Liisa Taimen, German
I am Liisa Taimen, language and dance teacher from Turku, Finland. I studied dance pedagogy in Hamburg. I lived in Germany for six years and after that I moved back to Finland and started to study German and Scandinavian languages at the University of Turku. At the moment I am studying drama pedagogy at the University of Jyväskylä. I want to offer my students fascinating and interesting lessons. I want them to learn languages in new and different ways, and not only in traditional ways. Art and moving give students a possibility to research the subject, and they recognise notable things by themselves without separating the body and mind.
Many pupils have said that they can concentrate better when they have the possibility to move during the lessons, and that is something I as a teacher have also noticed. The best thing in the kinaesthetic language workshops is to see the joy and spontaneity of the students during the lessons.
Amandine Doat, French
Curious of adventure, I came all the way to Finland after my graduation in dance in the conservatory CNSMD of Lyon 2011. Fascinated by multidisciplinary performances including circus, I studied in Lahti circus school and graduated in May 2015. I founded and direct Cirque des Puces company in 2013 with Tomas Takolander. Because we were very interested in working with children, we toured a lot in schools around Finland.
TALK -projects new concept of teaching comes naturally in the continuity of my work with children. It opens a different way of learning that, I think, is essential for some people. Since September 2015, I have experimented different kinds of exercises with the students trying every time to build more trust between us. I think that using movement and sound makes us more focused in the present. So it helps to anchor the things we learn.
As a teacher I understand the student’s situation as learning a new language. My Finnish is not perfect yet, and I have had to invent new ways to communicate with the kids. When I give instructions in French, I mix them with mimes and gestures, and the students then translate them to Finnish. It makes them concentrate more on the task and value them in succeeding or just having fun in trying to guess.
Annina Tuhkunen, Spanish and Finnish as a second language
I'm a Helsinki based dancer and dance teacher, specialized in West African dances. Besides diverse dance studies I also have a Master´s Degree in Intercultural Encounters and Latin American Studies from Helsinki University.
In TALK project I teach Spanish and Finnish as secondary language. I studied Spanish as minor in the university, but in fact I learned the Spanish language already in high school, when I spend one year as an exchange student in Mexico. Later on I have studied and worked also in Argentina, Chile and Peru.
Language is a means of communication, but according to my own experience at school the language studies were mostly focused on grammar and not so much in speaking or communication. I always try to encourage the students to talk even though the language skills aren´t perfect. It´s ok to make mistakes, we all learn from them. The best moments have been when a quiet and shy student finally have had the courage to speak up, or when a dyslexic student have told me that for the first time she was actually able to follow a language class.
Sanna From, Swedish and Finnish as a second language
My name is Sanna From. I´ve studied dance pedagogy in Danshögskolan, in Stockholm. After my gratuation (2000) I have worked as a pedagog and dancer in various places in the dance field. In TALK I teach Swedish in Porolahti primary school and Finnish as a second language in Finnish-Russian school. I learned Swedish when I was studying dance in Stockholm.
The best moments in TALK are when the whole group reaches the flow-feeling and almost forget that they are at school. When that happens, the atmosphere gets safe and free for students to express themselves freely and to come up with their own ideas, and the learning happens almost by itself.