Calendar | 27/08/2015

The future of language learning

How to guarantee rich language skills for children and young people? What could the teachers of mother tongue or primary language learn from foreign language teaching, and vice versa? What is the connection between literacy and language learning? Which comes first in language learning: interaction, technology or grammar?
Add to my calendar 2015-08-27 13:00 2015-08-27 19:00 Europe/Helsinki The future of language learning The future of language learning Töölönkatu 51, Helsinki

For questions like these, answers based on scientific knowledge was given by researchers funded by Kone Foundation and the Academy of Finland in the event The Future of Language Learning.


Speakers, performers and organizers

Steven L. Thorne

Steve Thorne is associate professor of second language acquisition at the Department of World Languages and Literatures at Portland State University.

Maria Kela

Maria Kela is university lecturer in the didactic of Finnish as a second language at the University of Helsinki. She currently directs the learner’s language corpus initiative “Long Second”.

Anneli Pajunen

Anneli Pajunen is professor at the University of Tampere department of yliopiston kieli-, käännös- ja kirjallisuustiedeiden yksikössä.

Sari Ylinen

Sari Ylinen is researcher at the Cognitive Brain Research Unit of the Department of Behavioral Sciences of the University of Helsinki.

Lea Nieminen

Lea Nieminen, PhD, is researcher at Agora Center, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland. Her main research interests are the growth of morpho-syntactic complexity in early child language, bilingual and bimodal language development, and learning to read from cognitive and linguistic perspectives. Currently she is involved in ReadAll project (Technology-enhanced environment for supporting reading development in all learners). Previously she has worked in a research project Diagnosing Reading and Writing in a Second or Foreign Language (DIALUKI) in the Centre for Applied Language Studies (U of Jyvaskyla). Her publications include the co-authored book The Diagnosis of Reading in a Second or Foreign Language (2015, Routledge). She is also an editor in a Finnish scholarly journal Puhe ja kieli (Speech and Language).

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13:00 Steven L. Thorne: Adaptive language education under conditions of superdiversity

We live in a complex and changing world in which academic, professional, and everyday life activities increasingly illustrate the need for sophisticated communicative and analytic abilities in intercultural and plurilingual contexts. These late modern ‘superdiverse’ conditions articulate closely with a primary goal of world languages education – to gain the capacity to contribute to dynamic processes of meaning making with an understanding of the divergent cultural practices, values, and ideologies that are involved. This presentation will describe pedagogical innovations that are adaptive to emergent communicative conditions, open to a diversity of genres and potentially mixed language communicative dynamics, and that offer experientially and linguistically rich opportunities for engagement. In conclusion, it is suggested that the future of instructed language education would benefit from adaptive alignment to rapidly changing global conditions and prolific linguistic change.

Group discussion

14:00 Maria Kela: Viron- ja venäjänkielisten lasten suomen kielen kehittyminen

Group discussion

14:45 Anneli Pajunen: Suomen kielen myöhempi hallinta: kouluikäiset ja nuoret aikuiset

Group discussion

15:30 Coffee

16:00 Sari Ylinen: Peli ja puheteknologia lasten vieraan kielen oppimisessa

Group discussion

16:45 Lea Nieminen: The role of language in literacy learning

Group discussion

17:30 Wrapping up

18:00-19:00 Food, wine and mingling

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Steven L. Thorne


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