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Browsing by Author "Yliaho-Lehtonen, Lotta"

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  • Yliaho-Lehtonen, Lotta (2019)
    There has been an ongoing debate in Finland since the mid 1970´s about the Swedish language and the benefits of it for the pupils in Finnish schools. The majority of Finnish-speaking Finns do not see any advantages of choosing Swedish as a second language in the elementary school because many of them consider they will not use the language in the future. The main purpose for this study is to review the experiences of four teachers who teach Finnish in the Swedish-speaking parts of Ostrobothnia. I have interviewed these four teachers to see how their pupils approach the Finnish language. I wanted to get a picture of the pupils´ motiva-tion for learning Finnish and I also wanted to find out what kind of attitudes the pupils have towards the Finnish language. The first interviews took place in 2005 and the second round of interviews was done in 2018. In this study I have found that the pupils in the Swedish-speaking parts of Ostrobothnia strug-gle in the same way with Finnish as the Finnish-speaking pupils do when learning Swedish. The pupils in this study find it difficult to learn Finnish, which affects the inner motivation to learn the language and which also impacts on the attitudes towards the language. The theory background for this study is built upon The Self Determination Theory by Deci and Ryan (2002). In the interviews the teachers tell about pupils having difficulties with learning the Finnish lan-guage. The pupils find it hard and challenging to study Finnish. The Swedish language and the Finnish language are not related and both the pronunciation and the spelling cause problems for the pupils. Most pupils do not practice their language skills in their free time as they live in a very Swedish-speaking area and the pupils do not know any Finnish-speaking people. In 2005 the teachers wished for new educational materials for Swedish-speaking pupils and now, thirteen years later in 2018 the teachers create all educational materials themselves in order to make it suitable for the pupils´ learning levels. The digitalization in the Finnish schools has made it possible to use videoblogs, blogs and all kind of digital material in the language teaching. This has also made a big impact on the pupils´ interest in the goal language. The eClassroom Tandem (Pörn & Hansell, 2013) has been implemented in the language teaching in the school where the four teachers work.