LANGUAGE EDUCATION FOR WORKING LIFE IN FINLAND

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1 LANGUAGE EDUCATION FOR WORKING LIFE IN FINLAND Fachveranstaltung Berufs- und arbeitsplatzbezogene Zweitsprachenförderung in europäischen Vergleich Düsseldorf Minna Suni, University of Jyväskylä

2 Outline Legislation Constitution, Language act, Act on the Integration of Immigrants Immigration statistics Integration training Curricula: language and working life skills Financing structure Development projects and research projects Participative Integration in Finland project Development project Language education for adult immigrants Transforming professional integration research project Health care Finnish research project Finnish as a work language research project Discussion Implications for sustainable intergration into the job market Policy recommendations

3 Legislation: The Constitution of Finland Two national languages: Finnish and Swedish The Sámi, Roma and other groups have the right to maintain and develop their language and culture The rights of persons using Sign language or needing interpretation/translation are also mentioned

4 Legislation: Language Act Municipalities are either monolingual or bilingual (8 % / 3000 inhabitants) Everyone has the right to use either Finnish or Swedish with public officials concerns both state and municipal employees also migrants must choose, in which national language they want their services. Public officials must ensure the linguistic rights of all and provide services in both Finnish and Swedish without the need to specifically ask for it signs, forms and brochures visually displayed on both languages

5 Immigration to Finland

6 The language situation in Finland

7 Legislation: Act on the Integration of immigrants (<1999) Aims: promoting integration, equality and freedom of choice of immigrants through measures which help them to acquire essential knowledge and skills they need to function in the society support and care for asylum seekers and beneficiares of temporary protection Costs met by the state budget Regional coordination: Economic Development Centres Labour market services, support for integration, literacy instruction, basic language education for unemployed jobseekers Municipalities: integration programs (implementing, developing, monitoring)

8 Individual integration plan: personalized plan covering measures and services promoting Finnish/Swedish language learning ( sufficient command ) and knowledge and skills required in Finnish society and working life; promoting the integration of the whole family Integration plan practices: Agreed jointly: immigrant, municipality, employment office May contain integration training, basic education, (preparatory education for) vocational education, upper secondary education, studies leading to higher education, continuing education, further training Right to an integration plan: max 3 years since initial entry (+ max two years; e.g. illeterate, maternity/paternity leave, illness) Integration assistance (min. 480 /month)

9 Integration services Information services for immigrants Employment and Economic Development Centres and municipalities have immigrant advisors (integration and related services; working life; education and studying) Initial assessment collects information on the education, work experience and language skills of each immigrant conducted at an Employment and Economic Development Office or a Social Office national practices being developed (diagnostic language test, interview scripts and forms)

10 Integration training Educational institutions selected on the basis of of competitive tendering 1 year, full time studies, 3-5 modules Also part-time/evening classes, distance learning Often a part of the immigrant s individual integration plan Basic, slow-track and fast-track pathway Suggested and selected on the basis of an assessment Individual study plans (updated regularly) National curriculum Basic goal: B1.1 (CEFR) in Finnish/Swedish language Skills needed in society and working life Usually contains work placements (min. 6 weeks)

11 Three pathways (p. 14)

12

13 Working life skills

14

15 Work placements

16 Follow-ups Sandwall 2013 (Sweden): Follow-up of immigrants in work placements in Sweden; e.g. shops and kindergarten The tasks given are simple; hardly any need for interaction Immigrants talked only 30 seconds 2 minutes per day on average; the amoung decreased towards the end of the work placement! School and working life remain separated Korhonen, Savolainen & Ruotsalainen 2013 (Finland): Follow-up of immigrants 5 years after integration training Only 10 % are unemployed after 5 years The generally high unemployment rate (2 x that of the Finns) is mainly based on the newly arrived immigrants

17 Employed immigrants International recruitment in e.g. health sector, construction work, (ICT) officially promoted Basic logics: own choice, own risk, own investment Employers and recruitment companies may organise language education (CERF level A2) in the empoyees home country (e.g. the Philippines, Hungary, Poland, Spain) Also tailored language courses in Finland; project-based funding Some e-learning opportunities (e.g. Kotisuomessa.fi) Mentoring and teaching at the workplace; high costs who pays? The whole work community may need awareness raising: how to support language learning at work?

18 Projects

19 Participative Integration in Finland Collaboration project ; c. 10 million Ministry of Employment and the Economy Ministry of Education and Culture Ministry of the Interior Finnish Cultural Foundation, Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland. Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities. The University of Jyväskylä Centre for Applied Language Studies in charge of the development plan (PI: Sari Pöyhönen) 10 projects (16 municipalities)

20 Aims: Enhancing the prerequisites for integration of immigrants Developing and testing alternative ways of education Developing educational contents Developing initial stage guidance and councelling Three integration paths: 1) adult immigrants seeking employment (e.g. academic immigrants; attention to regional emphasis of industry and commerce) 2) adult immigrants in need of special support (e.g. stay-at-home mothers, illeterate immigrants) 3) children and adolescents (e.g y.old lacking basic education) Corner stones of the development plan: Continuous and goal-oriented guidance Cross-administrative multiprofessional cooperation Continuity and flexibility of education Professional skills of experts involved in integration activities

21 Some examples (paths 1 and 2) Enhancing employment by new recruitment practices: networking, marketing, visibility (also German Melba and Imba evaluation methods in use) Portfolio education for academic job-seekers: learner autonomy, portfolio; drama, suggestopedia Work-related language education for job-seekers having secondary education; 5+9 weeks at workplace (4 days a week + reflective language studies on Fridays) Activity based methods in integration training (e.g. for illeterate adults; also mothers and small children together) Practical workshops as a study method (learning by working; tailored according to special needs)

22 E-learning portal Development project Language education of adult immigrants Kotisuomessa.fi portal ( Home in Finland ) Coordinated by the Board of Education, Finland Funded by the European Social Fund Part of the larger development program for adult immigrant integration coordinated by the Ministry of Interior, Finland Many sub-projects: 32 institutions and c. 100 teachers Integration of language studies and vocational contents Collaboration between Finnish L2 teachers and vocational teachers Many thematic areas; CEFR levels A1-B2 Finnish society and daily life Occupations and occupational skills Finnish working life, working culture, practices Finnish for illiterate immigrants Swedish L2

23 KOTI ( Home ) Development project Education in national languages; coordinator: Tuula Jäppinen Detailed needs analyses and educational frameworks from L2 perspective for several occupations (higher education) E.g. CEFR-level, sites, contexts, communication types and environments, typical texts, skill areas Business administration Nursing Social work Elderly care Information technology

24 Transforming professional integration PI: Sari Pöyhönen, University of Jyväskylä settings in which migrants are preparing to participate in employment and professional communities settings in which migrants have successfully entered employment and professional communities and settings in which migrants have been marginalized from employment and professional communities and they have given up their aspirations to integrate into these communities.

25 My projects and networks Health care Finnish: developing and assessing Finnish proficiency among health care professionals (Ministry of Education, Finland ); PI: Minna Suni Finnish as a work language: a sociocognitive perspective to work-related language skills of immigrants (Emil Aaltonen Foundation, ), PI Minna Suni New speakers in a multilingual Europe: opportunities and challenges e-cost Action (EU, ) Transnational workers and migration

26 Health care staff (foreign citizens/born abroad) in 2000 and Statistics report 18/2010, Institute for Health and welfare

27 L2 proficiency in health care sector In Finland, proficiency level B1 (CEFR) in Finnish (or Swedish) is required for licensing of those originating from outside the EU (> B2 in the future?) EU-nationals are licensed to work anywhere in the EU without documenting their language proficiency (?) Employer's responsibility: sufficient skills of employees What is sufficient in each job? Official threshold levels Work-related vs. general language skills? Practical experience Employer/ employee perspectives Applied linguist/laymen perspectives Some tailored language courses organised at workplaces or separately

28 The nurse does not understand the help request Snoopy :21 How come Philippino nurses can take care of elderly people if they don t speak any Finnish? - - The most dangerous job for foreigners without any language skills is health care. (Finnish medical doctor, excecutive medical director) Many of them don t contact at all, and if you ask something they hardly respond at all. So they ll not learn anything that way. But if they came here and asked they would learn. They should be more active, that s what I think. Medical doctor (MED4), 4 years in Finland If I should write something, it may be that I ask for help, or write correctly or how should one say corretly in Finnish, or do a dictation, perhaps I ask for help. I can ask for assistance from a nurse or a doctor.

29 Discussion Implications for sustainable integration into the job market Orientation towards working life from the very beginning Agency, autonomy and responsibily to be given and expected Results to be seen in 3 ~ 5 years (not in 1 year) Policy recommendations Full-time integration training; different pathways Vocational language instruction as a part of integration training Alternative ways of training: work placements, portfolios, workshop-based education

30 JYVÄSKYLÄN YLIOPISTO More information Immigrant education in Finland: _OPH_maahanmuu.aja esite_envalmis.pdf

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