Director's Review

 

Excellent language teaching and the development of services is a complex and gradual process at the Language Centre. The results of collective discussions as well as the strategic development targets that serve the University objectives form the basis of an ensemble that includes unit and individual development discussions, abundant in-service training, tailored university pedagogy courses and their ensuing joint projects, project reports in academic journals and the Language Centre’s own publication series, and distribution of acquired knowledge in conferences and other forums. In this way, the various forms of development are aligned with each other, make the results visible and motivate the personnel towards continuous professional education. This year’s annual report includes examples of open-minded and fresh approaches to the development of manifold learning environments.

One of the duties of the Language Centre is to support the University community’s internationalisation. At the same time we need to ensure that our own international contacts are ample and beneficial to our own development. We are highly skilled and have a lot to offer, but we can also learn a lot from others. It has been rewarding to observe in our personnel the interest in ERASMUS exchanges and other forms of gaining international experience. Our international partners have also experienced the cooperation as positive and mutually beneficial. At the national level, the same goes for our cooperation with upper secondary schools as well as our active participation in the development of tertiary-level Swedish teaching, a project funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture.

During 2014 the University updated its Language Policy. Many of the concrete measures included in the new Policy fall naturally within the Language Centre’s sphere of operations. In the future we will play an important role in the advancement of these measures.

Top quality services are an essential part of the Language Centre’s field of activity. In 2014, our Language Services Unit was kept especially busy by the extensive translation work connected to the higher education electronic application system project (KSHJ) and the University’s international quality system audit. We came through this with flying colours, thanks to the excellent skills and capacity for cooperation of the Language Services.

Members of the Language Centre personnel have yet again received external recognition. I too would like to offer my congratulations to Kimmo Svinhufvud (teacher of Finnish as a mother tongue), who was chosen as Academic of the Year by the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers, and Tuula Lehtonen (university lecturer in English), who was selected to the Teachers’ Academy of Helsinki University.

I would like to thank the University Faculties, the students, and all others partners for their good and smooth cooperation, and the whole staff of the Language Centre for their committed, professional and development-oriented work and the collegial atmosphere.

Ulla-Kristiina Tuomi
Director of the Language Centre