Learning Finnish through practice

A project on Finnish as a second language and situation-based learning focuses on language learning outside of the classroom and in digital learning environments.

There is now a greater need than ever to learn the Finnish language, but teaching is facing cuts. Also, to get a job you need to complete many years of language courses, so the situation is frustrating. We need more direct routes.

A project on Finnish as a second language and situation-based learning focuses on language learning outside of the classroom and in digital learning environments. The scholars involved want to find out how someone who doesn’t know much Finnish could work in a Finnish-language environment.

“We are focusing on on-the-job training. We selected a hospital as the working environment as a lot of people with immigrant backgrounds work in hospitals. We want to know how we can support their Finnish language learning alongside their work,” says Salla Kurhila, head of the project and university lecturer at the University of Helsinki. The project also questions the merit of digital learning: “We need to study how and which methods we can use and what is just hype. Digitalisation does not, in itself, improve learning, unless it guides the pupil towards a new type of learning which the teacher is able to support in the right way,” says Kurhila.

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Salla Kurhila and Lari Kotilainen promote learning Finnish in working environments. Photo: Jukka Aro

 

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