Call for papers

Meeting in the Middle is a two-year project for studying and developing preparatory education. The project is funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. We are pleased to invite you to participate in the final conference of the project to be held 22–23 August 2019 at the Faculty of Education, University of Helsinki. The languages of the conference are English and Finnish. The aim of the conference is to highlight both good classroom practices of language learning and teaching and recent research on preparatory education. The focus in the plenary lectures, presentations and posters is on situations where the school language is new for a student. These situations are discussed from the perspective of teachers, students, education providers’ and different school subjects. Participation in the conference is possible either for the whole duration of the event or only for one day.

We invite presentations and posters that focus on the initial stages of second language learning in the contexts of primary and secondary education. Abstracts could address, for instance, the following themes: How can language awareness be part of preparatory teaching? What is the role of the first language in learning a new language? How does preparatory teaching function in classrooms where there are multiple first languages? What kinds of skills should a teacher have in order to teach students during their preparatory phase? What is the difference between preparatory education in a specific transitional classroom and teaching given in the classrooms of mainstream education? How long does the preparatory phase last when the focus is on the learning process instead of the formal support of the educational provider? How can mathematics and science be taught without a common language between a teacher and a student? How can subjects in the field of humanities and social sciences be taught and learned in the early stages of second language learning? How can second language learners with emerging literacy be supported on their school path?

Paper presentations will be allocated 20 minutes including 5 minutes for questions and answers. Paper and poster abstracts should be max. 2500 characters and pictures and tables should not be attached to the abstract. The proposals for papers and posters will be evaluated by the scientific board.

Please submit your abstract by sending it to Deadline for submissions is 10 June 2019. Please note: deadline extended until 19 June. Registration for the conference is open (see important dates and registration) and the deadline to register is 10 August 2019.

Scientific board: Maria Ahlholm, Satu Grünthal, Raili Hildén, Riitta Juvonen, Irina Piippo, Päivi Portaankorva-Koivisto, Marjo Savijärvi, Liisa Tainio and Taina Tammelin-Laine.