Marja-Liisa Helenius, Chairperson & Language Project Manager
I have a Master’s Degree from the University of Helsinki, with a major in English Philology, where I focused on English literature, specifically on ethnic minorities who write in English. I have minors in French Philology and Communication, and I also completed Subject Teacher Studies in English and French. Since graduation, I have been working mainly as a translator and project manager, and I have several years of English teaching experience in adult education. I worked as a part-time project secretary at HERA International/University of Helsinki for four years, and since 2009 I have worked mainly on as a translator for different companies and agencies and as a project manager for LFI ry. I speak Finnish, English, German and French.
I have always been interested in languages and cultures, which is why minority and migrant literature is one of my greatest interests. I have also always enjoyed writing, translating and learning new languages – as well as teaching the ones I know. I have lived abroad for a few years in the UK, Germany and the United States, and I know how difficult it is to adapt to a whole new culture – especially when you don’t know the language very well, which was my experience in Germany. Through Learning for Integration, I hope we can help others with the challenge of learning the local languages, as well as and finding a balance between remembering their own culture and learning to live in their new home country.
Within Learning for integration ry I coordinate the Language Café, or Café Lingua, an international and intercultural language exchange event. I also work as a project manager for our international projects, run Finnish conversation groups and act as Chairperson of the Board.
Yulia Bazyukina, Project Assistant, Language & IT Expert
I have a Master’s Degree in Philology with specialization in Russian Linguistics and Literature from Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia, and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Finland. I came to Finland in 2008 as an exchange student of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Helsinki, and have been living in Helsinki since then.
I have over 6 years of experience in interpreting and translations (English-Russian) and in English language teaching (both adults and children). For the last 5 years, I have been involved in online education programmes development as a Russian language specialist and project administrator.
I have always been interested in learning new languages and getting to know new cultures, and I enjoy working with the tools that help others learn, too. I have created Russian language content for WordDive cloud service, and was responsible for the Russian language learning section of the online educational Vårdsvenska project of Learnwell Oy, creating Russian content and materials as well as language tests and grammar packages. Now, I also work as a layout artist for publications and material created within Learnmera Oy projects and help with material creation and other project work for Learning for Integration ry.