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Language ideologies in the drawings of 'Finnish language'


Heidi Niemelä, gästdoktorand från Uleåborgs universitet, presenterar sin forskning.

In the seminar I will present my paper about the drawings of 'Finnish language'. 11–13-year-old primary school pupils and teacher trainees from Oulu and Helsinki were asked "to draw Finnish language". The collected data consists of more than one hundred different drawings representing the language in different ways. I will speak about the data collection and the methodology used and will also present the results of the study.

This paper is part of my PhD study, where I explore the prevailing language ideologies in Finnish basic education. As well as the society, the schools are constantly turning more diverse and multilingual. The objective of my study is to reach the ideologies on Finnish language in order to have a better understanding on how the new varieties and new speakers of Finnish language are received and accepted in the society.

Drawing task is a scientific method previously used for example in the studies of education to study teacher identities and in the studies of multilingualism to explore the identities of multilingual children (e.g. Kalaja et al. 2008; Nevgi and Löfström 2014; Melo-Pfeifer 2015). According to Kress and van Leeuwen (1996), drawings are a way of producing images about reality that are related to the interests of the social institutions where the images are produced in. This means they are ideological. In my study I consider the drawings as ideological representations of Finnish language: the drawings show how the informants make sense out of the world. Based on previous studies, it can be assumed that the elements in the drawings are based on experience (Melo-Pfeifer 2015) and ideological schemas.

The study shows that the pupils and teacher trainees associate Finnish language with many different qualities and elements, of which the most repeating ones are national symbolic. The study also shows that the linguistic background of the informants has an impact on the associations. The Finnish-speaking informants represent Finnish language by the flag of Finland, the map of the country and Finnish people whereas the multilingual informants represent Finnish as one of the many languages of their everyday lives, located in the neighbourhood instead of the whole nation. This result suggests that multilingual environments might influence on language awareness and the ethnolinguistic assumptions behind a national language.

Kalaja, Paula – Alanen, Riikka – Dufva, Hannele 2008: Selfportraits of learners of EFL: Finnish students draw and tell. – P. Kalaja, V. Menezes & A.M.F. Barcelos (toim.), Narratives of learning and teaching EFL s. 186–198. Palgrave Macmillan.

Kress, Gunther – van Leeuwen, Theo 1996: Reading images. The grammar of visual design. New York: Routledge.

Melo-Pfeifer, Silvia 2015: Multilingual awareness and heritage language education: children's multimodal representations of their multilingualism. – Language Awareness 24/3, s. 197–215.

Nevgi, Anne – Löfström, Erika 2014: Visualizations as a means for exploring academics' teacher identities. – International Journal for Academic Development 3/19, s. 174–185.

Föreläsare: Heidi Niemelä, gästdoktorand från Uleåborgs universitet

Datum: 2019-02-11

Tid: 13:15 - 15:00

Kategorier: Humaniora, Språk

Arrangör: Institutionen för svenska språket

Plats: Lennart Torstenssonsgatan 6-8

Kontaktperson: Stina Ericsson

Sidansvarig: |Sidan uppdaterades: 2018-10-03

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