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ERIC Number: EJ862371
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-0141-8211
Workplace Language Needs and University Language Education--Do They Meet?
Lehtonen, Tuula; Karjalainen, Sinikka
European Journal of Education, v44 n3 p411-420 Sep 2009
This article discusses the most relevant findings of a comprehensive study carried out at the University of Helsinki Language Centre that looked into work-related foreign language needs of graduates from the University of Helsinki. The aim of this article is to provoke other language centres or similar institutions in other European universities to carry out research that is similar to the authors' so that the overall picture becomes clearer and to propose that graduate surveys focus even more on language and communication matters. Knowing the language and communication demands at the workplace helps universities to plan their degree requirements and curriculum. This, in turn, facilitates the graduates' adjustment to the demands. The methods used in this study include a graduate questionnaire and employer interviews. The study gives a relatively good picture of the situation at the Finnish workplace in terms of foreign language usage and needs of these graduates who, in most cases, grew up in an officially bilingual country (Finnish and Swedish) that has traditionally offered good opportunities to learn foreign languages both at the secondary and tertiary levels. The authors claim that this study offers findings that can be generalised and is thus able to throw light on the language situation of graduates of other universities in Finland and elsewhere in Europe because the time perspective is different from that of most graduate surveys: the student data were collected five years after graduation and therefore have the potential of offering views that are not often expressed. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland (Helsinki); Sweden