“Learners in a School System Declared to be Language-Aware:Experiences of Students in Multilingual Finnish Schools”
Visiting Scholar, Berkeley Language Center and Doctoral Candidate, Department of Teacher Education, University of Turku (Finland)
Tuesday April 12, 2022 12:00pm – 1:00pm PT
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Meeting ID: 954 0335 6267
This study explores the promotion of language and culture awareness and multilingualism as a normative framework of basic education within curricular reforms in Finland. The study follows a sociocultural understanding of language learning. While research about teachers’ perspectives is available, knowledge about students’ perspectives as language learners, language users, or participants in academic tasks remains scarce. To create understanding about linguistic integration in increasingly multilingual schools, this study quantitatively explores the relationship between lower secondary school students’ (aged 13–16, N = 409) experiences and their linguistic backgrounds (first- and second-generation immigrant students and “native” Finnish students) from three perspectives: i) pedagogical practices, ii) first language(s), and iii) participating in the language of schooling. Findings reveal questions about the implementation of the language-aware curricula requirement in schools. The results further suggest that if activating learners via co-constructing, negotiating, and reformulating knowledge appears helpful for emerging multilingual Finnish language learners, finding novel strategies to transform language and pedagogical understandings towards sociocultural applications could be a way to help students overcome linguistic boundaries.
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