Flerspråkig skola – flerspråkig inlärningsmiljö // Multilingual school – multilingual learning environment (2017)
The present education development project consists of research-driven community actions that reflect on the social creation and use of learning environments in co-located schools. In his Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship (MC-IEF) project, Tamás Péter Szabó developed several fieldwork methods to gain access into the emic perspectives of school community members in the research of Finnish and Hungarian schools. One such method was ‘tourist guide technique’, a co-exploratory walking tour in school buildings. It was received with a lot of excitement in the school communities and made some one hundred (head) teachers, students and parents to reflect on the pedagogical practices and language ideologies of their school communities. It has also stirred discussions about tensions between explicit school policies and the hidden agendas illuminated during the walking tours. The present project argues that reflecting on such issues enables the (re)-designing of school spaces to enhance among others learning, social inclusion, diversity and the agency of community members.
Fieldwork methods aiming at data generation, and developing school realities have often been kept apart. Initiating dialogue among the cooperation partners, this project cross-fertilizes ethnographic participatory methods with mundane school practices. The project involves a Swedish and a Finnish medium upper secondary school that share premises to discuss educational practices and support their future development and re-design by local school community members (students, teachers and parents).
In cooperation with the research team, the schools detect best practices and disseminate them through their professional networks, supporting the implementation of the new Finnish core curricula for basic education that promote multilingualism and inclusive ways of learning.Hide summary
Voices of diversity. A comparison of Finnish and Hungarian ideologies on the management of linguistic diversity and multilingualism (January–March 2014 and April–December 2016)
Kone postdoctoral research grant. University of Jyväskylä Faculty of Humanities – Department of Languages (2014) and Centre for Applied Language Studies (2016). Host researcher: Prof. Anne Pitkänen-Huhta (2014) and Prof. Tarja Nikula-Jäntti (2016). || Summary
Focusing on ideologies on linguistic diversity and multilingualism, the study follows an intercultural approach. Considering metalanguage as an essential tool of learning, identity construction and of several everyday practices, the study analyses the metalinguistic performance of children and adults from different Finnish and Hungarian communities.
A cross-cultural comparison helps to understand how different communities (namely, two communities speaking Finno-Ugric languages) understand linguistic diversity and multilingualism. Assuming that Finnish and Hungarian societies are different in this regard (e.g. the role of the so-called standard variety is basically different), the exploration of the heterogeneity of ideologies supports theory building and practical tasks (e.g. further research design) at the same time.
The expected results help the elaboration of further research on ideologies and education, mainly in minority settings, where an adequate management of linguistic variability is essential for the maintenance of various indigenous languages. Hide summary
Finding own words. In the search of non-authoritative education in Hungary. Metadiscourses, identities and strategies in students’ and teachers’ interactive practices in standard and alternative settings (April 2014–March 2016)
Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship for Career Development (IEF) under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7) at the University of Jyväskylä Faculty of Humanities – Centre for Applied Language Studies. Host researcher: Prof. Tarja Nikula. || Summary
As previous studies have proved, a majority of teachers maintain authoritative practices in Hungarian classroom discourses. Instead of behaving as independent agents, students often play the role of a patient, paraphrasing textbook definitions and their teachers' words. This condition of dependence is usually reflected in students' narratives, and classroom observations confirm this impression.
Has classroom interaction in Hungary become more democratic after the fall of communist dictatorship (1989)? Previous studies suggest that in the case of mainstream state schools, the answer is no. However, from the end of the 1980s, there was a period of the rise of experimental programs in Hungary. CLIL (Content and language integrated learning) programs became popular, but did not become part of the mainstream, since they regularly serve the goals of elite training. It is unfortunate, because - as P. A. Duff has argued -, CLIL practices may promote democratic principles. CLIL may be intertwined with more active student participation and symmetric interaction than standard teaching.
Based on large corpora collected in standard (state mainstream) and alternative (CLIL and experimental) settings, recorded classroom discourses and interviews will be compared. The systematic CA and DA analysis of classroom discourse and teachers' and students' narratives on their school experiences will serve a better understanding of institutional language policies, speakers' identities and roles of agency. These are the piers of the cultural and linguistic socialization in a school, and their analysis supports the preparation of pedagogical innovations.
The host institution's expertise in CLIL and FL studies is inevitable for a better understanding of Hungarian formal training, and the role of metalanguage in the achievement of Hungarian students. The results will be used for the elaboration of non-authoritative learning environments. Hide summary
Socialization in metalanguage – a discourse-based approach. A study on metalinguistic development in Hungarian, with a look to Finnish practices (15 August–15 December 2013)
Metalinguistic performance and an appropriate participation in various metadiscourses are highly important during formal education. Thus, it is inevitable to investigate in detail how metalanguage emerges and how proficiency in metalanguage (participation in metadiscourses) develops. The present project is an intercultural study, linking to both mother tongue education and second language acquisition.
Through the description of Hungarian metalinguistic development, enculturation to a standardist language culture can be observed. As for the literature, Hungarian is basically a standardist language culture: a high-prestige language variation called standard and the notion of standard plays a central role in linguistic evaluation, even in everyday spoken interactions. At the opposite side, tendencies of destandardisation are common in Finnish speaking communities. Studying the contrast and the similarities between these two cultures, different routes of socialization can be understood. Hide summary