After some initial confusion I found our first pre-assignments in Optima which is the digital learning environment in use on our course. It seems our teachers had initially invited us to Optima before the dates and learning resources used last year had been updated. Now that everything seems to be fine I started working on the first pre-assignment. It’s phonetics and phonology. We are required to study Finnish-English Phonetics and Phonology (2001) written by Kari Sajavaara and Hannele Dufva.
I’m not going to bore you with all the exact details and the whole theory, but for a language teacher it is important to understand the potential difficulties in language learning.
It means we have to find out for example why tense and lax vowels (long and short) can be pretty unproblematic for Finns but understand that consonants can be harder. For example we have no aspiration in Finnish, we lack dental fricatives and affricates and we only have one sibilant sound. All this effects the learning of English. Pretty important to know when teaching a language don’t you think?
IPA Chart with sounds