Browsing by Subject "early teaching of foreign languages"

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  • Hahl, Kaisa; Pietarila, Maija (2021)
    The shift to an earlier start in foreign language teaching in Finland took place nationwide in 2020. Both class teachers and subject teachers faced a new situation. They would be teaching children younger than before, or they would be teaching a completely new subject for them. This article examines teachers’ conceptions of the skills and qualities, including the required language skills, that are important for a teacher in early language teaching. The data for this study were gathered through essays that teachers (n=44, subject teachers, class teachers, and double qualified teachers) turned in as tasks during an in-service teacher training for early teaching of foreign languages. The essays were analyzed with content analysis. The findings show that teachers found it the most essential that early language teachers have inspiration for the job and are able to inspire learners. They also considered it important that teachers focus on the learners and the learning environment, as well as have skills for early years pedagogy. The teachers did not consider foreign language education or language skills as important as the other skills but yet wished for teachers to be able to communicate in the target language in the class.