Language Clinic Prepares Novia UAS Students for Working Life in Finland
Novia UAS is working hard to create innovative ways in which their students can gain better access to the Finnish labour market.
With language, or lack thereof, often being quoted as the main barrier to employment by both companies and job seekers alike, Novia UAS has introduced a pilot programme which it hopes will help to address this issue in more practical and collaborative ways.
The Language Clinic was established in spring 2021 to provide further Swedish language learning support for the Novia UAS Nursing students. Terese Herrgård-Backlund, language teacher at Novia UAS, and Pia Jünger, Integration Coordinator at Novia UAS collaborate around the initiative.
According to Herrgård-Backlund, nursing students are expected to reach a minimum of B1 level in Swedish or Finnish on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) to be able to graduate.
The clinic works towards supporting students’ motivation in achieving the B1 level by providing a physical space, and a relaxed atmosphere, in which every day Swedish language discussions can take place.
During December 2021 , interviews were conducted between the Language Clinic and the Vaasa Central Hospital to find out what the desired language skill levels are for the students who hope to complete their work placements at the hospital.
Herrgård-Backlund hopes this information will give the Language Clinic and Novia UAS a better idea of the “in practice” language requirements for their nursing students.
In addition to the B1 level CEFR expectations, which students work towards achieving in the classroom, Novia UAS wishes to further support its students in the run up to their clinical trial work placements.
Novia UAS is eager to train their students to prepare them for the demands of working life. Therefore, various activities are embedded within the Language Clinic, such as a book club, language café (Språkcafé), reviewing nursing documentation, game nights, language buddies, language training, and more. These can be selected by each student depending on their personal interests.
These language activities are worth a certain number of hours each and can eventually amount to a 3 ECTS elective language course (requires the completion of 81 hours in total), which is offered to both Novia UAS and VAMK students.
The overall aim of the Language Clinic pilot is to make it easier for students to integrate into their studies at Novia UAS and into local working life after graduation.
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