Our last meeting was in TAMK. It was weird to see for the last time. Hamza had search online some pretty good questions for me to answer in English. They were questions that couldn’t been answer with only one or two sentences, so I really had to talk about different subjects. One of the questions was for example what are my goals for life. After that we still did some Finnish talking practise. I`m happy that during the course Hamza and Elize both learned how to speak the basics in Finnish.
Most of the time on this meeting we talked about Finland and how they both had experience Finland and Finnish culture. For me, as a Finnish person, it is always interesting to hear what foreigner people think about us. They said the pros and the cons. Trying to sum up their opinions, it would be that Finnish people don’t talk that much. And I agree with that.
All in all, the course went by really fast and it was a great experience. For me, it is always interesting to learn about new cultures and talk English with someone who don’t know how to speak Finnish. Even though our schedules were a bit busy, we managed to arrange 10 meetings.
Our ninth meeting was hold in Tamk Y-campus. We had little problems to find free time for all three of us to meet together, but luckly we were able to arrange it. It was really quiet, because most of the students are already finished with their school. That was good for us, so there was enough space and not too much voice around us. Elize and Hamza already know how to say the basic things in Finnish, so this time we had something else. Elize had her Finnish talking exam coming, so we went through the questions she had written on the paper. Those were for example
- Mitä syöt yleensä aamupalaksi? (What do you usually eat in the morning?)
- Mitä suunnitelmia sinulla on kesäksi? (What plans do you have for summer?)
- Millainen sää ulkona on? (What is the weather like outside?)
- Mitä tykkäät tehdä vapaa-aikanasi? (What do you like to do on your free time?)
Hamza and Elize both answered the questions and helped each other. This practise was also good and helped them to understand Finnish because I always asked the questions in Finnish. We planned our last meeting for the next day.
We had our 8. meeting at school. I had written down some exercises to Hamza and Elize to talk in Finnish. The different steps were:
- introduce yourself, your age, tell about your home country,
- tell about your family, how many brothers/sisters you have, do you have any animals
- tell about your hobbies and what you like to do on your free time.
I think Elize and Hamza did good job. Their pronunciation is getting better. This exercise took about half an hour and after that we had some common talk in English. I practised my English speaking kills as they asked me to explain about my exchange in Ireland and what are the differences in Finnish and Irish hospitals. I noticed that I was missing out/forgetting some words that I haven’t been using in long time.
For our seventh meeting, we met at the town centre. First, we went with Hamza to Aleksanteri church. Both of us has never been there so it was a great experience. The church was really beautiful and big. Hamza has never visited a church in Finland before, so we sat there around 10 minutes and I explained him some basic things about our church. There were 2 people besides us and it was really quiet.
After visiting the church, we went to the Metso-library because Elize has never been there. We went straight to the foreign language section and found some interesting languages. There were books written in both Hamzas and also Elizes home languages. After going through the books, we went to the music section. It was huge and we found some stuff from old and new artists. Then we went to library café and sat on the table. Hamza and Elize talked in Finnish, and I helped them with their tiny mistakes. Mostly they discussed with each other and I was just listening. After that we talked about different cultures and for example how people greet in different countries. It was interesting to found out new things and how much these little things can change if you go to different country.
Our sixth meeting was at school. First, we had some common discussion about how our week was going on, how we were doing and so on. After that Hamza and Elize made me talk more in English, as they asked me to explain different things in English. For example, they asked from me about my hobbies, my goals in life and what plans I have for summer. I feel like I’m quite okay with talking, I just have to find out another way to say things, because I don’t know enough words. And if there are some words I can`t find a way to say, then I just ask Hamza and Elize and they will help me. So that’s nice.
I had come up with some topics for Hamza and Elize to talk about in Finnish. First, they introduced themselves, told where they are from and how old they are. After that they explained about their families and hobbies. After that we went them all through again. I think it`s important to repeat what you have just said or heard, so you will remember them more easily. Hamza knew how to say these basic things, so it was good that he was helping Elize in some parts. But both of them did really well. The meeting took more than an hour, and then we decide that our next meeting will be in town centre: at the church and at the library.
For our fifth meeting we went to town centre to Indian restaurant. We went there because I wanted to eat something that Hamza eats back at home in Pakistan and that’s how I could learn more about Pakistan culture. The restaurant was called TAJ Indian restaurant and huge recommendations for that! We went around 12 o`clock, so there was a buffet, and we all took that. There was a selection of different kinds of food and I taste almost all of them.
It was cool that Hamza taught us how the food should be eaten, like for example how they use and eat the Naan bread. Much new information for me!
We talked throw some eating-habits and it was funny to notice how different they can be. Like for example in Netherlands, they eat for breakfast bread with a chocolate-topping. And the same for lunch. So they don’t eat proper food until in the late evening which means around 5-6 pm. That sounds weird for me, because in Finland we eat proper food (which means for example potatoes and meat) first time around 11am.
We had our fourth meeting at TAMK. This time we got a new member into our group. She is a girl from Amsterdam and because her own group split up, she came to our group. I’m happy that she did so. First, we had to get to know to each other and we talked through our backgrounds and all. It`s always nice to meet new people and hear their stories. We went true some things that are different in Netherlands, in Pakistan and in Finland like for example about eating.
Elize is also trying to learn the Finnish language, so next we did some practising. We started easily by introducing each other (in Finnish of course). After that we went true some different situations which included buying food from store, buying a movie ticket, talking about the weather and talking about how you are feeling. It`s now good that Hamza and Elize can speak Finnish to each other, so one of them was the customer and the other one was the salesman. It`s also good that they can help each other. We had done some of these same exercises before with Hamza, so I was happy to notice that he already knew how to make these sentences and was able to speak Finnish. The time flew, and we sat there suddenly almost two hours. We planned that our next meeting will be in town centre.
Our third meeting was in Tamk library. This time we concentrated in talking in Finnish. Hamza had some sentences in English that he wanted to translate in Finnish, so I helped him in that. Sentences were for example:
I have a sister = Minulla on sisko.
I`m looking for a job. = Etsin töitä.
After that we both spoke in Finnish. We started with basic things like weather and transport. Then we pick up some situations and thought what we would need to say and how to say those sentences in Finnish. The situations were for example like asking a route, buying a new phone or going to grocery store. I think it was a good way to learn the Finnish language because you can`t learn how to speak foreign language if you don’t speak. I noticed that Hamza was really progressing and became braver to talk. So we really need to use this tactic again and maybe go through those same subjects, so he would be able to use them and talk Finnish for example while going to grocery store.
Our second meeting was in Metso library in the town centre. The library is very large, but we managed to find the section with books written in English. We looked for one book, that Hamza was looking for, and finally we found it. After that we found some chairs to sit down and have a talk.
We both agreed that I really need to speak English to become better at it, so we came up with idea, that each time we are going to discuss about a different subject and talk all the things that comes to our minds about that. This time we talked about education and culture differences. It was so interesting to hear how things work in Pakistan. I learned what they usually eat, how they dress, how long the school takes and for example how important school is. And then I told how things work in Finland. I have noticed that for me it´s sometimes hard to explain about school system in English, because they different so much in different countries and some of the names are different. Time was flying when we had a lot to talk about, so we talked over an hour and then we went home.
We had our first meeting at TAMK. During the meeting, we talked about our schedule and what we want to achieve during the course. The aim is that I will teach Hamza Finnish and he will help me to speak more fluent English. I found out that Hamza already knows some words in Finnish, which is a good start. He is also willing to learn more. We talked, that I will help him for example to translate some sentences from English to Finnish.
During the meeting we got to know each other by telling about ourselves, our families, things we are interested in and for example where we have been travelling. For me it`s always interesting to hear stories from people with different backgrounds.
Now when we know each other, it will be easier to meet and start the teaching. We decided that our next meeting is going to be in the public library. All in all, I am very excited about this course and I`m looking forward to what it will bring.