The goal of this course is to introduce you to the fundamentals of the Finnish language and culture. The course will provide you with the linguistic tools to function and communicate in an everyday context. You will be able to talk about yourself, your family, your home, and your personal interests and to discuss daily topics such as food, weather, shopping and travel. These activities will be built around Finnish of the textbook.
Authentic Finnish materials will be used extensively. The course will introduce Finnish literature, cinema, and pop culture from the 1950s onwards. More specifically, we will watch movies, listen to and read song lyrics and read a short story. The movies will provide the students an overview of Finnish cinema and facilitate situating the language into a context (subtitles are provided). The films will be distributed via Canvas and watched at home prior to class. You will write short reflections on the films in English. We will also listen to songs, which will: (1) teach something about modern and contemporary Finnish culture; (2) illustrate a grammatical concept; (3) build vocabulary. Lyrics will be provided with English translations but we will only consider the original text in the course. Finally, during the course we will read a short story in the original language. We will distribute passages from the story in class weekly, discuss it as a class, and create a PowerPoint presentation for the story.
- Introducing and giving information about oneself
- Greetings, basic small talk phrases, asking questions and giving basic information in routine everyday situations and needs
- Numbers, prices
- Weather, seasons, months, telling the time
- Conjugation of some basic verbs
- Describing people and objects in a simple way
- Overview of Finnish Cinema
- Basic reading skills for Finnish literary texts
By the end of the course the student
- can introduce oneself, give basic information about oneself and ask simple questions
- can understand and use basic expressions and simple sentences in routine everyday situations
- is able to deal with everyday social situations and handle simple shopping situations
- is aware of the basic characteristics of Finnish
- is able to make sense of written Finnish with the necessary aids
- Has an idea of main cultural trends in post-war Finland
Learning a language is challenging, but it should also be a social and enjoyable experience. All language skills will be focused on: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Films and other class material will be posted on the class website on Canvas, as well as other useful information on Finnish and studying Finnish.
50% class participation: Daily attendance and active participation are crucial to your progress. Coming on time, being prepared, doing activities, answering questions and speaking Finnish as much as possible are all part of participation. This includes having homework finished in order to participate in the day's activities.
20 % Films: You will watch movies and write a short English reflection and a comment in Finnish about each one. Half of these grades will be based on the content and the other half on the language.
20% quizzes (4): Tests will be taken after each chapter in the textbook.
10% oral exam: There will be one oral exam. The exam will consist of a short interview or conversation in Finnish between one student and the instructor.