How languages are learnt

It’s Christmas in September for anyone interested in language learning and teaching! A few years ago, the Department of English was actively involved in a popular course Language Teaching and Learning, which was a team-taught course for language and education majors. We are happy to announce that the contents of this course have now been published as an up-to-date book textbook. This is a textbook in Finnish with a target audience of teachers, students considering a teaching career and anyone generally interested in language learning and teaching.
The new book Kuinka kieltä opitaan: opas vieraan kielen opettajalle ja opiskelijalle (published by Gaudeamus) was edited by Päivi Pietilä and Pekka Lintunen. The authors come from the University of Turku and Helsinki and represent didactics and different language departments.

The chapters discuss the nature of language skills, learners’ individual differences, theories of language learning and methods of language teaching. There are separate chapters on the teaching and learning of grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation of a foreign language. The book also includes a chapter on the role of culture in language teaching and, as a final chapter, an introduction to language assessment.

Turku University and the Department of English have always been active in teacher education and language learning research. Nowadays researchers are also encouraged to publish in Finnish and with a wide target audience in mind. After all, societal interaction is, in addition to research and teaching, a key function of a Finnish university. The new publication is a way to distribute the latest theories and research findings in a reader-friendly format.

The book includes reflective tasks after each chapter to help the readers in their own learning process and a lengthy list of references for the more research-oriented readers. And if September is too early for you, you can always add the book into your Christmas wish list.

Text by Pekka Lintunen
Editors’ photo by Outi Kitti/Gaudeamus.Kielenopettajat_Kuva_Gaudeamus_RGB
The book’s co-editors, Pekka Lintunen and Päivi Pietilä.

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