Opi suomea! -podcast is a podcast and blog in plain Finnish for intermediate and advanced learners. It consists of twelve podcast episodes. The topics of the episodes vary from general content, such as daily life, hobbies, Finnish traditions and traveling to a more specific issues on language learning, studying, social media, forestry, nature and sustainability, and religion. Every episode has a transcript and episode glossary. The podcast and transcriptions are easily reachable online for both students and lecturers. The material fosters the development of listening, speaking and writing skill. The blog offers for students additional reading materials and links to other useful resources.
This resource was used in the initial stages of a course for intermediate level Finnish language learners as supplementary and review material on a specific topic addressed during the previous course: nature. To meet the main objective, which was to expand the vocabulary on the subject and strengthen the students' listening skills through updated materials, we chose to focus on the episode dedicated to the forest. Following the guidelines, we first read the transcript of the episode and the related lexicon and then listened to some parts of the episode itself. The students adhered very well to the proposed activities, demonstrating a high level of attention, thanks to the pleasant way of presenting current topics. Acquiring new words was very successful with this resource; the repetition of the same concepts with different words by the podcaster proved to be particularly effective. The proposal of a podcast's playful listening challenge, with posters to keep track of what has been learned, also appears very motivating. In addition, the numerous questions posed by the podcaster during the speech give ideas for the further classroom dialogue or writing exercises; this interactive way of presentation proved to be very engaging for the students. The students stated that it is a very useful resource for reviewing and "getting back into the topic" after the summer break. As for the length of the individual episodes, it is perfectly adequate for self-study while it risks being a little excessive (too long episodes) for use in the classroom. In light of this, it can be fruitful to tackle an episode in a guided way during the course and then suggest to students to continue using the resource independently.
Capacity to match the needs of lecturers and students
The provided tangible improvements
The capacity to motivate students to improve their language skills
Effectiveness in introducing innovative, creative and previously unknown approaches to LSP learning
Measurement of the transferable potential and possibility to be a source of further capitalisation/application for other language projects in different countries
Skills assessment and validation
Availability of appropriate tools for lecturers to monitor students’ progress and for students to assess own progress and to reflect on learning
Flexibility of the contents and possibilities for the LSP lecturers to adapt the contents to their and to students’ need
Assess the technical usability from the point of view of the lecturer and the student
Assess the accessibility from the point of view of the lecturer and the student
The podcast and the blog offer an accessible way to improve Finnish language skills for intermediate and advanced learners. The content suits well as additional material for classroom courses or for autonomous learning. The material provides authentic and updated content in Finnish on different domain areas. It is very motivating and easily accessible for students and lecturers. The episodes are somewhat long to use entirely in classroom context, but they suit very well for example for flipped classroom activities and task-based approaches. The resource is quite appealing and the podcast form introduces an innovative learning tool for Finnish LSP teaching.
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