Tag Archives: Speaking

Last meeting :(

Yesterday me and Caroline met in the center to finish our EOTO because she is heading back home to Germany already on 10th. I also brought my friend from Saint-Petersburg, who is visiting me at that moment. This time we decided to speak only Russian as we thought it was an excellent opportunity to practice speaking.

I think it was very successful for Caroline as she understood everything and was able to support the conversation. It was a bit problematic for her to build long sentences but in general she managed really well. Me and my friend tried to use simple words and speak slowly but at some moments we forgot that Caroline is not a native speaker and spoke rather fast. It was easy to find new topics to talk about so i hope Caroline broadened her vocabulary a bit 🙂 I hope she will be more brave and start speaking Russian more often because both me and my friend think she speaks really well!

We also practiced our German skills with Caroline. It was rather funny but i think i will improve by the time we meet again in Prague or Germany 🙂 We decided to meet again definitely in the near future and continue chatting via Facebook.

I am really glad i took EOTO and met Caroline because it was a great opportunity to study a foreign language and make new friends. Both of us greatly improved  our speaking and grammar skills and hopefully in the future we will be even better 🙂




On out 7th meeting, we decided to focus on speaking. Caroline was in Saint-Petersburg for a couple of days and she told me in detail about her visit in Russian. I was quite impressed to hear that she spoke only Russian there and she managed really well! Her pronunciation now is at the very good level so i think we shall continue practicing speaking skills, so that she can be fluent very soon. I was really happy to hear that she liked the city so much  and she wants to go there again in the future. I hope we can meet up in Saint-P some day and i can show her all nice places.

After that i practiced with Caroline my German speaking and i think i am slightly better than i was in the beginning. I just started to learn German in January so i think if i continue this way, i can speak quite well in a couple of years. We also discussed about education systems in our home countries and we found several similarities, which is really good. If i am going to Germany on exchange it will not be very hard to get used to a new system 😀

Looking forward to our next meeting!

5th meeting, Finnish, Korean and Spanish Culture!

Haley, Yeaeun, Essi and I went to a cafe near stockman to taste the different especial coffees that are in that cafeteria. But first we stopped in Stockmann took one of their catalogs, because Stockmann was on sales period and then we went to the cafe.

Once there we ordered our coffee and cakes and went to a table to translated the different parts of the catalogue, like the days of the week, the numbers and the cloths.

maanantai Monday
tiistai Tuesday
keskiviikko Wednesday
torstai Thursday
perjantai Friday
lauantai Saturday
sunnuntai Sunday

The numbers are: Nolla [0], yksi [1], kaksi [2], kolme [3], neljä [4], viisi [5], kuusi [6], seitsemän [7], kahdeksan [8], yhdeksän [9], kymmenen [10].

Once we finish to read our catalog, we stared to talk about our education system in each country. The Spanish and Finnish systems are quite similar in order that to get a job, when we finish our degree it’s important to first have done some kind of job during university or during summer to have experience, because if not is really difficult get the first job.

But in Korea is different, in Korea when you finish your degree to get a job is according to your university, because the universities in Korea go by a ranking levels, the students that go to the higher universities, those universities that have more reputations, have more facilities to get a good job that the students that go to universities with less level. So the most important issue to get a good job in Korea is the university that you have been studying.

Also we were talking about other issues related with the school and education system. Finally we explained our future plans after this Erasmus and I realized that I am not the only one who does not know what to do after graduation !

Smoky cottage and German holidays

This time we met at the Christmas market. Our teacher had already met some of the sellers which had come from German. Theresa spoke German to a man who sold different kind of chocolate bars. I bought one and the man asked if I wanted to eat it now or later. If later he would put it to a paper bag.  He spoke German all the time and I was really happy that I understood the question and could answer right..Später, danke! 🙂

After walking around at the Christmas market we went to a little cottage where real fireplace inside were. We sat down and while drinking some glögi Theresa told us about German holidays. Those holidays were almost the same as we have. Father’s day wasn’t in November like in Finland and Juhannus (Festival at the end of June) was something which is not in German calendar.


# 10. Is it the End or just the Beginning?!

Dear EOTO family,

Sadly and happily speaking, this is my last blog post because we taught the last lesson to each other. Personally for me, the End of something big is usually the Beginning of something enormous.

We had a really great time with Sebastjan! I can open you small secret we’ve been keeping outside this blog for about a year. We’re soul mates. Meaning that these lectures are just one possibility among many others to learn from each other. Moreover, we’re planning to continue our Finnish-Russian cooperation as long as we need it. Frankly speaking, we’ve been critically busy for a while that’s the reason why we officially complete EOTO requirements and unofficially continue to share knowledge with each other! The End is just the Beginning. It was a good start on the way to a bigger journey! We both laid the foundation of language ground.


Our last lecture happened to be outside of TAMK or Demola. We decided to mix business with pleasure. We scheduled the meeting and I needed to buy shoes. Being creative, we found a solution – shoe store! We’ve visited several boutique in Koskikeskus. Meanwhile we both practiced numbers reading the price tags. I tried to say quite a few Finnish expressions regarding size, color, price etc. It’s been fun! This nonbinding to learning lecture gave us much more than banal desk-to-chair type of lesson.
After shopping we kept the tradition which is named Plevna. We love Plevna. Couple of beers, nice talk, some cultural dialogues and languages practice was the best ending of EOTO you could ever imagine.

I also prepared some small surprise for my student. With a help and creativity of Babbel language web platform, I created a list of specific vocabulary for Sebastjan which is fun to learn and easy to remember. I hope this small gift will motivate him to continue learning without my supervision! (www.babbel.com)

EOTO is more than a known abbreviation for me. It’s:

Each One Teach One

Each One Inspire One

Each One Encourage One

Each One Elevate One

Thank you an opportunity to experience cultural and knowledge exchange! Positive vibes are in the air! P. S. My next blog is dedicated to a short gallery (some picture went missing due to problems with storage space). I hope you’ll be able to feel our great atmosphere! Good luck with the rest of your EOTO meetings!

Cheers. Yuliya!

# 9. In comfort and peace…

Hi people! I cannot believe that it’s already November. Time slips by… I look back and I see that proudly saying both me and my student Sebastjan made a very good progress. We both opened up in speaking and learning. It is the main purpose of EOTO, isn’t it?!


Lecture # 9 was super relaxing and comfortable. We discovered a hidden magic room with sofas, coffee machine and a beautiful view from the window. During our last lecture I realized that underestimation of my student’s abilities led to the feeling of long-windedness. Simply speaking, Sebastjan was so quick to grasp that eventually I saw his bored face. Advice for all teachers: never think that your exercises are too difficult for a learner, some of them have hidden talents. Just like Sebastjan, who memorized personal pronouns of nominative case already during the lecture. So I prepared a bunch of practical exercises for my gifted student which were based on personal suffix and gender. Talking about gender, throughout EOTO program I figured out that Russian language is much more complicated than the Finnish or English even though I’m supposed to be called a native speaker. Just compare:

My (English) – Minun (Finnish) – Мой, Моя, Моё, Мои (Russian).

And who is the Boss right now?!

Comparing to many other languages in the world, Russian has its major complication in terms of grammatical gender of verbs, nouns, pronouns and even adjectives. Moreover, mixing up the gender/ending might be very offensive. So don’t get slapped, use the proper ending!

As for Finnish part of the lecture, we checked some questions which I prepared at home. I conscientiously analyzed every single link Sebastjan gave me last time. I did lots of tasks, reading and even listening; the last one was slightly annoying. 🙂 After all we’ve been caught by a teacher who was actually making coffee in that secret classroom. But as they say, always take an opportunity. So I asked that guy what is the difference between Finnish uncle Eno and Setä. Apparently, eno is a mother’s side and setä is a father’s brother. It was a good sign that teacher had over the barrel!

P. S. This’s a really good website for those who is practicing Russian personal pronouns. This link is a perfect database for Russian language essentials. 


Cheers! Yuliya.



#6. Outside-TAMK meeting.

Hello, learners! How’s it going? I hope you found an interesting way to amuse yourselves during the autumn break! I definitely did, moreover, it was more like an “intensive work my socks off” week rather than “beer, sofa and movies” type of entertainment.

This time me and Sebastjan met in Demola premises. The keystone in every learning process is a change. New surrounding refreshes, I can say. It was a relatively short meeting but I had fun, as usual with Sebastjan!

At the beginning of lecture 6, my teacher gave me materials concerning Negative Past Simple Tense or Imperfekti Kielteinen. When I saw only one-side A4 page of rules, something inside me exploded with joy! There’s only 4 types of ending-formats which depend on type of the verb. Surprisingly, negative past tense is generated from infinitive form of the verb which makes my life so much easier! At the same time we repeated Imperfekti positive and compared it with the negative form with a help of some examples. At the end Sebastjan gave me the last portion of perfect morning mood – homework! Different people have different ways to perceive and learn information. Advice for all students: don’t hesitate to express your interests to your teacher. It might help both! So I mentioned once to Sebastjan that the best way I analyze and remember is writing. Visual memory is the best for me. So he decided to heed the request and to prepared a massive homework for me! It made me day and two evenings after!


As for Russian part of our lecture, I brought 4 pages of new vocabulary in picture. However, Sebastjan lost his energy or he was saving it for other daily adventures. We covered only a half of that in a fast and effective way. It was simple phrasing for proper introduction and some vocabulary expressing family, places and greetings. Sebastjan did very good! It seems that Russian language is getting more and more natural for my brilliant student.


Good lecture is a set a gained skills which are willingly used outside the classroom by independent leaning. That’s exactly what we did. Plevna, good beer, and Finnish style made me speak. We spent a decent amount of time actually building conversation in Finnish. Or at least for me it seemed like I produce Finnish sentences from my mouth! It was a good day!

 Terveisin Yuliya.


# 4. Open your mouth!

Hello EOTO Family! It’a  pleasure to read your blog posts which are full of great memories, pictures and experience. Carry on!

The continuous round of events makes my learning and teaching experience harder. Schedule is rigid. Amount of projects goes off-scale. However, I’m full of enthusiasm to actually obtain knowledge I might be using in the future. Thanks to Sebastjan, I made a progress in understanding grammatical rules of Finnish language. During our last lecture we revised material about Possessive Suffixes. We have also covered how to create a noun from the verb. I’ve learnt that “minen” is a key in turning verb to a noun. For example:

Juoda (to drink) – Juovat (they drink) – Juominen (drinking).

Pydän auton ajamisesta. – I like driving the car. 

After that we also checked the text I’ve been listening to last time. We translated every single sentence and analyzed every single steam. It was relatively easy comparing to the next part of the lecture when my lovely teacher insisted on speaking practice. I do realize that learning without practicing leads to a dead language. But I didn’t expect that we would actually come to the stage of speaking. So, picture the scene: we are sitting in front of each other, I’m sweating and rolling my pen, I have a voice vibratory with excitement and nervousness. It’s time to open my mouth. Sebastjan was gentle and understanding. he asked question related to my daily life. I understood every sentence and I even succeeded to answer with some assistance. But there’s always a trick at the end. I realized that nobody is going to use a language for dummies. Nobody is going to speak slowly avoiding colloquial expressions.  On the agenda we have speaking, speaking and… speaking again!


Let’s move on to the next part when I performed as a teacher, a good one I hope. It’s time to leave Russian pronunciation for now and start enriching vocabulary. Sebastjan wrote down a text about himself including his age, family, country of origin, occupation etc. Brief insight into his personal life will help to make new connections with Russians (if he gets a chance to meet one). Sebastjan did an excellent job and got invisible 5+! Moreover, we practiced writing, listening and reading once again. Later on we looked through numbers which he actually already knew (or he’s just a Russian spy)! We did several exercises to memorize numbers. I still stick to the theory that learning by heart goes better through writing. Only combination of mechanical and visual memory can transfer knowledge from passive to active use.

Russian matreshka (матрешка)  cultural way to practice numbers!


Your Russian matreshka Yuliya. Cheers! 


Time to speak! (Lesson #4)

We are both becoming busier and busier with school assignments piling up, but we still try to meet twice per week. We have postponed a lesson or two, so the last day – if we wanted to have a free weekend – was Friday afternoon. This is dedication in the true sense of the word. The rest of the city is swimming in alcohol, but we found a different kind of joy, bathing in languages.

In the first three lessons we both put emphasis on grammar, but we were becoming more and more eager to speak. Grammar is boring. Speaking is fun!

I still have some issues with proper pronunciation. We are repeating the accented and non-accented syllables on every lesson. This time I have learned numbers, and practiced pronunciation – again. After I have learned them, I immediately wrote a quick test and passed it without a single error. You see, even after two weeks my motivation is still high and getting only higher.

The second part of the lesson was writing. Yuliya was dictating me the text and I wrote it. This was a nice practice of two things: practicing alphabet and distinguishing between soft and hard letters.

For the homework I need to practice numbers and try to learn the text I wrote. It shouldn’t be too hard as it was about me: age, nationality, studying, wife, friendship, and last but not least, my lovely teacher Юлия.

We have started the Finnish part of the lesson with the text Yuliya has written during the previous lesson based on the sound clip. She had to recognize possessive suffixes and underline them. Perfect! We have also discussed how to create a noun from the verb – adding the ending –minen to the verb.


Infinitive 3rd person plural IV-infinitive
Ilmoittaa Ilmoitta-vat Ilmoitta-minen

The last part of the lesson was about speaking. We have practiced usage of the Partitive. It became obvious really fast that we need to learn plural forms, of both Nominative and Partitive as well as Past tense – at least Imperfect. This is the plan for the coming week.

I also have the same problem as one of the other groups. It’s already the fourth lesson behind us and I still didn’t take any picture on the lesson. I might as well take my first selfie next time.

When we left the C-building we saw a sign on the Y-kampus window. Yuliya was wondering what “ilmoit.” means on the sign for Innoevent. She has quickly deducted it means register or ilmoittaminen. Lesson learned!

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! 😉