Developing language skills
University of Tampere students can expand their prior language proficiency or even learn new languages through persistent study. Even though English is the most common language in international interaction, knowing other languages is a considerable benefit. With that in mind, it is always a good idea to include languages in your elective studies.
When making preparations for studies abroad, it is crucial to work on your language proficiency. In many EU countries, exchange students can only study in the official languages of the country in question. By expanding your language proficiency ahead of time, you can also open up exchange opportunities in new language areas. Through persistence and determination you will be able to access exciting new countries and cultures.
For more information on the mandatory and optional language studies included in your degree, please read the Language Centre web pages and your faculty’s curriculum guide.
Ways to develop and maintain your language proficiency
- Take advantage of the offerings of the Language Centre and Faculty of Communication Sciences.
- Tutor a foreign student: Getting to know foreign exchange and degree students studying at the University of Tampere is a rewarding experience that also develops your language skills.
- Take part in the local activities of international student organisations, such as ESN FINT.
- Take Summer University of Tampere courses that provide you with language coaching for your studies abroad.
- Study foreign languages abroad: the Finnish National Agency for Education provides language course grants for studying certain languages.
Materials for the self-study of languages:
- The Language Centre’s Self-access Centre
- EUROMOBIL is a downloadable language learning programme that supports student mobility. The selection includes basic-level materials in Portuguese, Polish, Romanian, Czech and Hungarian, and advanced-level training in English, French and German.
Language and proficiency tests
When applying for an exchange period in the United States, Canada, the UK, South Korea, Hong Kong, Mexico or Japan, for example, you will need to attach a certificate of your English-language proficiency to the application. Depending on the programme and target university, a certificate of completing the TOEFL or IELTS language proficiency test with a certain minimum score is often required. Students aiming for exchange studies in France or Germany may also need to provide proof of their language skills. The DELF and DALF French proficiency tests and the Goethe-Institut’s German proficiency tests are generally acknowledged.
For those selected for the ERASMUS exchange programme, a web-based language proficiency test is used to assess skill level before and after the exchange period. Based on the outcome of the test, licences are distributed for online language training courses. The tests and training are arranged via the OLS (Online Linguistic Support Tool) service commissioned by the European Commission for this purpose. More information on the language testing encompassed by the Erasmus+ programme.
English-language proficiency tests
TOEFL is the standardised language test most commonly used by American educational institutes, for example. Information on the language tests is available on the Fulbright Center website, but the tests are organised by companies serving as TOEFL test centres. Registrations for the tests can be submitted through the ETS organisation’s TOEFL web page.
IELTS, i.e. the International English Language Testing System, is another widely-accepted English-language test. In Finland, the IELTS test is managed by Finnbrit, whose website provides additional information and registration instructions.
English-language level tests
Information on the GMAT test, which may be required for business studies, for example, is available on the GMAT website, while details on taking the test are provided on the LGF (Lan Group Finland Oy) website.
The DELF and DALF language diplomas are the only ones of their kind approved by the French Ministry of Education. The DALF diploma supersedes the French universities’ language test for foreigners. The Institut Francais de Finlande also arranges preparatory courses for the tests.
The TCF (Test de connaissance du français) is an official French-language level test. The certification is granted by CIEP (Centre international d’études pédagogiques), which operates under the French Ministry of Education.
More information on the French-language tests can be found on the website of Institute Francais de Finlande under ‘Exams’.
Goethe-Institut organises language certifications of various levels. All German universities and institutes of higher education accept the applicable Goethe-Institut level tests (e.g. GDS and TestDaF).
Chinese-language proficiency tests
Japanese-language proficiency tests
Language certificates and language revision
Certificates of language studies completed at the University of Tampere Language Centre can be obtained from the Language Centre. The university’s Language Services unit provides paid language revision services.
Self-assessment and comparability of language proficiency
Europass language pass
The Europass scheme was developed in order to facilitate mobility and clarify degrees. It provides students and job seekers with standardised documents for demonstrating competence in all EU and EEC countries. The Europass can be used to indicate your language proficiency according to a joint European proficiency scale of A1–C2. To read more about the scale, please visit the Europass website. Before assessing your own language skills, it is advisable to view theapplicable European self-assessment grid.
You can assess your own language proficiency with the Dialang program, which has been developed in cooperation with European universities. Dialang is maintained by Lancaster University. Read more about the Dialang program.