Term Work as Team Work on Teams

Kuva: Arja Hämäläinen

We in the Student Wellbeing Team have had a wonderful opportunity to practice our skills in English for ten hours in 2021. The lessons have been arranged on Teams. We also have our own Learn platform, where we operate. Virtuality has enabled us to participate in the course easily in the middle of the other tasks of the work day.

By the way, did you know, that the abbreviation rules in English are approximately same as in Finnish? So do not use ‘BTW’ without explaining it, when you use it for the first time. In professional use, it might be useful to know that ‘UAS’ refers to the university of applied sciences, ‘PSP’ means a personal study plan and ‘RPL’ is short for recognition of prior learning.

As far as the substance of our English class is concerned, our opinions matter. We have been able to tell what kind of language contents we need at work. Having that in mind our lovely teacher has planned the lessons uniquely for us. We have made vocabularies or lists of the main terms and expressions in Student Wellbeing. We have discussed the use of personal pronouns both in email and speech.

BTW, did you know, that using ‘she’ or ‘he’ in a text when referring to a person you don’t know is a little bit old-fashioned nowadays? Instead of he/she, you can use other pronouns or expressions that aren’t so gender sensitive.

Lux is the new intranet of Xamk. As part of the English classes, we have checked our wellbeing websites. It’s not always easy to tell about our services to students in a right tone of voice, so luckily our teacher has helped us there, too. Sometimes when we have been tired or haven’t had any urgent language needs, the teacher has told us some current trends in English usage.

BTW, did you know, that English classes are available for your team, too? Just ask Hanna Aronen, we recommend!

We asked Hanna some tricky questions, too.

Dear Hanna,

How do you find teaching your colleagues? Are we all good students?

I’ve really enjoyed the sessions we’ve had together, so teaching colleagues has been a very positive experience for me. We’ve discussed many things related to the language, like higher education terminology, culture-specific words and a bit of grammar, too. We’ve also edited authentic texts together, which is an effective way of combining and sharing substance and language knowledge. You have been very good students and participated in the discussions actively! A: Thank you (blushing).

What would you like to say to people, who are unsure (or even afraid) of using English at work?

People’s backgrounds and experience in using English in professional contexts vary a lot, and I can easily understand the threshold for using the language at work can be high. However, it’s good to remember that most English users in the world are non-native, and the most important thing in communication is to get the message through. I also think that employers should organise language and cultural training for their personnel, as this would increase language awareness and build up confidence in using the language. A: Lovely!

What is the most beautiful word in English?

This is a really difficult question, and I’ve been thinking about it for the past two weeks. I think it’s impossible for me to single out just one word, because English is full of beautiful words. English has such an extensive vocabulary that there are always new words to discover! A: Indeed. So English and Finnish are very similar from this point of view.

Hanna, thank you for the interview and a very useful English course.

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