Tag Archives: beginner

#6 – Easy book reading at Metso

When we were at Metso last time, we suddenly had the idea that reading a children’s book could be a good excercise. I know from my own very first books that they are written in a very easy way with a small amount of vocabulary, short sentences and have a common everday setting for their stories.

Luckily, there’s a children’s books section with books in various languages at Metso. I decided on the book “Der gelbe Pulli” by Paul Maar because of it’s common content. Also, his name rang a bell in my mind, I think I’ve read books from him when I was younger as well 😀 That book is available in Metso but you can also find it for example here on Amazon.

I pulled out my notebook to write down some words in case they were unknown. Maija and Kaisa were taking turns in reading after every page or paragraph. I think it went pretty well and both told me that it was easy to understand (much better than in our newspaper excercise) except for some new phrases or words 😀

Characteristic for those children’s books is that the font size is… well… reaaaally big. So we read through the whole book in roughly one hour only 🙂

I teached them a little bit about the reflexive pronoun “sich“, which basically means “oneself“, that is used in combination with certain verbs. Like in English language, there is no exact rule when it has to be used, you just have to learn that the verbs that need the pronoun with them.


Some other useful words:

bunt = colourful

sauber = clean

dreckig = dirty

malen = to paint; colloquial meaning also: to draw, to doodle, to sketch, …

And pay attention to this!

Der Krieg (noun) = war

kriegen (verb) = to get, to receive sth.

>>> They might sound similar but the meaning is TOTALLY different!


As you can see, our reading session went over without any big problems, I can really recommend learning with children’s books when you are beginners 😀 Children also have to start somewhere right? 😉 Metso is in my opinion, a good location to meet since they have books to read for free and space to sit down together and even a café upstairs 😀 Talking is possible if you’re not too loud, so hold your EOTO meetings there?! 🙂

~ Theresa ♥

Finnish vs German

So we had the first meeting of the EOTO course at my place drinking coffee and getting to know each others. I have a little knowledge of German language from the elementary school, but it’s been such a long time I have forgotten almost everything. Markus has learned just a little bit of Finnish in the beginner course so we could start from the basics!

I asked Markus to teach me how to pronounce the alphabet first. As I distantly could remember, it’s not too far from the Finnish ones. But I still got some new information; the letter V [fav] is actually pronounced like F in Finnish language. At least in most words.

We went through the weekdays and months in German and that was easy because many of them were similar to the English ones. Family members, easy as well. But what about the Finnish translations? There are absolutely no similarities. It was funny to explain the meanings of the months because the name of every months ends with “-kuu” which as a matter of fact means the Moon as well!

IMG_2757I introduced my German friend
some Finnish design;
Arabia Moomin mugs (in the picture).

As I’m looking for a new apartment for myself I also learned some very important sentences for going furniture shopping. “Ich möchte bitte einen Tisch kaufen” is going to be very practical when I go Ikea-shopping. I hope they understand German:)

See you 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! 😀

Beginner’s Spanish, it is time to start


Our group had the first meeting last Thursday and unfortunately it took me this long to get myself around this blog and tell you a bit about it. Please forgive me 🙂

We are group of five at the moment (maybe getting a new member soon, but we’ll see). Our great Spanish teachers also had their lovely child with them, which was great and made the atmosphere lot more relaxed. We met at TAMK, in the restaurant in the main building for little bit more than one hour and had a great time learning beginner’s Spanish.

There are three of us, who want to learn Spanish and then one of us only speaks Spanish. Luckily we also got one gentleman in our group, who is able to speak both Spanish and English which makes it little bit easier for everyone I think. We are trying to go through some basic English and Spanish during our meetings this autumn and hopefully we all learn some useful phrases and make new friends with each others.

In our first meeting we learnt some basic vocabulary (greetings, weekdays, months etc) and tried to teach same things in English. Priscilla made us great notes about the lesson in Spanish and it was really useful. Maybe we could do same kind of notes in English later? We also got to know each others little bit better, which was nice!

I really enjoyed our meeting, even if it was quite formal as we were at school and unfortunately I didn’t have any time to prepare anything for the meeting. I have studied Spanish before, so the lesson was quite easy, but still it is always good to repeat the basics, as those sayings are the most important ones. I hope we managed to teach some English too and everybody else enjoyed the meeting as well. We are going to meet at TAMK on Thursday again, but I hope that maybe later we could also meet outside the school settings and maybe do something together 🙂

Thanks for the great meeting and see you on Thursday!

Best wishes, Laura