Support Groups and Opening Session Times

Joining ALMS

Students can join ALMS in a group of their own in the following Faculties:  Agriculture and Forestry, Education, Humanities, Law, Social SciencesScience, Theology, as well as the Open University. There are also all-faculty groups which are open to students from any faculty at the University of Helsinki. One of these all-faculty groups is for different learners and is called ERI ALMS. Registration for all ALMS courses takes place in Sisu under the Academic and Professional Communication in English courses for each faculty. The groups that are open to all students have the code KK-ENKAIKKI.

 ALMS opening sessions

The two required ALMS opening sessions focus on awareness-raising where you will learn about the expectations of the ALMS programme and the theory of autonomous language learning (e.g. an emphasis on reflection and self evaluation). In the opening sessions, you will also reflect on your own personal linguistic strengths/weaknesses, as well as your needs/goals, and interests/motivations concerning learning English. The opening sessions culminate in you creating a plan for your language learning.

Click here to view the AUTUMN 2024 Opening sessions.

Please note that registration is via Sisu. 

 ALMS support groups

As part of  your individual ALMS programme, you may choose to join one or more of our ALMS support groups. Each support group focuses on a particular aspect of using and learning English and is mediated by an ALMS teacher.

Support Groups are divided into two sections:

1 Kick-starts support groups that a teacher helps organize but are run mostly by the students examples: Conversation, Book Club, etc.
2 Workshops support groups that have more content given by a teacher and are organized/run by both a teacher and the students examples: Presentation skills, Academic writing, Debating, Translation, etc.

Kick-start and Workshops: Together with the teacher and other students, you plan the content of your support group.  Some  support groups meet weekly for many weeks, while others meet fewer times; it depends on the group. On average, a student can do between 10-20 hours of work (in total) for one kick-start or workshop group – including the meetings and any work done outside of the meetings.

Click here to view the Spring 2024 Support Groups. The table for autumn 2024 will be available in late August.

  Do-it-yourself groups

In addition to the support groups, students are encouraged to set up their own groups, known as Do-It-Yourself (DIY) groups, which have their own focus and plan. A DIY group can be a faculty-specific group, for example:  a vocabulary group for Law students, or an article discussion group for students studying Sociology, or a Forestry-related presentations group. DIY groups can also be non-faculty-specific, for example: a DIY literature group, a DIY debate group, a DIY board games group, a DIY practicing job interviews group, etc.

If you create a DIY group, it can be with other ALMS students from your own faculty/field of study, or it can be with ALMS students outside of your faculty group, or it can even be with people from outside of ALMS or outside of the university.

In addition, if you create a DIY group and you would like to open it up to other ALMS students, then you can post and advertise it on our ALMS Moodle page.

 Course Assistant groups

Finally, there are Course Assistant groups. These are groups that are set up and run by international or exchange students who work for ALMS as a course assistant. The list of course assistant groups is available on the ALMS Moodle page.


Updated by SvB – 5 April, 2024