Yesterday evening was the first lesson of the YKI test prep course I am attending.
I was quite nervous and excited about the lesson and I was pleased that:
A) the teacher spoke Finnish all the time and
B) the level is suitable for me.
These 2 things are very important to me as I really don’t see the point, except perhaps at absolute beginner level, of the teacher speaking in English all the time and I also don’t see the point of being in a class which is too easy for me…
In the first lesson we went through the elements of the YKI test. These are:
1. Tekstin ymmärtäminen / Reading comprehension
2. Kirjoittaminen / Writing
3. Puheen ymmärtäminen / Listening comprehension
4. Puhuminen / Speaking
The entire test will last just under 3 hours (60 mins for reading comp, 55 mins for writing, about 30 mins for listening and about 20 mins for speaking.). I thought the speaking part seemed the most daunting: you are given a couple of sentences describing the scenario and then you have to have a conversation with a recording or just give a speech on a certain topic, answering certain questions.When giving the speech you have to talk for 2 minutes which I think will seem an awfully long time!
Then came the class’ tulikoe (baptism of fire) as the teacher gave us each a scenario and we had to speak in front of the class about it, often imagining we were talking to someone on the phone or in person. We had only seconds to prepare our responses.
I had this scenario:
Kävelet kadulla ja turisti kysyy sinulta, onko lähellä jotakin hyvää ravintolaa? Mitä sanot?
This would be a good/appropriate response (this is NOT the response I gave in class!)
No, joo lähellä on hyviä ravintoloita. Lähellä on yksi hyvä pizzeria nimeltään Roihu ja myös yksi hyvä texmex ravintola nimeltään Amarillo.
The trick is to use the words and phrases given in the scenario.
I liked the fact the scenarios were everyday situations, I had actually encountered several of them (you are at the checkout but can’t pay; you bump into someone you haven’t seen for ages; a tourist asks you for directions) in real life .
We then had 2 listening comprehension exercises. One was a brief news report with true-false questions to answer about it and then a looong conversation between three Finnish friends with multiple choice questions to answer.
We were given two hours’ worth of homework i the form of mock tests for the written and reading comprehension parts of the YKI test. I’ll post about the homework when I’ve done it!