Activities and research projects

Take a look at some projects and activities that we are or have been engaged in.
DigiTala – Digital support for learning and assessing second language speaking

DigiTala research project (2019–2023) develops a digital tool based on automatic speech recognition for assessing oral language skills in high-stakes tests in Finland.

Target languages are Swedish and Finnish as a second national language. When the tool has learned a sufficient qualitative model for assessment from humans, it will adapt for independent training for students from different language backgrounds regardless of time and place.

The research project is financed by Academy of Finland in 2019-2023. There are experts of language education, speech and language processing and phonetics involved in project teams by University of Helsinki, Aalto University and University of Jyväskylä. The leader of the consortium is Assoc. Prof. Raili Hilden.

Varpunen – Early teaching of foreign languages – Developing language teaching and teacher education

The project of Varpunen – Early teaching of foreign languages – Developing language teaching and teacher education was a government key project and funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.

The project was implemented in 2018-2021 by the Faculty of Education, University of Helsinki together with the University of Helsinki Centre for Continuing Education HY+. The leader of the project was Dr. Kaisa Hahl.

The project developed pedagogical models for early language teaching in cooperation with subject teacher education, university teacher training schools, and schools and municipalities providing basic education, as well as other project stakeholders. The aim of the project was to enable language teachers and student teachers  to create new models for early language teaching in research-based, student-centred and cooperative ways. The project organised two implementations of in-service teacher training for subject teachers and class teachers and trained them to become tutors for local teachers. The project worked to increase the utilisation of recent research findings in teacher education and further training, and make use of best practices and models at the national and international levels. Additionally, the project produced regional and national models for the systematic development of language teachers’ and educators’ professional know-how.

SALLT – Summative assessment literacy of language teachers

A longitudinal study of pre-service and novice language teachers.

Assessing students correctly is a question of national equivalence and individual fairness, given the fact that grades are used as the basis for further education. The purpose of this longitudinal study of pre-service and novice language teachers (SALLT) is therefore to investigate teachers’ summative assessment literacy at the end of their teacher education and of first year teaching, as well as factors influencing this literacy based on teacher cognition and language assessment theories as conceptual framework. The study will focus on language teachers in Sweden and Finland from three different institutions (Stockholm University, University of Helsinki and the project leader University of Gothenburg).

Expected results will provide new insights into how pre-service teachers and novice teachers develop assessment literacy, and help to offer recommendations with direct relevance to design new assessment initiatives within teacher education and schools.

ConnEcTEd – Coherence in European Teacher Education

ConnEcTEd is short for Coherence in European Teacher Education: Creating transnational communities of practice through virtual scenarios. It is an Erasmus+ project led by Pedagogische Hochschule Freiburg in Germany. There are altogether seven partners, the other partners coming from Norway, Croatia and France. The team leader in the project for Helsinki is Adjunct Professor Kaisa Hahl. Within the project, resources for language (teacher) education have been produced.

Linguapeda 2019 Seminar

The Linguapeda 2019 Seminar was organised on 17–18 May 2019 by the Research Group for Foreign Language Education at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki.

This seminar brought together multiple stakeholders in the field of language teacher education. The seminar had presentations and posters on original and ongoing research in English and Finnish, as well as demonstrations and reports on good practices in teacher education. The seminar presented two top keynote speakers who inspired the audience to detect affordances of today and to invite discussion on emerging prospects of our profession. We thank all the seminar participants for their contributions