The pocketbook method supports language learning at work

The pocketbook is a physical paper booklet that an employee who is still learning the language can use to write down observations on language use at the workplace. It can be introduced in the early stages of language learning, and its use can be continued as long as there are new things to learn at the workplace. Often even professionals who speak Finnish as their mother tongue use a notebook at a new workplace where they need to learn a lot of new things and ways of doing them. The pocketbook fits in your pocket and is easy to take out when you need to take notes.
Hands are holding a pen and there's a notebook on the table.
Photo: Rainer Paananen. All rights reserved.

Pocketbook supports language learning

The pocketbook makes the learner into an active observer. They start paying attention to how they can learn the language in interactive situations during the work day. When they watch a colleague or an instructor work, they can listen to the discussion between the colleague and the customer and write down good phrases. Or if they don't know what to say, they can write down the situation and later ask a colleague what to say in a similar situation. In this way, they learn appropriate words and phrases for their own needs.

It is a good idea to use the pocketbook systematically as part of language learning at the workplace. When an international student starts a traineeship or work placement, they can be given the first pocketbook and instructions on how to use it. They can talk with the Finnish language teacher about the issues or situations they should pay attention to in the work. The teacher can also advise on how to ask for support from colleagues. Above all, they are encouraged to use Finnish and increase their language proficiency at the workplace with the support of a colleague or instructor.  

©2023 Hanna Aho & Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
Pocketbook material, March 2023, produced Hanna Aho, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. The material can be found at Photos: All rights reserved.

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