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Arto Silén

Introductory Course (ENA9)

This is the introductory course to English in the upper secondary school (=lukio). It is designed to help the student get started with upper secondary English and it is based on the level of English a student should have after the comprehensive school. All in all there are six compulsory English courses in the upper secondary, together with a number of optional ones. This course, as all the other English courses is divided into smaller sections called lessons. Each lesson has directions of what the student should do to "pass" that lesson. There is also a mention of an estimated number of school hours each lesson takes before the title. Some of the lessons are based on documents found on the Internet and they have questions for you to answer or they are a basis for you to write a commentary on. Other lessons focus on grammar and in these you are to study the theory and do the exercises, which the computer will check. In this course there is a greater number of grammar lessons than in courses 1-6 because all major grammatical topics from comprehensive school are included.

The means to evaluate or to grade all the courses in English is the portfolio. The portfolio is simply all the tasks and exercises required for completing the course; in other words, the exercises that your teacher will evaluate. Since the grade is based on the portfolio you should do all the tasks for it as carefully as possible. Remember to do all the exercises in the course; the ones which are there for training, and the ones that will be evaluated in your portfolio. So, to pass the course, all the exercises need to be done.

During this course, as well as in other courses, you should be writing a learning log, a journal in English, in addition to the actual lessons of the course. It would be best to write at least something in the learning log every time you have worked on a lesson. The learning log can be written in the form "I did" and "I learnt" and it should deal with the following themes:

  • What are my expectations of this course?
  • How much do I think it will take up my time?
  • How much of my time did it really take?
  • How well did I work?
  • How well did I do?
  • What is the grade (=arvosana) that I should get if it is graded with numbers?
  • How would I like to change/improve the lesson/task/course?

Since the learning log is the best example of your skills in written English (at least in continuous use) you should try to do your best in it. Naturally, the learning log will be a part of your portfolio.

You may use dictionaries as well as grammar books if you like to with your learning log (as well as everything else unless they are specifically forbidden). In addition to the dictionaries you may have, there are some in the Internet as well. A good Finnish English Finnish Dictionary can be found in the address http://www.ilmainensanakirja.fi/.

Once you have completed the entire course and it is ready to be evaluated, send your teacher a request for evaluation.

© Tarja Männikkö ja Arto Silén

Piirrokset: Alessandra Zecca

© 2015 Otavan Opisto