sentence and giving out more examples and rules about conjugating verbs and teaching more vocabulary in context, Joao had to leave for homework.


Because Kaisa and Maija, the Finnish students, also wanted to learn about writing mails and letters in German and they are advanced with that language already, I pulled out my laptop and explained some basic rules and teached them examples and phrases from my own letters that I have been writing for application training etc.

I wrapped everything up with showing them briefly how to start and end informal letters for a change that could be used in letters/mails to friends or on postcards! 😀

Here’s the Doc for people who are interested in that as well: lesson1_useful phrases

My first session was very funny even though I had the feeling there was a lot of different things happening at the same time, my students told me they were able to keep up (I hope this is true hehe). One even told me that she liked my way of teaching and found it good which made me really happy and made me feel more confident about this 🙂 Seems like I can do this! I am also very grateful that they just ask me about things that they want to know or don’t understand just like that and aren’t shy about asking; it makes it so much easier for me to teach that way.

I’m looking forward to the next sessions! I like my EOTO group a lot! See you again next week! 😀