Unknown Language Log
(1) Apparent lesson objectives (functions, structures, lexis and pronunciation)
Lesson one consisted of an introduction to the new language, we were taught how to greet others and introduce ourselves, how to give personal information (though it was only regarding our nationality), the alphabet was introduced to us in order to explain further vocabulary, and along with it the pronunciation of the letters, and words which had two of the same vowels together and made a longer sound, so we realized that Finnish is a phonetic language, that is the opposite of English which is not. Moreover, we learned a few subject pronouns such as ’’he, she(which do not have separate pronouns, they are the same word), you and I’’, the present of the verb ’’to be (olen)’’, some well-rounded basic vocabulary in order to explain how a word can change its meaning by having two of the same letters together (’’mato’’ means worm, while ’’matto’’ means carpet), and possessive adjectives (only ’’My’’). There were many exponents used to teach us the functions previously said, introducing yourself/greeting (’’Mikä sinun nimesi on?/What’s your name?’’, ’’Minä olen Ricardo/My name is Ricardo’’, ’’Mitä kuuluu?/How are you?’’, ’’Kiitos, hyvää!/Fine, thanks!’’), personal information (’’Mistä olet kotoisin?/Where are you from?’’, ’’Minä olen uruguaylainen/I am Uruguayan’’).
(2) Lesson structure (stages, presentation, practice, etc.)
The main structure of the lesson consisted of an introduction to the language and the country, along with some cultural background, the teacher introduced herself and talked (always in Finnish) about Finland, and where she was born and lived. Then she taught us how to introduce ourselves and how to ask someone their name (a basic small talk including “How are you?”), and introduced the subject pronoun ’’I’’, she acted as a model saying what her name was and then asking another student his name, then we did a chain drill where we all had to introduce ourselves to the classmate next to us, we repeated a few times (repetition drills) and then moved forward to the alphabet, consonants and vowels. She taught us basic vocabulary and the pronunciation when there are two of the same letters together in a word, which makes the sound longer or more plosive (depending if it is a vowel or a consonant), we did repetition drills after modeling of some words. Afterwards, we learned the possessive adjective ’’my’’, how to offer something to someone, and to give thanks, then again as practice we did chain and repetition drills offering a book to the classmate next to us and thanking for it. To end the first lesson we learned more subject pronouns such as ’’he, she and you’’ and how to say where we are from, and practised it with repetition drills.
The structure itself was presentation and controlled practice consisting of drilling on each new language form. Although she checked if we understood the lesson by asking individually, the main goal was not achieved since most of the practice was repetition drills. We did no production since we were total beginners.
(3) What kind of aids and handouts does the teacher use?
When she gave the introduction to the country she used a map of Finland along with a flag, the whiteboard was her main aid to teach vocabulary, as she made drawings of the new vocabulary in order to not to translate. She used gestures all the time to give instructions or explain concepts, though when they were more abstract it was harder to understand. She pointed the person she was referring to, whether it was her or one of us, put her hands together when she wanted us to do an activity in groups (like introducing to each other). When she tried to convey by gestures the fact that Spanish and Finnish are more similar as languages alternately to English and Finnish, she separated her hands when referring to English, while putting them together when...
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