Teaching Philosophy

Talvikampus Marja Keränen 

The main purpose of our teaching is to enable many, individually relevant, pathways of language learning for students. In addition, we aim to develop students’ skills in independent, life-long language learning and in making use of new technologies for language learning purposes. A particular focus of the Centre for Multilingual Academic Communication is supporting internationalization at the University and promoting the development of students’ plurilingualism.

Our integrative pedagogical approach combines 

  • language and transferable (learning) skills and study skills
  • language and promotion of self-direction
  • language and research skills
  • various language skills
  • discipline-specific language
  • language and discourse conventions
  • language and culture
  • language and intercultural skills
  • language and working life
  • language and profession
  • language and ICT skills
  • self-assessment and peer and teacher assessment

Our view of an independent learner

We consider students as being at university in order to build and share their knowledge and expertise. To achieve this, they are responsible actors in their studies, independent in their thinking, curious in their exploration, and unprejudiced in facing new challenges. Students also develop learning skills and interactive skills in order to be able to continue learning and communicate and share their expertise with others. It is our job as teachers and tutors to facilitate this journey by offering versatile and challenging learning environments and opportunities, but it is your job as a learner to learn.

If you choose to study independently - outside class, but not necessarily on your own or without a tutor - you will find it easier to direct your studies if you first think about what it means to be an independent language learner. 

Your role as an INDEPENDENT LEARNER who is involved in self-directed and life-long learning is to take an active approach in the following:

  • ANALYSING THE WAY IN WHICH YOU LEARN - learning style; learning strategies; level of self-direction; learning environment preferences
  • BEING AWARE OF POSSIBLE OBSTACLES - affective; cognitive; experiential; practical
  • REFLECTING UPON YOUR MOTIVATION AND ATTITUDES - previous experiences of language learning: why are you learning now?
  • SURVEYING YOUR LEARNING NEEDS - nature of language and communication mastery; present strengths and weaknesses; present vs. target proficiency; academic/work requirements
  • GETTING INVOLVED IN SELECTING CONTENT AND MATERIALS - assess teaching style; review goals and objectives; select content and materials and analyse their value; orientate yourself to learning and take each situation of language use as a potential learning situation
  • ASSESSING THE EFFORT YOU’RE WILLING TO MAKE - time available; work load required; motivation needed
  • TAKING RESPONSIBILITY, BEING ACTIVE AND USING INTERACTIVE TEAMS - remember that becoming fluent requires active use of the language
  • MONITORING PROGRESS, REDIRECTING YOUR LEARNING - engage in continuous self-assessment; raise your awareness about future needs

Success in independent language study - and all language study, in fact - depends on the skills that you as a learner have for directing and monitoring your language learning. You can use the checklist above to survey your situation and prepare your personal study plans.