FINN 310 A: Topics in Finnish Language and Culture

Autumn 2021
TTh 2:30pm - 4:20pm / MGH 278
Section Type:
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):

Kurssikuvaus / Course description:

FINN 310  is designed to set the path for the student to engage in the different ways that Finnish language is, has been, and can be used. The course is designed for students who already know Finnish well enough to communicate various topics in some length both orally and in writing, and also read, listen and make use of content and topics that (s)he is previously unfamiliar with. There are no official prerequirements, but the students are expected to meet the level reached by the end of the second year Finnish classes (FINN 203), corresponding roughly to contents covered in Suomen mestari 1 and 2. The course will be conducted in Finnish.

The course will start with language and culture topics in Suomen mestari 3, which is required. Newspaper articles, films, and the Internet will be used. To succeed in this course, you must actively participate and you will be expected to attend class regularly, prepare for class daily, and speak as much Finnish as possible.

Sisältö / General Contents

  • Cultural and societal history
  • Finnish geography
  • Life in Finland now

All content will be introduced with relevant vocabulary and grammar topics, such as spoken Finnish variants, expressions about time and duration, passive voice, past tenses, conditional voice, to mention a few.


Tavoitteet / Objectives


In addition to expanding on structures and grammatical points studied previously, this course will:

  • cover content introduced in chapters 3-5 of Suomen mestari 3.
  • allow students to express their own ideas, opinions, and emotions in Finnish
  • expand the students’ knowledge of the Finnish culture by providing authentic texts and videos
  • enhance students’ active and passive vocabulary

In class, we strive for a learning atmosphere that challenges your skills in a supportive way. There are no wrong answers, only good attempts. Emphasis will be given to all language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.

 Course outcomes:

1. Extended familiarity with vocabulary on abstract content areas related to history, society and culture.

2. Enhanced oral communication skills and ability to express one's views, opinions and emotions on increasingly complex topics in Finnish. 


Kurssin nettisivu / Class website:

All of the homework assignments will be posted on the class website on Canvas on a weekly basis, and there will also be other useful information posted such as the syllabus and links to Finnish resources.


Arvostelu / Evaluation

  • 30 % tuntiaktiivisuus / class participation: Daily attendance and active participation are crucial to your progress. Coming in time, being prepared, doing activities, answering questions and speaking Finnish as much as possible are all part of participation. If you know you are going to miss a class, please notify the teacher in advance.
  • 40 % kotitehtävät ja tehtävät / homework and assignments: Homework will be assigned and graded regularly and is due to the following class, unless otherwise specified. Homework will not be accepted late without prior arrangement! Media task and study log are part of your regular homework.
  • 20% kirjalliset kokeet / written exams: there will be a short mid-term exam as well as a final exam. Each exam is worth 10% of your total grade.
  • 10 % suullinen koe / oral exam You will chat with the teacher at the end of the quarter



Watch Finnish news or any other online media of your choice (for example Selkouutiset). Choose a piece of broadcast you think is important or interesting. Expect to spend about one hour on this task and be ready to share in class on the Tuesday of the following week. Deadlines are posted in the Assignment section. Please provide a link to your source with your submission. Key questions:

  • What happened, where and when?
  • Who was involved?
  • Why is this important?

Emphasis of grading is on completion and vocabulary, not on mastering the detail or grammar. You can submit your Media task notes in the form a short text, or in a short video of yourself discussing the piece you chose. Either way, please be prepared to talk more about your topic in class.


Oppimispäiväkirja/study log

At the end of each week (by noon on Friday), you have to submit a small text on your learning. The text should include:

  • The most important thing you learned this week (either language or culture related). This is your opinion, no wrong answers.
  • At least 5 sentences of the topic(s) of the week. You can e.g. tell what they were and describe your own opinion on them.
  • 10 new words you learned this week. Underline these words in your submission.
  • Showcase-use a structure that was discussed in class that week.


Alustava aikataulu / Tentative schedule







Tutustuminen, kurssin sisältö, kertausta


Ensimmäinen kurssipäivä



SM kpl 3, Suomen historiaa



Oppimispäiväkirja, mediaseuranta










Oppimispäiväkirja, mediaseuranta







 SM kpl 4



Oppimispäiväkirja, mediaseuranta




Midterm Exam






Oppimispäiväkirja, mediaseuranta


 SM kpl 5







 Final Exam

Oppimispäiväkirja, mediaseuranta



 Oral exams



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Religious Accommodations

Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Faculty Syllabus Guidelines and Resources. Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form (Links to an external site.).

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Catalog Description:
Topics related to Finnish literature, life, and civilization.
GE Requirements Met:
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Last updated:
February 25, 2024 - 4:33 pm