Being a language teacher

Is it easy to be a teacher? How is a good teacher? Trust me, being a teacher sometimes is like you are creating miracle in the world. In this post, I’ll also tell you a little bit about Finnish education.

In recent years, thousands of refugees have  immigrated to Finland. As a country with high quality of life, government takes care of human life totally seriously. Finland is also famous with high quality of education and low tuition. Most of Finns has a good education background. Education for European citizen is free or you have to pay with a small amount. 

Finnish course

My Finnish course started about a year ago. Government gave us this course without charge and helped us integrate into community and adapt to new life, so we don’t have to pay anything and conversely most of us has received monetary support to go to school. It was to strange to me who is from a developing country, where education has many problems.

Back to my Finnish course, we have to study the language in 10 months and then we need to find a language practice placement to practice Finnish speaking. I chose to be a teaching assistant and now it’s my last week in my school and I never thought that I would like it so much. If I stayed in Vietnam I would become a Russian professor in my university (it would take a long road to get there, but I mean in the future). I had no idea about if I love teaching people or if I have enough patience to be a teacher.

Situations

My jobs in school  is help Finnish teachers when they need, so I have chance to be with different groups and see different interesting teaching methods of many teachers. I remember that after week at work I got ” a lot of students” who call me “teacher”. I was so happy to hear that word. Like almost teachers, I also got common problem that I couldn’t remember their names. Actually remember foreign name is like I’m trying to learn by heart new words in many languages. Our students are from around the world and they speak many languages and I think their common language is Arabic which is written and read from the right side to the left side and it has a totally different system from English or Finnish. Many of them even hadn’t been in primary school  in their country, so they aren’t able to read or write even in their language. Could you imagine how difficult it is for Finnish teachers to teach these students to read and write in Finnish? It’s a huge job and takes a lot of time, efforts and patience. Let’s think about us, who can read and write in our language, so we would learn foreign language much easier by writing the meaning of the new word in our language, so that we can review whenever we want. For these students, they just can listen to  the sound and imitate it. They aren’t able to read, so they can’t use Google Translater to translate into their language or listen to them over and over again at home. It’s still much more difficult when they are elderly people. I have helped a Somali woman write the very first letter “A and a”. She is 51 years old and has just started to write for the first time in her life, like a child at the first grade. It’s tough because her hands are not as flexible as children’s hands. I saw her effort when she tried to write every words that her teacher wrote on the board. Another situation is from Afghanistan woman who can speak two languages Dari and Pashto, but she can’t read or write in these languages. I don’t know why Latin alphabet is too hard for her, that she can’t remember “a, i, o, u” which she has learned for 2 months.  We had some private lessons, I always asked her “how to say that word in Dari?” then she told me and I copied the sound by my way and put the stress, then I can remind her if she forgets. She always laughs at me, when my pronunciation goes wrong. I can’t express how I am happy when Somali woman can write on one line and Afghanistan woman can remember something and respond to me quickly when I give her question ” What is it?”.

Finnish teacher

Finnish teachers really bear with their students. I’ve seen that how they can teach many times just one thing everyday with big smile on their face. They probably know that people are different and nothing could be solved if they get angry and shout at their students who should be respected.

“In the class, I try to make them laugh as much as possible, so they can forget their real life for a while.”

Finnish teachers understand and sympathize with their students who can be affected by real circumstances. I’ve heard about some situations, for example, a family is separated by war, parents and their daughters moved to Finland and they have adapted to new life, but their son is left behind in the country and when these people worry about their son, relative, they can’t go to school and be ready to study anything.

“Teacher should not be nervous.”

Finnish teachers are always positive and active in the class. They control their emotion and don’t put their emotion into their job. They do everything to give their student the most comfortable atmosphere.

“Teacher works in the service sector. Students are our customers and we serve them.”

” Customer is the King.”  I think it’s great opinion, but it doesn’t mean that students can do everything they want. Teacher and student have to respect each other. Each of them has its own responsibility. Teachers give students knowledge and students give them experience.

Topic of teachers in teacher’s room is always about their students. Could you imagine how they are happy when their students have learned some new thing? Just small improvement also can make their day.

Sometimes I just wonder why Finland has to do everything like that. They offer harborage for refugees, give them monthly monetary support, send them to school for studying language, help them adapt to new life and guide them to get their dream job and a bright future. Then I realized that Finland is a country with high education and it’s definitely necessary for their people to be educated. Helping refugees and immigrants is helping themselves. 

 

P.L

 

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How to improve English?

English is the most popular language in the world. Once you speak English, you have the key to the door to the big world. Spending time to improve English means you are having a good prepare for your bright future. Here are some ways to help you get better in English. Continue reading “How to improve English?”

Language course or self-study at home?

Many people want to learn a new language and they may think about going to language course first. Is it worth going to language course? I will show you why self-study at home is better.

Continue reading “Language course or self-study at home?”

Why Finnish is easier than Russian

Finnish is known as one of the most difficult languages in the world with its grammar. But I will show you Russian is much more difficult.

1. Script

Finnish alphabet is Latin and similar to English, so it would be nice for people whose mother tongue is written by Latin characters, that they don’t need to learn writing letters again.
Russian alphabet is from Cyrillic script. It takes time to become familiar with these letters and you have to learn how to write them like first-grade students.

2.Pronunciation

Finnish language doesn’t have difficult consonant. It is written and read in the same way, even people who have never learned Finnish also can read it. They just need to follow some simple rules and pay attention to double vowel (aa, oo, uu, ää, öö, yy, ii, ee), then they can read well.

Continue reading “Why Finnish is easier than Russian”

Beginner should do these things first

If you’ve just started to learn a new language, what should you do? Here are tips for beginner!

1. Find resources

This is why I recommended you to search for advices in previous post. From advices you can find useful sources:

YouTube videos in which people teach you free lessons.
Websites for exchange language: you can find native speakers to practice with. Ex: Italki, HelloTalk, Lingolobe
Mobile apps for learning vocabulary: Memrise, Worddive, Duolingo,…
Books depending on your language, you can choose different textbooks for your learning, but I think beginner doesn’t need textbook. Because it has a lot of crazy grammar and you’ll get mad at it.
Dictionary: there are many dictionary apps in mobile store and you should find the best one to use. (you can ask Google for more detail)

Continue reading “Beginner should do these things first”

9 reasons why you should learn a foreign language

1. Study abroad

There are now many types of scholarships, such as private or public, for each type of scholarship that you can find on the internet. In order to apply for scholarship, you have to put a lot of efforts into improving your language to be chosen. Speaking the language of the country where you study will help you adjust to the new country and new people. English is now almost a common language in the world, usually if people speak English, they will use English to communicate with foreigners. It does not mean that if you study in a non-English speaking country, you do not need to learn their language. Indigenous people will be happy to hear you speak their language and usually they are happy to help if they see your efforts.

Continue reading “9 reasons why you should learn a foreign language”

Welcome to The Keys

Hi every one! Welcome to my first post!

I have some questions for you!

Are you learning a foreign language now?
I guess the answer is YES. If NO you are not reading my blog now 🙂

Are you enjoying learning a new language or struggling with it?

Are you a beginner language learning and you do not know where to get start?

Do you want to speak fluently that language but you study alone and you do not have chance to practice it with native speakers?

Do you want to remember vocabulary faster and longer?

Are you looking for tips or methods that can help you learn more effective and faster?

If the answers for all questions is YES, so CONGRATULATION! YOU FOUND THE RIGHT PLACE!
I am here to share with you my tips to learn languages, especially English, Russian and Finnish. I believe that learning language is not too difficult if you know the keys to the language. So what do I mean? The keys here is the ways or the methods that you use when you learn a new language, for example: how to pronounce in the right way, how to speak fluently, how to learn grammar quickly, how to use the language or how to practice it, especially when you do not live in that country where people speak that language or maybe you do not have any foreign friends or native speakers who can help you, practice with you and so on.

Please take note when you see some tip which you have never tried and do it! I know that my tips work for me but maybe they do not work for you because we are different, so we learn everything in many different ways. However you never know if it is suit for you until you try it. So do it and do exactly what I recommended you to do. If it is useful and helps you, so keep going on. If not, forget it and find a better way for you! We always have choice!

Thank you for reading!

P.L