Orientation and familiarisation at the Language Centre

In accordance with the working culture at the Language Centre, every newcomer goes through a careful orientation and is inducted into the new community as quickly as possible. Making use of a tailored orientation programme, the immediate superior and a teacher ‘mentor’ begin the orientation process straight after recruitment and continue it until at least the beginning of the second academic year. This ensures that the new arrival has the best chance of succeeding and feeling good in his or her new position.

Orientation and the reasoning behind it have been patiently developed at the Language Centre since 2005. At its core is a systematic approach and individual tailoring, as well as a social and dialogic nature. The principle of orientation at the Language Centre stands on the idea that learning in the working community is continuous and the newcomer also has something to bring to that community.

In recent years special emphasis has been laid on diversity and smoothness within the orientation process and on the development of pedagogical orientation. In addition to the annual August orientation day, new aspects include a welcome coffee for newcomers with the unit for Support for Teaching and Learning, as well as a First Year Experience event organised by the new teachers and held during the Spring Development Day.

 

AlmaFlamma

New teachers’ First Year Experience performance at the Language Centre Development Day, May 16, 2013: Retiring Swedish lecturer, Raija Hämelin, instructs her successor, ‘Alma Flamma’ (Sara Kirla). Acting as interviewer is Suvi Punkkinen, another new Language Centre teacher.

In 2013, the Language Centre shared its experience of orientation in a workshop at the national Language Centre Days in Rovaniemi, Lapland. Our orientation practices were also presented to superiors at the Open University in February and at an orientation training day organised by Helsinki University in November.

More about the Language Centre orientation process can be found in the publication that was launched in 2013, Muuttuva kielikeskus – Språkcentrum i förändring – Language Centre in change.

“So many matters came up and in my opinion it was excellent that so many people introduced themselves and described their work. The day went so well that new teachers then had a clear picture about who to get in touch with, who dealt with this and that, and so on.”

“…In all ways, you got the feeling that you’re in good hands and in a great place!”

“…a snappy, instructive but relaxed event”

“The event was extremely useful and the atmosphere was warm. Although I had actually been in the Language centre for some time, many things came up that I didn’t know. The content was sensible and progressed logically. It was a friendly reception, which is always important for newcomers. It was also good that time was reserved for talking with each other – this really helps those with a poor memory for faces. Great that the immediate superiors were also present.”