This report is by an exchange student from Hong Kong who took part in the Language Campus school visit programme.
This year is Lyseon lukio Upper Secondary School 155th anniversary and there was the International Day for celebrating it on 4th October. Café Lingua is one of the celebrations. Exchange students of University of Jyvaskyla were invited to join this to introduce and teach their mother-tongues in order to increase students’ incentive to learn new languages.
On 4th October morning, several Chinese exchange students and I went to the school and met the Chinese teacher Miss Liu Yufei who was responsible for teaching Chinese. She gave us brief information of the school as well as the introduction of how to teach students Chinese like greetings, numbers and “Pin-yin” (pronunciations and intonations). It is difficult to learn and remember new languages in a short period of time and this is not the aim of this visit. What we should do is to show how interesting of learning Chinese. Therefore, for some students who have never learnt Chinese before, I would give them some similarities of Finnish and Chinese like the combination of numbers which raised their incentives to know more about Chinese. However, I think it is a good opportunity for students to broaden their horizons to know more languages. As an exchange student, it is nice to have an intercultural communication with the students and teachers and experience the Finnish local school life by teaching our own mother tongues and having lunch with teachers.
By teaching them Chinese, I appreciate that their school life is full of freedom and peace. The relationship between students, teachers and even the principal is very natural and good. They communicated between each other friendly and without pressure. The principal even shared his experience of learning Chinese with us during the lunch break. The learning atmosphere really impressed me a lot. Learning must be happy for students. If not, what they learnt in students’ mind cannot be last for so long. Students are free to choose what they like to learn is the biggest incentive to study well.
This school visit is so unique for me to know more about the learning styles and school life in a local Finnish school. Now I understand why the Finnish educational system is so famous in the whole world.