Browsing by Subject "bilingualism"

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  • Finch, Susanna (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    The study examined a bilingual child's agency in the context of a bilingual school. Previous research has shown that supporting a pupil's agency improves his or her motivation and engagement towards school and hence also enhances learning results. The traditional roles of teacher and pupil can be changed by encouraging pupils to agency. Bilingualism is a pervasive phenomenon in the world and affects the Finnish school worlds as well. The need for language proficiency and the demands for bilingual education increase perpetually. The study sees language as a base for human action and that it is used as a tool in the expressions of agency. The study strived to find out how children express agency and how they use their mother tongues if they have two mother tongues instead of just one. The goal of the study is to examine how the agency of an English?Finnish-bilingual child is expressed through verbal communication in a classroom. The study also strived to investigate what kinds of tasks the two mother tongues are used for in interaction. The case study centers on one 11-year-old American Finnish focus student who speaks English and Finnish as her mother tongues. The data of the study were collected by videotaping in a fifth grade of a bilingual school. In addition, a semistructured interview was used to interview the focus student and her mother in order to find out what kind of language choices the child makes and how was the development of the child's bilingualism and two mother tongues supported. The data consisted of approximately 8 hours of video material. Agency and language were examined from the viewpoint of the sociocultural framework. The results were interpreted using qualitative discourse analysis. The main result of the study is that the focus student's agency was expressed in verbal communication in a classroom through three different ways: through expertise, providing humor, and playing with institutional roles. Another finding was that agency was created partly through language. The focus student used her two mother tongues consistently for different tasks, of which communicating with family, friends, and teachers was the most significant one.
  • Kangasaho, Elisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Tavoitteet. Tutkimuksen tarkoituksena on kuvata suomi-venäjä –kaksikielisten ajatuksia kieli-identiteetistä. Tutkimuksessa on perehdytty kaksikielisyyden kehittymiseen, kaksikielisyyden etuihin ja haittoihin, venäjänkielisten kohtaamiin asenteisiin Suomessa sekä identiteetin rakentumiseen erityisesti kieltenoppimisen suhteen. Aikaisempia tutkimuksia kaksikielisten aikuisten suhteen on hyvin vähän. Tässä työssä perehdytään niihin tekijöihin, jotka vaikuttavat kieli-identiteetin kehittymiseen. Tutkimuskysymyksiä oli kaksi: minkälaisiksi kaksikieliset kokevat oman kieli-identiteetin ja miten tilannesidonnaisuus vaikuttaa kielen valintaan. Menetelmät. Tutkimusta varten on haastateltu yhtätoista kaksikielistä aikuista: neljää miestä ja seitsemää naista. Haastattelut toteutettiin teemahaastatteluna. Aineisto on analysoitu sisällön analyysillä ja se on teoriasidonnainen eli analyysiyksiköt on poimittu aineistoista, mutta niitä on ohjaa teoria. Tulokset ja johtopäätökset. Monelle vastaajalle kaksikielisyys oli enemmänkin identiteettikysymys kuin kielikysymys. Vastaajista vain neljä koki identifioituvansa yhteen kansallisuuteen. Kuusi vastaajaa koki kuuluvansa molempiin kansallisuuksiin: toimintapuolelta suomalaiseksi ja tunne- sekä ajattelupuolelta venäläiseksi. Ajattelun kieli määräytyi enemmin tilanteiden (puhutun kielen ja aiheen) mukaan, kuin kansallisen identiteetin kautta. Asenteet vaikuttivat kaksikielisyyteen kahdella tavalla: Suomessa monet vastaajista olivat joutuneet salailemaan kaksikielisyyttään negatiivisen asennoitumisen kautta. Venäjänkielisessä maassa kielitaito on yksi olennaisimpia identiteetin määrittäviä tekijöitä. Monet vastaajista kokivat, etteivät saa olla venäläisiä heikon kielitaidon takia, vaikka identiteetiltään kokivatkin näin. Tilannesidonnaisuus oli suurin tekijä kielen valintaan. Kaksikieliset usein ulkoistivat kielenvalinnan keskustelukumppanilleen. Näin ollen he pääsivät puhumaan suomea, joka valtaosalle oli helpompi tai venäjää ja näin myös ylläpitämään ja kehittämään sitä.
  • Toivanen, Salla (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Objectives. The aim of this study was to describe, in a single and consecutive way, self-repairs of bilingual children in a play situation and to investigate their possible differences between groups. The aim was to increase information on how and what kind of corrections children at different levels of language do, and how the level of language management affects the quality of self-corrections in Finnish. The research questions were what kind of corrections children make, how they start self-repairing and where the repairs are directed. It was also examined whether the groups differed and, if so, how. Methods. A total of 30 were supported, of whom 15 were monolingual and 15 consecutive bilingual children. The L2 language of all children was Finnish and the linguistic development of all the researchers was typical. The study methods were observation and analysis of literates. The data was analyzed both qualitatively and statistically. Elan annotation programme and SPSS statistics programme were used to analyze the data. Results and reflection. Monolingual children produced more self-repairs than bilingual children. Compared to the total number, the share of self-corrections for bilingual children was slightly higher than that of monolingual children. Both monolingual and bilingual children did the most self-repairs by searching for the next word. In the group of monolingual children, the biggest remedy was speech interruptions, while for bilinguals the largest group were different sounds. Self-repairs by both groups most often targeted the sledge hams. The results are partly in line with previous research data. However, previous studies have found that novice bilingual children prefer repetition in their self-repairs. In this study, on the other hand, monolingual children took more initiatives by repeating bilingual control.
  • Mustajoki, Arto; Protassova, Ekaterina; Yelenevskaya, Maria (2021)
    Russian, as a pluricentric language, demonstrates differences in pronunciation, lexis, syntactical structures, and regional specificity of grammar deviations. The imposition of a norm, which is difficult even in the metropolis, is hardly possible in the diaspora, where host countries' realities have a strong impact on the Russian language spoken outside of Russian borders. Even support of the Russian language turns into a double-edged sword, as Russian institutions offering it to the diasporic communities refuse to admit the growing pluricentricity of the Russian language. Although almost 30 years have passed since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russian heritage remains strong in the post-Soviet space, and many countries continue using Russian in public settings and in education. Regional varieties of Russian increasingly drift away from the "Moscow norm", although it still dominates culturally. New European borders and economic conditions stipulate new regulations in the use of traditional international languages. The debate on the norm and the struggle for bi- and multilingualism characterize the current situation with the Russian language in the world. At the same time, it is important to point out that due to diasporans' transnational ties, globalization of Russian electronic media, and growing commodification of Russian, it is often used as a lingua franca on the territory of the former Soviet Union and in immigrants' host countries. This requires a high degree of stability of the main linguistic features to ensure mutual understanding in communication. Russian speakers stick to their language and elevate its status whenever they feel mistreated or underrepresented in their countries of residence, or when they see economic benefits in its use.
  • Nyberg, Romina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This thesis explores the family language policy (FLP) of mixed-language families living in Finland. More and more children are born in multicultural families, where parents have different first languages, and many of them wonder what language strategy to use in the home environment to be beneficial for the language development of their children. Sharing circumstances with other parents in multicultural families, and having a personal interest in multilingualism drove my interest in investigating the family language policy of mixed-language families who reside in Finland; how the daily use of more than one language is established, implemented and managed at the family level. With three main objectives - 1) identifying parental language practices, 2) examining parental views on multilingualism, 3) identifying influencing factors of language choice – this thesis intends to offer an overview of the family language policies employed by parents, and to reveal possible insightful information about attitudes towards language use. It also aims to highlight areas where parents who raise multilingual children in Finland might need practical guidance and support. A survey was conducted through an online questionnaire across Finland among parents of children up to 17 years old and whose spouses have different first languages. The questionnaire was both quantitative and qualitative in nature. The quantitative data was analysed by means of descriptive statistics, and for analysing the qualitative data, an inductive approach was used based on a thematic analysis performed at a semantic level. The main results identified one parent - one language (OPOL) as the most preferred language practice and showed that parents’ determination and plan to employ a language separation strategy does not fully materialize into practice. The type of parental language practice differs among parents of children from different age groups. Despite the myriad of factors that influence parents’ language choice, their family language policies seem to be oriented around a similar language ideology, one that places value on first language transmission and on equal early multilingual acquisition. The transmission of first language appears to be intrinsic to the nature of parenthood. In addition to the main findings, the timing of introducing a new language and the limited availability of language resources for minority languages were identified as the areas where parents who raise multilingual children in Finland need guidance and support. The results and findings of this study deepen our knowledge and understanding of relevant aspects and challenges related to the family language policies of mixed-language families.
  • Schultz, Stephen (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    The current study is an exploration of Vantaa city primary and lower-secondary teacher attitudes towards multilingualism, as well as their attitudes towards the specific multilingual program the oma äidinkieli program. The oma äidinkieli program is a voluntary program which provides mother tongue instruction to pupils who speak a different language at home than the official languages of Finland, Finnish and Swedish. The aims of this study are to investigate and assess the attitudinal positioning of primary and lower-secondary teachers towards multilingualism and the oma äidinkieli program during a time when the number and concentration of foreign language speaking residents in Vantaa and the capital region of Finland is increasing, to increase the visibility of multilingualism and multilingual pupils, and to contribute to the study of teacher attitudes and multilingualism. A total of 45 primary and lower-secondary teachers from the Finnish city of Vantaa completed a paper questionnaire designed to assess attitudes towards multilingualism and the oma äidinkieli program. Quantitative data was collected using Likert-scale questions and a direct approach to studying attitudes. Results were analysed using descriptive statistics. Findings in this study indicate positive teacher attitudes towards both multilingualism and the oma äidinkieli program. This positive attitudinal positioning runs parallel to the approach to multilingualism prescribed in the Finnish National Core Curriculum for Basic Education. While encouraging that overall results indicate positive teacher attitudes towards multilingualism and the oma äidinkieli program, the frequency of negative and neutral responses to certain items, such as items regarding multilingual pupil’s language development, may indicate possible gaps in teacher understandings regarding multilingual pupils and their development. The overall positive attitudes of Finnish teachers are important because positive teacher attitudes towards multilingualism can positively affect the academic, linguistic, cultural, and identity development of multilingual pupils. Positive teacher attitudes towards the oma äidinkieli program are important because the program supports multilingual and multicultural development and supports the transition of foreign language speaking migrants into Finnish society. Also, as the oma äidinkieli program is a voluntary program for pupils, support from primary and lower-secondary teachers is needed in order for the program to be successful.
  • Korhonen, Kalle; Soraci, Cristina (2019)
    Until recently scholars used to claim that the language use in the Roman colonies of Sicily was coherent: Latin was the only language in use in any "official" context, and Greek was only chosen when the context was somehow different, such as a (non-colonial) cult or a private setting. Recent research has challenged the assumption. In the article, we focus on the use of Greek and Latin in noncolonial cities. The use of Latin has often been connected with the attribution of a precise administrative status, that of municipia, in Augustan age or Post-Augustan age; on the contrary, evidence on municipia written in Greek have been considered to date back to the years of Sextus Pompeius. We show that there was much more variation in language use in the "official" municipal contexts than previously thought. We also propose new readings and datings for several inscriptions, notably IG XIV, 954 (with a reference to Akragas / Agrigentum), IG XIV, 367=IG Palermo 44 (Aluntium), CIL X 7350 (Thermae Himeraeorum), IG XIV 575 (Centuripae), AE 1945, 64 (Segesta) and SEG LXI, 758=AE 2011, 435 (Syracusae).
  • Rantanen, Eveliina (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    Objectives. Assessment of language development and differential diagnosis between typical bilingual language development and developmental language disorders in bilingual children is difficult due to lack of appropriate diagnostic tools and norms. Dynamic assessment has been proposed as a complementary method in which learning potential is assessed instead of current language skills. Graduated prompting as dynamic assessment method involves helping children with the tasks by presenting graduated prompts. The aim of the study was to add information about the dynamic assessment of language skills in preschool-age children acquiring Finnish as their second language and its applicability in the differential diagnosis. Methods. A dynamic assessment method was translated and adapted into Finnish and piloted with eight bilingual children aged between 4 to 6 years whose home language was not Finnish, Swedish or Sami language. Half of the children were typically developing bilinguals and half were bilinguals with diagnosed or suspected developmental language impairment. Children's language skills and learning of receptive and expressive vocabulary as well as sentence production were assessed. Test scores were analyzed quantitatively and compared between groups and matched pairs. The usefulness of the prompts was analyzed qualitatively. In addition, the usability and the suitability of the method for the assessment of bilingual children were examined. Results and conclusions. The typically developing children scored slightly higher in the dynamic measures of vocabulary. In the static pre- or post measures of vocabulary or in the measures of sentence production no such difference was found. The results of the vocabulary assessment were in line with previous studies stating dynamic assessment having potential as a differential diagnostic tool. Score differences were minor and the sample was small, thus the results cannot be generalized. The assessment method is short enough to be carried out in single assessment session but complicated to use and rate. The used tasks need be improved further. However, new dynamic assessment methods in Finnish can be developed based on the information gathered in the study.
  • Pleshak, Polina (Helsingin yliopiston kirjasto, 2022)
  • Palkki, Varpu (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    Objectives. Bilingualism influences brain development, causing both functional and structural changes in the brain. It has been suggested recently that learning and speaking a second language might also cause changes in terms of structural connectivity, i.e., in how distant brain regions are connected to each other via structural white matter tracts. These changes have been found between monolinguals and bilinguals, but it has been unclear how these changes develop as a function of age of acquisition of a second language. Learning two languages simultaneously from birth (early bilinguals) has been proposed to have a different impact on brain development than learning a new language sequentially, for example, at school (late bilinguals). Although structural changes between early and late bilinguals have been studied to some extent, studies on structural connectivity between early and late bilinguals are lacking. Therefore the aim of this thesis was to examine whether early and late bilinguals differ in structural connectivity of the brain. Methods. 15 early bilinguals (Finnish-Swedish) and 15 late bilinguals (Finnish-English) participated in the study. Structural connectivity differences between groups were investigated using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) based structural connectivity analysis. Four connectivity matrices were used: the density weight, tract volume, number of tracts, and fractional anisotropy. Analysis was performed in both directions (early bilingual > late bilinguals and early bilinguals < late bilinguals) to identify possible brain networks showing a statistically significant between-group difference in structural connectivity. Results and conclusions. A single subnetwork was identified with significantly increased connectivity strength in the early bilingual group compared to the late bilinguals. The network comprised of 4 connections between 5 regions in the right hemisphere. This subnetwork is parallel with the right inferior occipitofrontal fasciculus (IFOF) tract, which has been associated with semantic processing. The results are in line with previous findings and support more bilateral language processing in early bilinguals. Overall the results emphasize the importance of the age of acquisition of a second language.
  • Sahi, Annika (Helsingfors universitet, 1999)
    Avhandlingen behandlar tidigt fullständigt svenskt språkbad i Esbo. Arbetet utreder vad tidigt fullständigt språkbad innebär samt vad språkbadsföräldrars och språkbadslärares åsikter om språkbadet i Esbo är. Undersökningen omfattar 60 familjer samt samtliga lärare (14 st) som arbetar med språkbad i Esbo. Undersökningen består av två enkäter; en till språkbadsföräldrar och en tillspråkbadslärare. Av de 60 enkäter som sändes ut till språkbadsföräldrarna besvarades 45, dvs. 75%. 12 lärare av 14, dvs. 86%, besvarade den andra enkäten. Det är viktigt att känna till centrala begrepp i anslutning till tvåspråkighet, då man talar om andraspråkstillägnandet i språkbad. I detta arbete presenteras en modell (Sahi, 1999) som åskådliggör centrala begrepp i anslutning till tvåspråkighet. Tidigtfullständigt språkbad är ett program som är planerat att omfatta hela grundskolan. Språkbad är ämnat för enspråkiga majoritetsbarn i ett tvåspråkigt land. Dessa barn tillägnar sig minoritetsspråket i skolan. Språkbadet är inte enbart ett program, utan även en metod. Skillnaden mellan språkbad och traditionell undervisning i språk är att man i språkbadet betonar kommunikation framom grammatik. Målet medspråkbadet är funktionell tvåspråkighet. Många faktorer inverkar på andraspråkstillägnandet i språkbadet. I detta arbete betonas attitydernas och motivationens betydelse. Språkbad kräver en medveten och aktiv insats av föräldrarna. Vidare betonar litteraturen som behandlar språkbad undervisningsmetodernas betydelse samt språkbadslärarens viktiga roll. Föräldrarna är nöjda med språkbadsprogrammet, eftersom det givit goda resultat och motsvarat förväntningarna. Enligt föräldrarna är språkbad ett mjukt, modernt och effektivt program. Föräldrarna anser att barnen lär sig badspråket på ett naturligt sätt och även får en öppnare inställning till språk och kulturer. Föräldrarna betonar lärarnas viktiga insatser samt kontinuitetens betydelse. Vidare tycker föräldrarna att språkbadet borde inledas i ett tidigare skede och att eleverna borde ha mera kontakt med badspråket utanför skolan. Målet med att barnen går i språkbad är, enligt föräldrarna, att barnen ska förstå och tala språket flytande samtkänna kulturen som hör ihop med språket. Både föräldrarna och lärarna tycker att språkbadsklasserna är för stora och att det är brist på material. Lärarna anser att man mer än tidigare borde informera allmänheten, beslutsfattare samt föräldrar om verksamheten. Därtill tycker lärarna att samarbetet mellan daghem och skola samt specialundervisningen borde utvecklas. Lärarna betonar att språkbad inte lämpar sig för alla barn. Lärarna anser sig främst behöva praktiska råd av andra som arbetar med språkbad samt teoretisk kunskap. Både föräldrarna och lärarna tycker att språkbadsverksamheten i Esbo borde koordineras och att språkbadselevernas prestationer noggrant borde följas upp.