Language Teacher Education in Finland and the Cultural Dimension of Foreign Language Teaching - A Student Teacher Perspective

Nov. 28, 2009

Source: European Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 32, Issue 4 (November 2009), pages 401 – 421.

The increasing importance attributed to the cultural dimension of FL education has entailed new demands for teachers and teacher educators.

This article investigates the cultural agenda in Finnish language teacher education from a student teacher perspective. The focus is on the students' perceptions regarding how effectively cultural aspects are dealt with in their training, and how these perceptions may be affected by the length of time they have spent abroad.

The empirical evidence suggests that both the language studies and the pedagogical studies tend to address cultural aspects to a small or very small extent. The main emphasis is placed on traditional aspects of culture, such as literature and Realia knowledge, and strategies for teaching language seem to overshadow strategies for teaching language and culture in an integrated way. Interestingly, the students' perceptions seem to vary depending on the extent to which they have experienced first-hand contacts with other cultures.

Updated: Jan. 31, 2010