Apparently I'm on a completely different page than the course moderators, assuming the talk is always about proper kirjakieli. It doesn't matter which region you're in when the local news always use the same word, karhu, for a bear. For the Language Office Dictionary otso is poetic language for a bear. Yes, you can use it in spoken language in some regions but no, it's not something you teach to a newbie to use for bear.
I agree, but think maybe it is a way to get your ears accustomed to the pronunciation, which is quite unusual for most other language speakers (Japanese might find it quite natural though). Just some simple stuff to get you started. The level-up quizzes are more challenging and get you past the basics faster.