After the year-turn I enrolled in an on-line Finnish language course at Otavan Opisto: ‘s21 – Suomen kielen perusteiden varmentaminen‘.
If I understand it right, it’s a basic Finnish language course, in Finnish, aimed at adults, at secondary school level. Free of charge.
What I like about this learning solution is that it’s completely on-line, so it allows me to learn at my own pace and whenever I have time.
I live in a predominantly Finnish-speaking environment – despite the fact that I speak quite a bit of Dutch and English with family, friends and in business. So I learn new Finnish words on a daily basis. But my challenge has been to actively use Finnish grammar correctly.
The thing is, I feel that I receive too little feedback on my grammar in Finnish conversation with people in order to improve. I’m often uncertain if I use the correct conjugation, but people still understand what I intend to say so they don’t feel inclined to correct me. People are very polite that way. And even when I ask explicitly, not everyone is able to explain Finnish grammar from a foreigner’s point of view.
So that’s why I need a course with an emphasis on grammar. What I like about the Otava course so far is that it’s well-structured, there is a clear emphasis on learning the rules, lots of exercises, and progress is well tracked.
The on-line learning environment features a blog-like “learning diary” for the student. It’s a nice way to report your own progress and development areas, and to give feedback to your teacher. So, yes, there is a human at the other end, in case you get stuck and to rate your performance.
While struggling through the present and perfect tense of the 6 verb groups, I figured I needed to structure and re-produce my learning by building a spreadsheet of verb conjugations as I go forward. And why not share it? So today I’m releasing version 0.2.0. For what it’s worth.