Communication and interaction skills are highly necessary to us all, especially in working life. Versatile language skills are important in today’s international work environment. The purpose of teaching languages at Kajaani University of Applied Sciences is to provide students with the language and communication skills needed in specialist posts within ever increasingly international business and working life. In universities of applied sciences, the level of English required of first-year students is B2 as set out in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Self-assessment grid can be found at https://rm.coe.int/CoERMPublicCommonSearchServices/DisplayDCTMContent?documentId=090000168045bb52.
Communication teaching focuses on the students’ interactive abilities to cross linguistic and cultural boundaries and their own professional development. At Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, it is possible to study languages in compulsory and free-choice courses. Compulsory language studies include Finnish, English and Swedish (for Finnish-speaking students). KAMK offers free-choice studies in German, Russian, French, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin Chinese. The selection changes annually.
For a University of Applied Sciences degree, students are required to write a maturity test concerning the topic of their theses that demonstrates their knowledge of the discipline and Finnish/English. Finnish students write the maturity test in Finnish and foreign students in English (English-taught degrees). A language and communication teacher assesses the language of the maturity test. The thesis supervisor assesses the content of the maturity test (Degree Regulations)
Finnish for Foreigners and Finnish for Exchange Students
Degree students accomplish studies in the Finnish language worth 10 – 15 credits for the first two years of study. The number of credits awarded differs in each field of study. Exchange students are entitled to select 2 – 5 credits of Finnish language studies. During the Finnish for Foreigners courses, students familiarise themselves with the Finnish language and way of life. The objective of these studies is to provide students with a sufficient level of spoken and written Finnish to communicate and interact in everyday life.
Communication studies emphasise both spoken and written presentation skills. Finnish is taught in all fields of education, also in degrees delivered in English. Language studies are regulated by the Polytechnic Decree (352/03) and Kajaani University of Applied Sciences Degree Regulations. In the decree it is stated as follows:
The students must achieve
- a level of Finnish and Swedish which, according to the Law on Language Proficiency Required of the Personnel of Public Organisations, is demanded in public office positions requiring a university degree in a bilingual region of public office and needed for practicing a profession and enabling professional development.
- the level of proficiency in writing and speaking one or two foreign languages needed for practicing a profession and enabling professional development. (Polytechnic Decree 352/03)
The degree certificate records the language of education, the language of the maturity test, a mention of the foreign language requirement set out in the Polytechnic Decree, and an assessment of the student’s spoken and written Swedish. The scale of assessment is Good (grades 5 and 4) or Satisfactory (grades 3 – 1). Spoken and written Swedish skills are assessed separately during the compulsory Swedish courses in addition to the course assessment (0-5).
All language studies completed by the student are listed in the transcript of academic records, an appendix to the degree certificate. The language proficiency of Finnish students studying in degrees delivered in English is provided in an English translation.
The second official language of Finland (Swedish) is included in compulsory language studies. In universities of applied sciences the starting level of Swedish is B1 as set out in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Self-assessment grid can be found here.
You will find more information on the following topics from the Academic Year Guide, Intranet and Pakki to which you can gain access using your user ID and password:
- contents of language and communication courses
- accreditation of courses based on previously accomplished studies