Tag Archives: Language

#3 – Free talk in German

Updating with some older meetings now! 😀

Our third meeting was in Koskikeskus! We went to the café and donut shop called Arnold’s for practicing free talk/smalltalk in German with Maija and Kaisa 🙂

Arnold's #1

While we were starting off easily with introducing ourselves again (this time in German only hehe) we went on to talk about more cultural topics like Christmas and childhood right after. It was so interesting to hear about Christmas traditions/rituals in Finland/Tampere! 😀 It made me look forward to the Christmas season here 🙂


While talking, I found out (about my own mother tongue, right XD) that there were two phrases to describe ACTIONS (keep that in mind, it doesn’t always work out, but for ACTIONS, they do!!!) pretty easily in the past and the future:


Ich gehe _________(insert infinitive). = I am going to ___________ (inf).

Example: Ich gehe jetzt schlafen. = I am going to sleep now. (Requires the action of moving, initiating a process; you’re using the present tense but since you are not asleep or in bed yet, it has a futuristic meaning – same as in English, right? 😉 )


Ich war _______ (inf). = I was ___________ (inf).

Example: Ich war einkaufen. = I was shopping. (Also only applicable for actions/processes. Shopping requires moving around, selecting your stuff, paying, etc. – you see the ACTIONS in there? :D)

Maybe, some of you got something out of this post, it might help and come in handy when you are talking about everyday life in a smalltalk! I’d be glad if it helped! 😀 See you next entry! ♥

Theresa ♥

01. First meeting 24.09.14

My team mate is Tuija and Fernando, They are Finnish  and American.

We met at Cafe in tamk.

We introduced each other and learned basic words of each coutries.

I want to experience Finland culture and learn precise english pronunciation and Japanese. ( Fernando also can do Japanese!!)

It’s the perfect team for me. We scheduled our time and what we can do.

So, It was really basic meeting


Basic words

*I am hungry – American

Olen nälkäinen – Finnish

나는 배고프다 -Korean

*Enjoy your meal-American

hyvää ruokahalua – finnish



*Good luck -American


힘내 – Korean

onnea – Finnish



Learning German


My name is Maija. I have studied German before and I would like to improve my skills because I think it is nice language and the culture is interesting.

Our group consists of three members, I, Kaisa and Theresa. Theresa is our German teacher. Our group met first time in Coffeehouse. I and Kaisa have studied German before and we both would like to learn same things, for example business letters.

In the first meeting Theresa taught us the basics, because we wanted to refresh our memory. She showed how to conjugate verbs and basic structure of the sentences.

Here is example how to conjugate the verb “Machen”=to do something

Ich mache
Du machst
Er/sie/es macht
Wir machen
Ihr macht
Sie machen

After that she showed us some examples of business letters.

I learned lot of new words, like




It is really nice to learn in a group and next time we will learn the shopping vocabulary  🙂berliini



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! 😀

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)