Aikuisten kielitaito ja Yleiset kielitutkinnot


  • Mirja Tarnanen Jyväskylän yliopisto
  • Marita Härmälä Jyväskylän yliopisto
  • Reeta Neittaanmäki Jyväskylän yliopisto


adults as L2 users, language profi ciency, language needs, language requirements


In this article, we examine adults’ language profi ciency (English, Swedish, and Finnish) in relation to the use of the target language in various contexts in the light of the National Certifi cates. The data in the article is based on the test scores of 10,794 candidates and a background questionnaire they responded to when taking the test. First, we review some recent studies and discussion on language profi ciency and the language needs of adults in the Finnish society. We then describe the profi les of language profi ciency and use of language in the different contexts in this study. We also discuss the results of the study with specifi c reference to how the background variables (sex, socioeconomic status, and education) and language use in the specific context are related to the test scores. The results imply that the candidates reach the language profi ciency requirements of each test quite well. The Finnish candidates used the target language more widely across contexts than the English and Swedish ones. Daily use of English and Finnish seems to be related to higher test scores. Finally, we discuss some of the implications of the candidates’ language profi ciency in relation to language needs and requirements in Finnish society.