Free time activities

Language Cafés

Language Cafés are informal language classes taught by students for students in an informal and friendly environment. The Cafés are based on volunteer work and they give students an opportunity to learn a language they are interested in. It is possible to earn ECTS credits by being a participant (1 ECTS) or a leader (2 ECTS) by completing some assignments, attending the Cafés and writing a learning diary. However, please note that you can earn the credit points only once as with any other course at the univeristy. You can also be a participant or a leader in a Language Café without earning ECTS points - just for fun! You can teach your own Language Café, participate in one or do both at the same time.

How it works? 

Decide first whether you wish to be a teacher or a participant. As a teacher you can teach your mother tongue or another language you are competent in. As a participant, you can join as many Cafés as you wish. You can decide to learn a completely new language or you can freshen up your skills of a language you have already learnt. Sometimes there are two cafés for the same language and one of them is aimed at beginners and the other one at more advanced learners. However, this depends on the availability of teachers. 

The teachers decide together with their students what the participants want to learn during the Language Cafés and create lessons based on that. Usually, a teacher organises meetings once per week. The participants and the teacher can freely decide when and where they will have the lessons. There are separate Moodle platforms for leaders and participants and the required assignments are submitted there. You will get the course keys for the Moodle courses on the first introductory Language Café meeting or you can later ask them from ISYY’s Coordinators of International Affairs.

Students who signed up to teach a class create Facebook groups or Discord channels for their Language Cafés. You can find all the available Language Café Facebook groups and Discord channels at the bottom of this webpage.

Language Café in a nutshell:

  1. Attend the first introductory Language Café meeting hosted by ISYY.
  2. Leave your contact information at the end of the introductory meeting if you would like to become a leader.
  3. Leaders will then attend a mandatory leader training organised by the Coordinators of International Affairs. 
  4. If there is a teacher and interested participants for a certain language, there will be an available Language Café for that language. However, if there is no match, there will not be a Language Café. 
  5. Leaders will create a Facebook group or a Discord channel for the language they teach (for example ‘Finnish Language Café Spring 2021’). The groups will be shared on this webpage so participants can join the Cafés they would like.
  6. Leaders and participants have separate Moodle platforms to which they can submit assignments. 
  7. The leader will organise a first meeting for their own Language Café, in which the leader and participants discuss the contents of the Café. After this, the Language Café will kick off!

Leader (2 ECTS)

All Language Café leaders should first attend a leader training organised by ISYY. The time and date for the leader training will be announced in the first Language Café introductory meeting. 

The aim for leaders is to learn about

  • Peer learning and teaching
  • How to take responsibility for leading, planning and coordinating Language Café activities
  • Developing multicultural group work skills

Time estimate for the 2 credit points

  • 20 hours for planning the meetings, preparing content and communications 
  • 20 hours of leading language cafe meetings
  • 14 hours for completing assignments

The scale used in the evaluation is pass-fail.

Participant (1 ECTS)

The aim for participants is to learn about

  • develop their language skills together with other participants
  • learn about different cultures and customs
  • acquire skills in performing within a multicultural group

Time estimate for the 1 credit point

  • 20 hours of attending Language Café meetings
  • 7 hours of independent study and assignments

The scale used in the evaluation is pass-fail.

Language Café info in spring 2023

The Language Café info sessions were organised on 24 January. You can find the presentation below., opens in a new tab: Language Café info (PDF)

Available Language Cafés in spring 2023


  • Chinese (Beginner, ECTS credit available): Discord
  • Finnish (Intermediate level (A1-B1 levels in the European reference framework): Discord
  • Finnish (Beginners): Google Forms
  • Japanese (Intermediate, ECTS credits available): Facebook
  • Japanese: Facebook


  • No Cafés in the spring semester