Tag Archives: Alphabet

#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! 😀

бабушка – trying to learn Russian

Last week me and Dasha had our second meeting, where she teached me Russian. It was about the basics of Russian. Alphabets, greetings, numbers, word that describe family, etc. For some reason I thought that the alphabets would be easier to learn – I was wrong! Well, I think I did quite well since it was only my first time.

russian mount

It was really hard to try to read the Russian words at first, but after awhile I noticed that I had some clue what the letter could be. The hardest part was probably the fact that the order of alphabets is different – so when I thought that I knew what I was looking for, it took me ages to find the right letter since it was never there where I thought it would be. Luckily Dasha let me take my time, and after a couple of (well maybe more than just a couple) words it was easier and easier to read the words.

Some words were already familiar to me, like бабушка (babuska, grandmother) but that was just pure luck. When Dasha explained some Russian grammar for me, it sounded just horrible. I did see the logic there, but it sounded so complicated! But I hope that she will be patient with me…

My Russian pronunciation is terrible (what a suprise, haha!) but I’m sure that with enough practise I’ll be able to say a few words correctly. Hopefully. Finnish is so plain when compared to a language like Russia, so it is really hard to find all the right sounds from my mouth! At least people will have fun listening me, if I ever try to communicate with someone in Russian (I hope that I do!).

It’s so refreshing to teach again (Lesson #1)

Russian & Finnish

It’s been a while since I was last time on the knowledge-giving side. Of course we all give some presentation here and there, but making a year plan, a semester plan, individual lesson plans, examination plan, setting evaluation criteria… Honestly, I’ve been missing this. Here I’m talking about my past teacher career. But now I can be a teacher again, even if it’s for only ten to fifteen lessons, but it feels good. Believe me!

In past years at TAMK we had lots of opportunities to see different teaching styles. The first lesson is usually always an introduction: teacher introduces himself/herself, then it’s students’ turn. And first hour goes by. Then lecturer introduces the subject and shows learning goals and politely asks students to read them carefully as they are important part of the end-of-lecture feedback form. Some lecturers even start with the first lesson.

Today, on September 22, we had our first lesson with Yuliya. I will help Yuliya with Finnish language, and Yuliya will teach me Russian. An introduction wasn’t necessary as we are classmates, studying International Business. Learning goals were not set before the first lesson, because none of us knew how much we are familiar with the languages being taught.

Yuliya has started with Russian alphabet. I more or less familiar with it, since I have long, long, long, really long, LONG time ago learnt Serbian language (in 5th grade, Anno Domini 1983, yes, last millennium), which also uses Cyrillic alphabet. There are a few new letters, but I will manage pretty well. We practiced pronunciation. That was challenging. I also got some homework, but I did it about half of it already in the class. For the real homework I need to check some links and get more familiar with the language.

Russian alphabet
Russian alphabet

My goal for today was to assess Yuliya’s base line knowledge. She already knows a lot and she is SO motivated that it will be a quite an effort to give her challenging enough tasks and exercises to keep her motivation up throughout the lessons. We have checked the verb groups and paid special attention to consonant gradation.

We have quickly checked locative cases, but did not spend too much time with them, because Yuliya is more or less familiar with them.

Based on today’s lesson I will make a short learning plan. I will try not to make it to grammar-based, but rather emphasize interaction, dialogue.

An important part of the lesson are Yuliya’s questions. Today she was so inquisitive that I had to make myself a list of questions to answer on our next session. We have scheduled it for Wednesday, September 24.

Sincerely yours (С уважением),
Sebastjan (Себастьян)