Centre for Language and Comm./Finnish for foreig.

Finnish for Foreigners

General objectives

University of Turku Finnish for Foreigners courses are intended primarily for full-time degree, exchange and graduate students. Because of the large number of students wishing to take the beginners’ courses, only University of Turku students are admitted to the courses. Students from the School of Economics are able to take beginners’ courses in their own faculty. Each semester, a short course is organized for exchange students to provide them with the basics to cope in everyday situations.

Most of the teaching is aimed at full-time degree students who spend several years in Finland and who, it is hoped, will work in Finland after completing their studies. This objective mainly affects International students on the English-medium Master's degree programmes, who are required to take a 60-hour introductory course as part of their degree.  The objective is to motivate these students to continue their Finnish language studies to participate in the Finnish language study module and achieve good basic language skills. Once achieved, the Finnish study module also provides a good basis for studying the Finnish language in the Suomen kieli ja kulttuuri (ulkomaalaisille), Finnish language and culture programme, offered by the Faculty of Humanities.

The main objective of the studies is from the start to prepare students to survive in Finnish society and to use the language in different communicative situations. An important goal is to encourage students to communicate with people in Finnish and to help them to understand what is happening in the society around them.

Students studying on the advanced courses are encouraged to participate in all kinds of events, such as the language circles, so that they gain experience in speaking Finnish and understanding what is said. Already at beginners’ level, the teaching is supported by tutors, Finnish students who are studying Finnish as their major; they help with, amongst other things, pronunciation and conversation practice.

Courses, aims and content

Students are able to achieve basic language skills in the beginners’ and continuation courses in about two years. After achieving these basic language skills, students can go on to deepen their language skills in a variety of smaller-scale courses, such as reading comprehension, vocabulary and use of language courses. During these courses, the skills needed to participate in working life are practised, such as work-related vocabulary, job application and selection interview. At the same time, the communication, interaction, team and presentation skills needed in the workplace are also developed.

According to The Common European Framework levels of language proficiency, it is possible to reach level A2-B1 in the Finnish language.

Finnish language study module

Teaching methods and materials

Finnish language courses are mainly held in the classroom, so right from the beginning the importance of regular attendance is stressed to the students. Students who go further in their studies can study reading comprehension independently on the Internet. A number of courses use the Moodle learning platform to support classroom contact teaching. In classroom work, from the start, interactive learning by doing plenty of pair and group work is stressed.  Students are encouraged to understand the importance of independent learning, and to take responsibility for their own learning.

The beginners’ and continuation courses currently use Suomen mestari course books. All the other courses use materials prepared by the teachers. Course books are complemented by a variety of web-based materials, topical texts and games. A variety of different teaching methods and learning environments are used. Learner-centredness is the central aim of all the courses, together with functionality.

Evaluation and feedback

Student progress is assessed in most of the courses by both a final written examination and continuous assessment. The courses use the rating scale of  0 - 5 (5 = excellent, 4 = very good , 3 = good , 2 = satisfactory, 1 = poor , 0 = fail ). Continuous assessment takes into account the students’ oral and written output, activity in class and regular attendance. Students also assess their own learning and effort on the course in a course evaluation form.

Students participate in the development of teaching by providing both written and oral feedback during and at the end of the course. In addition, student feedback is systematically collected via the Language Centre electronic feedback system. The feedback is utilized in the planning and development of subsequent courses and in changing and expanding the range of Finnish courses available.


Centre for Language and Communication Studies
Centre for Language and Comm.Stud./Indonesian
Centre for Language and Communication St./English
Centre for Language and Communication St./Spanish
Centre for Language and Communication St./Italian
Centre for Language and Communication St./Japanese
Centre for Language and Communication St./Chinese
Centre for Language and Comm.Stud./Speech Comm.
Centre for Language and Communication St./French
Centre for Language and Communication St./Swedish
Centre for Language and Communication St./German
Centre for Language and Communication St./Finnish
Centre for Language and Communication St./Russian
Finnish Study Modules