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Teaching And Learning A Language In A Minority Context

  • Räihä, Helge
  • von Post, Christina
  • Ivanishcheva, Olga
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2021
DOI: 10.15405/epsbs.2021.05.02.201
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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The purpose of this study is to investigate how teachers perceive teaching a pluri-centric national minority language, in this case Swedish as a second language in Finland, and in comparison, with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish teachers views on teaching national majority languages as second language. The research method that is used in this study consists of qualitative analysis of professional terminology in second language teachers' description of their own teaching and of classroom observations of their teaching. The material includes 13 interviews conducted with second-language teachers and field notes from classroom observations in Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The result show that teachers in Finland did not demonstrate any awareness of that Swedish is a pluricentric national minority language in Finland. None of the Finnish interviews used any explicit terminology regrading pluricentric language but only common terms such as grammar, pronunciation, illiteracy etc. No distinctions were made between teaching Swedish as second language, a minority language or national language. Everything was simply called Swedish. All interviews also favored a monolingual teaching approach. The Finnish teachers’ strategy is most consistent with views of teachers teaching non pluricentric language in Denmark. The view on teaching Swedish as second language in Finland differed most from the views of teaching Swedish as second language in Sweden. The scope of the results and research prospects can be used to improve understanding of the complexities of teaching second language in different contexts.

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