Helsingin sanomat newspaper says the City of Helsinki has decided to increase English – language teaching in schools as politicians demand more English – language services and training.
In February, a number of city councilors took the initiative to make English the official administrative language of Helsinki alongside Finnish and Swedish.
Last August, the mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen He also suggested that Helsinki should declare itself an English-speaking city and increase English-language teaching, although he later withdrew the proposal.
Politicians have argued that access to services in English and more English-language schools will help foreign professionals settle in the country.
A survey conducted by the Finnish Entrepreneurs’ Lobby last year showed that proficiency in Finnish alone is no longer enough, but proficiency in English is also a requirement for 87% of companies. In the language education-specific EF Education First classification, Finland was ranked ninth among 100 countries in English language skills.
But there are other factors in the game as well, HS says.
Anna MauranenThe professor of English at the University of Helsinki said that the current level of English language teaching in Finnish schools is sufficient and added that Finns already have a good command of English.
Increasing the teaching of English in Finnish schools does not necessarily keep the abilities in Finland, Maurinen added, and it may even isolate newcomers from the rest of society.
"On average, people’s level of well-being depends on their knowledge of local languages," said Mauranen. "Immigrant children learn the local language quite well in the playground, kindergarten and school."
Mauranen has conducted two doctoral studies on how university students learn in English, and the results of the studies showed that the learning results were as good as in Finnish. Although learning does not suffer from the transition to English, there is no need to change to basic education, as top-down language teaching only leads to adverse reactions, as in the case of Swedish.
Train services down
Business every day Kauppalehti reports that some pre – pandemic train services have not yet returned, although workers are returning to the office and petrol prices have risen.
Panu MäenpääVR’s director of media relations and corporate culture, the state railway company, told Kauppalehti that services have been reduced mainly on routes that are run several times a day.
These are the Helsinki-Turku and Helsinki-Tampere routes. However, data from the company’s booking system show that this week it will be impossible for commuters to travel by morning train from Jyväskylä to Helsinki, for example.
On some lines, VR provides a market-based service, which means that the company may choose not to provide services. "Our decisions on market-based traffic are based on projected daily demand and profitability," said Mäenpää.
However, according to the company, its bus traffic is almost the same as before the pandemic.
"The situation is constantly monitored and if demand increases, services will be restored, as this and next week. Decisions will not be taken for more than a few weeks at a time," said Mäenpää.
Tesla v. Finnish winter
Evening paper says that although Tesla ‘s sales have risen sharply in Finland, Finnish Tesla owners have encountered several problems while trying to service their cars. The company’s service line is difficult to reach and telephone queues that last for hours are commonplace.
This winter, problems with the heating system have exacerbated the situation. During the cold winter, the heater of several of the company’s basic models stopped working completely and the cars had to be towed to the organisation’s two brand service centers in Finland.
Increasing service queues were exacerbated by the automotive component shortage more generally, which has infuriated Tesla’s owners.
Maria Lantz, which is responsible for Tesla ‘s communications in Finland, told Iltalehti by e – mail that Tesla has expanded strongly in Finland. Lantz said that based on individual customer experiences, it is not yet possible to draw conclusions about Tesla’s services in Finland more generally.
Source: The Nordic Page