Testipiste – language assessment centre for adult migrants
Testipiste language assessment centre began its operation in the metropolitan area on April 1st, 2010 as a project funded by the European Social Fund (ELY Centre of Uusimaa), the city of Helsinki and the educational institutes involved in the project. The operation has become established since January 1st, 2014.
Initial language assessment
The initial language assessment service is offered in cooperation by four adult education institutes in the metropolitan area. Axxell Multicultural Centre is the coordinator, and Amiedu, Edupoli and Eira High School for Adults are partners.
The initial assessment takes place in Testipiste with a uniform model developed for testing the language proficiency of adult migrants. The aim of the assessment is to produce information about the clients’ proficiency in Finnish as well as other competences, so that a training plan matching their needs can be drawn up, thus speeding up their placement in a suitable training programme and advancing their entry into the labour market.
The test appointment is booked at an Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office). The test starts with an interview. After the interview, there are several test tasks (e.g. reading task, dictation, test of structural perception and mathematics, and for those who already speak Finnish there will be tests of speaking, writing, listening and reading comprehension), that help to determine the right integration study path and course level. The test is not an entrance exam but rather it is used to find the right training option for everyone.
Standardising language assessment
A further goal of Testipiste is to standardise and develop the assessment of language proficiency by offering a final test for the Finnish studies in integration training and by offering assessment training for teachers of Finnish as a second language as well as for other language teachers.
Coming to a Finnish test? Read an interview with our 20 000th test taker
6 years and 20 000 test takers! Congratulations Testipiste and François Roux!
François, 34, is quite typical examinee in Testipiste. He comes from France but has worked in many countries and on many continents in ICT field. In 2014 François came to Finland to work – but by accident. Even during his interview on skype he thought he was to go to Stockholm, Sweden. However, François says that Helsinki wasn’t a disappointment to him: Finland is Scandinavian enough and for a change on the same continent as his family living in France and Switzerland.
After two days in Helsinki François was already working. Official language in a multinational company was English and with French partners obviously French – so there wasn’t much room for Finnish. François did start a Finnish course but very soon it came clear that combining language studies with overseas business travels was quite impossible.
When an invitation to a placement test arrived in September 2016, François thought testing to be unnecessary. If one knows nothing but some 50 words of Finnish wouldn’t one start from the first course and from the first level?
In Testipiste François soon found out that there are lots of different courses available and that the suitable course depends on student’s education, experience in language learning, study skills and future plans. As a beginner, François had only four short tests to do: reading Finnish aloud, dictation, structural reasoning and math, which all tap into study skills. François says that he found tests to be reasonable, math even easy. Background interview and different tests took about one hour.