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The most satisfied language students come from the Faculty of Education

News | 18.3.2015

TYY collected students' opinions on Language Centre’s courses and practical arrangements during February. We got a huge amount of 272 replies from all Faculties and Turku School of Economics. As a prize we raffled two sets of movie tickets. The winners have been informed. We thank you all for taking part in our survey!

General results

25.5% of the responses came from the Faculty of Humanities. Almost same level was reached by Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science, with 24.3%. Social Sciences gave 10.9% of the responses and Faculty of Medicine students 9.8%. The students of Education and Law formed both 7.6% share. Turku School of Economics response rate was 5%, although some of the students might have confused their own Language Unit with the Language Centre. International students responded also to the survey and their share was 6.1%.

The students were satisfied with the quality of teaching in all Faculties. On Likert scale the quality averages were between 3.9 - 4.2 (5 being the maximum). The happiest students were at the Faculty of Education. The methods were quite liked; the lowest, yet still good score of 3.56 was given by the Faculty of Humanities, while the best average of 4.17 came from the Faculty of Education. Favorite learning methods which were mentioned were teaching culture besides the language and discussing current topics and self-selected texts. Lecture-like teaching was considered to be heavy. Half of the students hated word test while the other half liked them. Group works in small groups were liked as well. Students also preferred giving presentations in small groups instead of standing in front of the class.

Workload comparing to credits was considered reasonable. Averages were between 3.2 from Turku School of Economics to 4.00 from the Faculty of Humanities. Students wished for more flexibility and self-learning opportunities, although the Faculty of Law had an average of 3.9 which was the highest. Students told that they reached their learning goals best by doing their homework and having high learning expectations. Also a good basic knowledge helped them to reach study goals.

Mixed opinions with Swedish language

The most critical towards Swedish were the humanists. They also had the most difficulties to get into the courses and graduating was often depending on the compulsory Swedish courses. "Ruotsia vaille valmis" course got a lot of good feedback. It is a course for almost graduated students who have not passed their compulsory Swedish yet. Many humanists felt that their Swedish language competence level was low and that is why they struggled with the studies. They felt that the aims were too high comparing to their basic knowledge they got at high school.

The students from the Faculty of Education were quite happy with Swedish teaching at the University.  They were particularly pleased with the access to the courses. Only the group sizes could be a bit smaller, in their opinion.

Medical students experienced that their Swedish course helped them in their work very well. However, the written test’s difficulty was criticized.

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences suffered from a lot of overlapping. They hoped for Swedish for beginners -course because Swedish was considered to be difficult and their basic knowledge was not very good in their own opinion.

In the Faculty of Law students took up their oral test and reminded that some of questions were difficult because they had not studied those areas of law yet. The Turku School of Economics’ students did not comment on the Swedish courses issues.

Students from the Faculty of Social Sciences were satisfied with the working life competence. They were hoping some kind of beginner’s course for the first year as well.

Finnish as a foreign language for international students

International students can study Finnish as a foreign language in language Centre. Students had completed on average 2.67 Finnish courses; many international students have the motivation to learn Finnish. It seems there are more students that would like to learn Finnish so the courses were sometimes full and this annoyed some of the students. They also thought that there should be more courses for advanced Finnish speakers.  The oral skills in Finnish were considered challenging to learn. When did you last speak Finnish with an international student?

Language as a minor

Only a few students were aware that it is possible to get a minor from some language in Language Centre. The Language Centre provides 25 credits from different languages and these credits are forming a minor. More information can be found on the Language Centre website. Students are interested in studying many additional languages and were also asking for Arabic, Turkish and Portuguese courses.

Scheduling challenges

In order to avoid overlapping we asked all students to tell which times would be the most adequate to study languages so that the language courses would not harm major studies. The results were:

  • Faculty of Humanities: 8-10 and 14-16
  • Faculty of Education: 10-14
  • Faculty of Medicine: 8-10 and 16-20
  • Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences: 10-12
  • Faculty of Law: 8-10
  • Turku School of Economics: 10-12
  • Faculty of Social Sciences: 14-16

The Language Centre will use this information when planning their lectures next year.

TYY International sector wants to thank all who answered our survey. Feedback was presented at the Language Centre staff on their planning day on Friday 13 March 2015.

 ► The Language Centre webpages