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.

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See also

Two persons are working at the table and writing post-it-notes.

What are professional language skills

Professional language is not learned on its own at work, but language learning requires input from the workplace and the work community.

Internship advisors
Hands are holding a pen. There are post-it-notes attached on the whiteboard.

Language exercises during the traineeship

Language exercises during the traineeship support the learning of professional language.

Internship advisors
A person is pointing at post-it notes on a whiteboard.

What kind of language skills are needed at the traineeship

Different workplaces require different language skills. It is important for work places to consider the language proficiency required in the work tasks in advance.

Internship advisors
People gathered around a table and discussing.

Traineeship is also language practice

Language-aware traineeship practices support all students regardless of their level of proficiency.

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 Photos: All rights reserved. 

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