How to guide students in a language-aware manner

Language-aware teaching and guidance require close cooperation between the subject teacher, the language teacher and the traineeship instructor.
A student and a teacher are talking to each other at the table. There's a laptop on the table.
Photo: Kalle Kataila. All rights reserved.

Language-aware teaching and guidance at a higher education institution

Learning at a higher education institution always takes place through language and with the help of language – it is a key tool in supporting learning. Especially in English-language degree programmes, it is important to become aware of languages, language use and the role of language as a learning tool. Language teaching should also be taken into account in the teaching of all vocational subjects or content subjects. 

A language-aware teacher observes language and language use in different situations and supports the overlapping development of linguistic and content skills. In order to support the development of a higher education student's language proficiency, the teacher must be familiar with the student's linguistic resources, linguistic practices in the vocational field, and pedagogy that supports learning. Realising traineeships in a language-aware manner supports students in the development of their professional language skills so that the student can adopt the language use and interaction practices of a professional during the traineeship. 

Language-aware teaching and guidance have been studied extensively in basic education. The perspectives and policies of basic education are useful when developing language-aware guidance at the higher education institution. The “Monikielisen oppijan matkassa” website (alongside multilingual learners) explains the pedagogy of language-aware teaching in a clear and concrete manner. 

In the videos below, Eveliina Korpela from Metropolia University of Applied Sciences talks about language-aware guidance in traineeships.

Language-aware guidance, Part 1: Tips for using easy Finnish (length 7:35)

Language-aware guidance, Part 2: Tips for language-aware encounters at the workplace (length 7:53)

Finnish subtitles in videos, no translations.  

TOKASA training videos for workplace instructors

Videos provide tips for workplace instructors on how to guide nursing students who are just learning Finnish in a language-aware manner.

Library shelves with people walking behind them.

See also

Two persons are working at the table and writing post-it-notes.
Internship advisors
Hands are holding a pen. There are post-it-notes attached on the whiteboard.
Internship advisors
A person is pointing at post-it notes on a whiteboard.
Internship advisors
People gathered around a table and discussing.
Internship advisors

©2023 Eveliina Korpela, Eevamaija Iso-Heiniemi, Hanna Aho, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
Language aware guindance -website. Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, produced by Eveliina Korpela, Eevamaija Iso-Heiniemi ja Hanna Aho, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The material can be found at kielibuusti.fi. Photos: All rights reserved. 

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