Midday chat – a relaxing coffee break at Paimion opisto

Paimion opistossa rento kahvihetki helpottaa senioreiden englannin puhumista.

Tuesday midday, aroma of coffee and smell of self-made pastries tempt six ladies and one gentleman to speak English around the table. Our teacher Satu is psychologically very clever. She knows that a cup of coffee has a certain effect on students…But not only the coffee! The teacher’s attitude to us, seniors, is respectful and we feel that she really likes to talk and chat with us.

The course Midday Chat is brand new. It started in January and all the participants are seniors except one. Our generation has studied at “old“ school, so we have learnt more German than English. In our childhood and youth language learning often meant fear to speak a foreign language and fear of failing. In Midday Chat it is quite the contrary: the atmosphere is relaxed and everybody knows that if your mind is open, your tongue is not locked. That’s the point in all kinds of learning. Nobody could claim here that we Finns are tongue tied people!

Our topics vary from childhood memories to journeys round the world, from kitchen skills to world literature and many others. We chat eagerly, enthusiastically and passionately. We enjoy listening how one of our ladies makes plants grow for her garden or how the Easter pasha is made by our male participant. Now we know how to explain “ternimaito” and “uunijuusto” in English, because one lady served us baked curd of beest instead of pastries.

But there is one negative matter in studies at adult education center (kansalaisopisto); the terms are too short. But we are happy, because we already know that next autumn we can join again our Midday Chat.

Text: Tepa
Photo: Satu Lehtisalo-Toivonen

Midday Chat -keskustelukurssi järjestettiin Paimion opistossa keväällä 2013.