Finnish Language Isn’t Very Easy To Learn

Teaching Finnish requires creativity if there is no mutual language with the students.

Zirkani Ali, from Iraq, who has lived in Forssa for three months, is studying Finnish for the second time in the language club of Forssa’s department of Finnish Red Cross.

– Finnish is a difficult language and it certainly takes some time to learn it, Ali sighs.

Wang Zing, from China, came to Finland eight years ago. She has lived in Forssa for a few months.

– Studying Finnish was hard in the beginning as I can’t speak English either. Now it’s going better and I’m trying to learn more at my work experience placement in a café. I’m happy about being employed as just staying at home is boring, Zing tells.

Inas Alsewari, from Iraq, says that the most painstaking parts of learning Finnish are double consonants and the vocals ä, ö and y.

The language club is led by Kirsi Hipp and Sirkka Yli-Jaakkola.

– Usually there are 7-8 asylum seekers and immigrants in the club, which is a suitable amount, Hipp says.

The leaders don’t have a strict curriculum, but the language is approached informally by browsing different kinds of books, for example.
– This requires creativity from time to time. There are members in the club who haven’t gone to school in their home country, either, but they learn Finnish miraculously well, Yli-Jaakkola commends.

Yli-Jaakkola and Hipp listen to their students’ wishes regarding the teaching and don’t force their own ideas upon them.
– To me the language club is the highlight of the week. Doing voluntary work is rewarding altogether as we get to help people at least in some way in the process, Hipp ponders.

In addition to the language club, Forssa’s department of Finnish Red Cross runs a children’s club, a floorball club, a Terho Club and a handicraft club.

Other regular activities include physical exercising at the gym of Helkanrinne and a first aid group that gets together every two weeks. On Sundays, there’s a lounge night in Ystävän kammari.

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