The local Listiac team at Åbo Akademi University in the city of Vaasa, Finland, aims to incorporate linguistically sensitive teaching in the university’s course descriptions and, as a long-term goal, in the teacher education curricula. The need to do so has not only been addressed by the local project team, but also by the student teachers themselves.
At the end of 2019, a group of student teachers from the university discussed the lack of content related to linguistic and cultural diversity in their teacher studies in the local newspaper Vasabladet. One especially challenging aspect of the teacher profession, in their opinion, is the contact with the families and caretakers of their future students: how is a teacher supposed to, for instance, go about writing a weekly letter to a family member who does not know the language of the school very well, or at all? Needless to say, the Listiac team at ÅAU agrees that the need for more course content on different kinds of linguistic and cultural diversity throughout the teacher education program is real.
The interest in the concept of linguistically sensitive teaching among student teachers at ÅAU seems to be growing. We are pleased to see that LST is also clearly visible in many of the master theses produced during the past school year. Topics covered are:
- the teacher perspective on multilingualism and mother tongue development among students (Bui & Olesen, 2019)
- class teachers’ views on linguistic inclusion in elementary school (Mård, 2020)
- linguistic challenges among 3-4-yearolds (Sandström, 2020)
- the teacher perspective on language variation (Enlund & Åstrand, 2020)
- linguistic landscape in a multicultural Finland-Swedish school (Högström & Lindroos, 2020)
- linguistic and cultural sensitivity (Lundberg, 2020)
- the child agency in multilingual early childhood education and care environments (Nygård, 2020)
- practitioners’ views on cooperation with parents in multilingual contexts within early childhood education and care (Österman, 2020)
- practitioners’ views on their role in promoting multilingualism and linguistic sensitivity in early childhood education (Åberg, 2020)