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Browsing by Author "Laakkonen, Otso"

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  • Laakkonen, Otso (2018)
    Aims. The topic is relevant since early language teaching begins in Helsinki in the academic year of 2018-2019. The aim of this study is to introduce decision and the produced model of early language learning in Helsinki. I also present four example studies (Spain, 2006; Netherlands, 2014; Germany, 2017; Switzerland, 2017) made in Europe about early language learning in school context to background the decision made in Helsinki. Example studies provided emerging factors which were compared to decision and model in Helsinki. My research questions are: 1) What is the Helsinki's decision on early language teaching compared to the factors that have arisen from example studies? 2) How is the early language teaching of the city of Helsinki argued in relation to research in the field? The aim of my first research question is to present the model of early language education produced in Helsinki by comparing it to the factors that were risen from earlier studies. The purpose of the comparative approach is to make the reader aware of factors in the decision from the perspective of the learner and the teacher. The aim of my second research question is to provide a reader with a critical overview of how the Helsinki's decision-making process has taken into account the field's research. Through both research questions I aim to answer to my research problem - what kind of early language teaching has formed in Helsinki? Methods. This research is based on the tradition of comparative education. In the case of Finland, the early language learning (A1-language) implemented in the school context does not have fresh research data, and therefore the comparative methods are justified in this study. The material of the study is based on education policy documents of the Helsinki City Council and the Education Department, as well as on four early school education studies produced in the European school context. Results and Conclusions. According of the used research and theory Helsinki's decision on early language teaching is aimed in the right direction because it focuses on the phonological competence of learners. Studies of early language learning in school context in Europe suggests that early language learning is ineffective in relation to older learners in the long run. In Helsinki, exposure to language teaching will be 90 minutes per week. As a whole students starting language learning in first grade will receive approximately 140 hours of language instruction in relation to students starting on third grade. In finland first two grades do not have qualification requirements for language teachers which can lead to worse learning outcomes and a weakening of motivation. A significant further research question will be; how early language teaching influences pupils' phonological skills in relation to older students development in the longer term?