Sunday, 30 August 2015

A study programme for immigrants aged 17–25 without school leaving certificate

A new term is about to start in our school! This week we’ll be interviewing and choosing new students to our study programme which is officially called instruction for preparing for basic education. Basically it is a one-year-programme for young adults aged between 17-25 who have recently arrived in Finland and who don’t have a school leaving certificate from their home countries. They don’t need to have previous knowledge of Finnish but they need to be literate (if they aren’t, we also have courses for illiterate adult immigrants). I think this is an excellent opportunity for a young adult to start a new chapter in his or her life in a new country by learning the language, getting to know how the new society works and exploring what options there are for the future. We also have a strong emphasis on developing each student’s learning skills and helping them to find their true potential as learners. 

This is, in brief, what their their school year is made of:
  • Finnish studies: starting level 0, target level A1.3-A2.2
  • preparatory courses in mathematics
  • preparatory courses in natural sciences
  • preparatory courses in social studies
  • preparatory courses in English
  • fine arts
  • field trips
  • ICT-skills 
  • introduction to the Finnish school system with the focus on the students’ own interests and study plans
I’m running out of superlatives when thinking about the students who completed the programme last May. I’m also so very pleased that they all are now carrying on with their studies, which means they reached the language level required for entering the basic education for adults. This is fantastic news given the fact that most of them started the term last September with little or no knowledge of the Finnish language. I was happy to see their skills develop in so many ways during the school year.

Before starting to write about this up-coming term, here are a few highlights of the last weeks of May with my highly motivated students I had the privilege to work with for the entire school year. I wish them all the best and all the happiness in the world!

Getting a hands-on experience on how to prepare Finnish bun at Fazer

Learning about the biggest chocolate factory in Finland.

Ending the tour with our goodie bags.

Learning about underwater world in Sea Life.

The students practised theme-related vocabulary on Quizlet before the field trip.

Celebrating and saying farewells at the end of the school year.

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