Refereed article in compilation book (A3)

Kielen rooli oppimisessa ja opettamisessa – Aineenopettajaopiskelijoiden käsityksiä

List of Authors: Heikkola Leena Maria, Kekki Niina, Repo Elisa

Publication year: 2021

Book title *: Språkets funktion : Juhlakirja Urpo Nikanteen 60-vuotispäivän kunniaksi - Festskrift till Urpo Nikanne på 60-årsdagen - Festschrift for Urpo Nikanne in honor of his 60th birthday

ISBN: 978-952-12-4061-4

eISBN: 978-952-12-4062-1



According to the Finnish core curricula for basic education, teachers are required to be linguistically responsive. That is, they should understand the role of language in all learning. Previous studies have shown that while teachers are aware of linguistically responsive teaching, they do not always have the skills to apply this knowledge effectively while teaching.

In this study, we examined the beliefs of future subject teachers regarding the roles and theoretical understanding of language, language proficiency, and language learning. Three future subject teacher groups and their possible differences were investigated: Finnish language (n=32), Natural Sciences (n=23), and Religion (n=6). The data was collected via an online survey post the training of these student teachers. This data comprised responses to one open-ended question about a fictional teaching situation and was analyzed by theory-driven content analysis. The three groups were compared using descriptive statistics.

There were no differences between the three future subject teacher groups regarding the roles of language. Based on qualitative analysis, future Finnish teachers proved to be better at verbalizing their responses. All participants’ responses reflected at least a nascent understanding of language as situational and dynamic, and as something the teacher can have an effect on. On a practical level, the future subject teachers’ responses reflected a narrower focus on language as a separate skill. The role of vocabulary and terminology in teaching was often highlighted. To ensure that the requirement of linguistically responsive teaching set by the core curricula is filled, more research is needed on future teachers’ understanding of the roles of language and the implementation of this knowledge in teaching.

Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 08:50