The objective of integration training is for the student to achieve a basic language proficiency in Finnish or Swedish (proficiency level B1.1, section 20 of the Integration Act). A functional basic language proficiency means that the students achieve the Finnish or Swedish language skills they need in Finland both in everyday life and at work and in education.
The instruction of integration training emphasises discussion and interaction strategies and sociolinguistic skills, such as suitability for the situation, courtesy and the management of different registers.
The Finnish-speaking or Swedish-speaking environment provides plenty of opportunities for practising language skills, and the training supports the utilisation of these opportunities. During the training, students are instructed on how to observe language use environments and to use language in different interactive situations also in their free time. In the best case scenario, the on-the-job learning period included in the training is also an excellent opportunity for language learning.
The general objective of the training is for the student to achieve a functional basic language proficiency in Finnish or Swedish. Language proficiency profiles vary individually, so in some areas of language proficiency, the student's language proficiency may exceed or fall below the target level of integration training. This must be taken into account when drawing up a personal study plan for the student and when planning the student's further paths.
In integration training, all instruction and guidance are language aware processes: The language and the content to be learned are essentially linked. The instruction takes the student's linguistic and cultural background into account and aims to utilise his or her linguistic and cultural resources.
Integration training takes individual needs into account
Integration training aims to meet the individual needs of the immigrant. The objective of the language proficiency level achieved during the training may thus vary according to such things as the student's employment opportunities and further career plans. For example, employment may be possible even before the person's Finnish or Swedish skills have developed to the level of functional basic language skills.
In the integration plan, the authority and the immigrant may agree on setting the language proficiency target at a lower level also when there are special grounds for doing so. This can be done, for example, when learning the immigrant’s language learning abilities are significantly hampered by age, illness or disability, or illiteracy.