Date du début: 31 mai 2002,
Date de fin: 30 mai 2005
The contacts between the Finnish and the Russians have increased. Th e need for people with knowledge of the Russian language has increased in Finland, but the number of students of Russian has nevertheless decreased. Moreover, the status of the Finnish language has deteriorated in the Republic of Karelia. When the knowledge of another culture and another peoples customs is limited, this often leads to prejudices, misinterpretations and disappointments. Th ere was no comprehensive presentation about Finnish society and culture for use, e.g. in the education of immigrants. By increasing language and cultural education, it was deemed possible to increase mutual interaction and make it more fl exible. Th e project wanted to produce generally educating, culturally comparative learning material for the needs of education and teaching, which would improve the cross-border communication and mutual understanding between Finns and Russians. Another goal was to develop new teaching material for teaching both Finnish and Russian as foreign languages, considering both the requirements of the Matriculation Examination Board of Finland and the European framework. Th e intention was also to increase the number of language students. Additionally, one aim was to establish service points in the libraries of Petrozavodsk and Kostomuksha to off er information about the neighbouring country and its culture. Achievements: In accordance with the plan, learning material was produced in work seminars with participants from both countries. The material produced a Finnish and Russian book Kulttuurit kasvokkain (Cultures Face-to-Face), a network learning course Finland and Russia and an audio book. A learning package of the Russian language was also produced, which is based on general European language learning methods and a teaching framework which takes into account the requirements of language degrees and new kinds of learning units in the web and in newspapers. Five learning excursions to the Republic of Karelia were organised for teachers and students, which presented the Finnish culture aimed at institutions teaching the Finnish language. Young people also participated in collecting and producing the material and produced, among other things, a learning video about the history of Kainuu and some experiences of exchange students in the region. The project had a positive impact on the attitudes of the young Finnish participants about Russia and the Russians, but it did not succeed in increasing the number of students of Russian language in Kainuu. Th e book Kulttuurit kasvokkain has had a positive reception, and the learning material of the Finnish and Russian languages produced in the project has also been in popular demand. The materials will be used for teaching Finnish and Russian, and it can also be used as the basis for creating more products. The project encouraged the participating teachers to produce more learning material. The cooperation network created during the project is a foundation for further cooperation. As planned, an information centre called Venjtnn (Russia Today) was implemented at the Main Library of Suomussalmi, with a similar information centre called Suomi tnn (Finland Today) at the National Library of Petrozavodsk. The information centres contain up-to-date information about the neighbouring country, and they are clearly sign-posted and available for all user of the libraries.
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