Personnel 2013

Changes in personnel

Two teachers retired: Raija Hämelin (lecturer in Swedish) and Michel Béniard (lecturer in French).

The following teachers took up permanent positions during 2013: Michele Simeon (University Instructor, English), Sara Kirla and Riina Uusikulku (University Instructors, Swedish).

Awards and achievements

Helsinki University Personnel Association selected the Language Centre Director, Ulla-Kristiina Tuomi, as the Superior of the Year.

Kimmo Svinhufvud (University Instructor, Finnish) attained his doctoral degree in November 2013 on the topic of interaction in seminars and supervisory encounters between Master’s graduates and their thesis supervisors (Opinnäytteen kirjoittaminen vuorovaikutuksena - Keskustelunanalyyttinen tutkimus graduseminaarien ja gradunohjaustapaamisten vuorovaikutuksesta.)

On 5.12.2013, the Chancellor of Helsinki University awarded Tuula Lehtonen (University Lecturer, English) the title of Docent in English language education at university level. Read Tuula’s views on the matter below.


Face of the year

Tuula LehtonenThe Language Centre face of the year is Tuula Lehtonen.

The Chancellor of Helsinki University awarded me the title of Docent in English language education at university level in December 2013 (Faculty of Behavioural Sciences). I feel that my award is distinctively a Language Centre docent because all of my research, from my doctorate to the shortest report or presentation, draws entirely on my own teaching environment in the Language Centre.

There have been three trends in my research: 1) the language learner and his/her observations of his/her own individual learning and related factors, 2) the student as a language user in an English-speaking learning environment, specifically in international master’s programmes and 3) the student during university studies and in later working life and especially the reality of language skills in the latter period. These three research trends complement each other and have helped me to make sense of the wider totality in which Language Centre students have an impact and in which the Language Centre also operates.

The research evaluated in the docent application process would not have ben possible without my colleagues, my students and the Language Centre itself. Most of my research has emerged out of collaboration with my colleagues and has been related to the development of teaching. My data was collected from students in a variety of situations: it highlights the student voice and the richness of our teaching context. The inspiring atmosphere and the opportunities brought with it have encouraged active reflection and research on my own teaching during the long span of time that I have worked at the Language Centre.


Person years* 2013 Teaching Administration
Language Centre 86 74 12
Language Services 31 12 19
TOTAL 117 86 31

* Work contribution of all staff members in 2013.

The figures do not include freelance translators, language revisers and teachers working for the Language Services. Full-time language translators and revisers are included amongst the administration figures.