The teaching focuses on using Finnish from day one. The emphasis during class time is on speaking the same way you do in real life situations. Exercises done at home and practice outside class are also crucial as repetition is very important in learning a language. Finnish speaking spouses, friends or colleagues are invited to join a support group for the students, and will receive instructions on how to help the students to master Finnish. Whenever possible we will go out of the class room to practice in real situations, or, for example, learn Finnish while cooking a Finnish meal.
Our aim is to make you feel at home in Finland by offering Finnish courses and cultural awareness training that answer your specific needs.
At the moment, there are no courses open to all, but gather a group of friends or colleagues and ask for a quote, or ask about private lessons. You can find a full list of services offered here.
- Finnish courses, scheduled courses open to all and tailored courses for companies, groups and families
- Cultural awareness training, scheduled seminars, or tailored training based on the needs of companies, groups or families
- Cultural awareness consulting
- Finnish experience events for groups
- Language check services for presentations (Finnish and English)
- Improve and activate your English, scheduled courses with particular themes and tailored courses based on specific needs
- Improve and activate your Swedish, German, French, or Russian (on request)
Our operations are guided by open-mindedness to different suggestions, if you did not find what you need in the above list, please tell us about your needs, and we will try to help you.
In each culture people have ways of doing things, values, attitudes and expectations that are taken for granted and no longer noticed. These assumptions vary between cultures, and lack of attention to the differences can lead to painful misunderstandings. Cultural awareness training gives you an understanding of the Finnish society and Finnish expectations, so that you will be more successful when forming relationships with Finns, both professionally and personally.
If you have a feeling that the communication between you and your Finnish partners is not working as well as you wish, we can help you to assess whether cultural differences may be in the way, and guide you around them.
Would you like to try the smoke sauna, dip into a hole in the ice, or spend a day in the woods listening to Finnish legends, playing traditional games and eating a delicious meal? Tell us what you would like, or ask for suggestions to treat your expat employees to a typical Finnish experience.
If you have an important presentation coming up and would like someone to check the language of your talk and visual aids, contact us and we will help you succeed.
Courses can focus on improving oral or written skills in general or for a particular context. Courses focusing on, for example, customer service, e-mail communication, argumentation or oral presentations are available on request.
At the moment, we are busy with commissioned courses, so there are no courses open to all, but gather a group of friends or colleagues and ask for a quote, or ask about private lessons.
About the principal lecturer
My background is in languages and literature. I have worked for about a decade as a project manager in multi-lingual software localisation, and another decade as a researcher and lecturer at the university. My training in cultural awareness begun even before that as I had the chance to share two years of my life with people representing 78 nationalities at the Lester B. Pearson United World College. While teaching and doing the pedagogical training required of teachers in Finland, I have realised that I really enjoy teaching and developing teaching methods for challenging situations. The decision to start teaching Finnish has arisen from a frustration with the fact that people find Finnish so difficult to learn. I believe this can be changed by adopting different methods in teaching, and that is what Finnjoy is all about.
I have worked as a university lecturer on foreign language pedagogy, and my approach in teaching languages is a combination of various methods. The focus is on helping you to use the language actively and learn ways to improve your skills also independently. Repetition and independent practice are crucial for learning any language, and however much I want to help you, I cannot practise for you. Ultimately your success will depend on the effort you put into learning a language, but what I can do is to divide the work into manageable chunks and suggest ways to practise effectively. I love languages, and I would like to make the learning experience enjoyable, even if it requires effort. Whenever possible, I also try to take learning out of the class room, into the situations where you actually need to use the language. If you want to find out more about my research interests, you can find a list of my publications at the University of Helsinki research database, and if you want to read some of them, check Research Gate.
You can sign up for scheduled courses by sending mail to cecilia.therman[at]helsinki.fi. Please include the following details: your name and mail address, which course you want to participate on, what kinds of studies you have in the language, what is your native language and other languages you know, what field you plan to work in in Finland, and any special needs you may have.
If you want to inquire about a tailored course or event, tell us about your wishes and we will get back to you shortly.
If you are contemplating on moving to Finland, please note that enrolling on a language course does not qualify for a student visa or improve your chances of getting a residence permit.