My name is Irina and I’ll be your guide and language coach. So what do I know about learning languages in immersion?
I was born in Romania, raised in Canada and moved to Finland in 2010. I’ve always wanted to understand what people were saying and communicate with them from a very young age. Though we spoke Romanian at home, I learned French in kindergarten, English from TV and later studied Spanish in high school and German in university. English is now what I consider my native language.
When I decided to move to Finland in 2010, I was excited to learn Finnish, but after the first few years, I felt frustrated that my usual methods weren’t paying off as expected. Plus, I was supposed to be ‘good at this’ and yet, I felt anything but confident. I eventually realized Finnish needed a whole new mindset…
I see that Finnish required me to be more strategic and systematic with my energy and focus, compared to other languages I’d learned. It wasn’t that the language was special, but that for the first time in my experience, I actually needed to think about the language learning process and align my efforts with it, because it didn’t unfold naturally.
Once I did this, everything changed. I went from speaking to all my friends in English and only using limited Finnish to speaking mostly in Finnish. I went on to get a job in a brand new field entirely in Finnish, something I wouldn’t have imagined possible, and excel in my role there.
Although the Language Coaching program was initially designed for Finnish, it works for other languages too, because it helps you see the process as it’s meant to unfold, when it’s not unfolding.
I genuinely believe that anyone can learn a language and see big progress if they set their mind to it, and that the benefits bring so much joy, confidence and richness to life. I wish the same for you, and if you’d allow me to, I’d love to be your guide!