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Jyrki Kalliokoski

Jyrki Tapio Kalliokoski
Born November 16, 1956, Helsinki

Master of Arts, 1982 and Doctor of Philosophy, 1989 (Finnish Language), University of Helsinki

Professor of Finnish Language, University of Helsinki, 1999
Research Fellow, Academy of Finland, 2000–1
Acting Professor, Finnish Language, University of Helsinki, 1997–99
Associate Professor (fixed term), Finnish as a Second Language, University of Helsinki, 1995–97
Acting Associate Professor, Finnish Language, University of Helsinki, 1992, 1994
Visiting Lecturer, Finnish Language and Literature, University of Groningen, 1990-91
Senior Assistant, University of Helsinki, 1990–95
Assistant, University of Helsinki, 1984–90
Lecturer in Finnish Language and Literature, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, 1983–84

Publications, Research Projects and other Academic Activity

Research interests: Finnish as a Second Language, text analysis and literary language

Gold Medal, Finnish Literature Society, 2011
Honorary Member, Suomi toisena kielenä opettajat ry (‘association of teachers of Finnish as a second language’), 2012
Academic community’s Gold Medal for 30 years’ service to advancement of knowledge (Federation of Finnish Learned Societies and Finnish Universities), 2015

Photo: Sasa Tkalcan
Written by Jyrki Kalliokoski, Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta (ed.)
Translated by John Calton

Tomorrow’s humanists come from school

Universities train the teachers who work in Finnish schools. School offers a foundation and the building blocks for the pupils’ worldview. It affects the view we have of different areas of research and their meaning in life. When we think of the attraction of the humanities when compared to the natural sciences, we should turn our gaze to schools and the attitudes ingrained there.

It is during our school years that we learn the basic skills and knowledge needed in the study of languages and cultures, their variation and change. All departments in the Faculty of Arts train teachers both for general education and adult education. Us teachers and researchers in the Faculty influence the kinds of teachers that graduate from our fields, what the teaching of the humanities is like in Finnish schools and how each generation in Finland sees itself as a part of the society and culture at large, both past and future.

If we want to spread knowledge of the humanities and the means by which they aim to solve the problems in our world, teacher training is key. If we want schools to produce humanists, we must remember our responsibility as teachers to those future humanists.

Professor Jyrki Kalliokoski has represented the Faculty of Arts in the advisory board of teacher training at the University of Helsinki since 2010, and for the past couple of years he has chaired the group. The group provides a forum for the University and important stakeholders including representatives from the municipalities, labour unions, parents, the National Board of Education and faculties.

“In my field, most of the students qualify as teachers. Teachers of Finnish have no shortage of work; in the past few years, more and more of them have become teachers of Finnish as a second language in general education or in centres of adult education,” Kalliokoski says.

A key idea in the recently drafted curriculum for comprehensive schools is that each subject teacher is responsible for acquainting and training his or her students in the language and terminology of the field. In this sense every teacher is a language teacher. Understanding this is particularly important if we want immigrant children to advance in their studies and to have a larger proportion of them continue their studies to upper secondary school and higher education.

“I helped in the drafting of the curriculum for Finnish as a second language and literature for basic education. I have also served as a member in the Matriculation Examination Board and currently I am a moderator (sensori) tasked with assessing examinations in Finnish as a second language.

Jyrki Kalliokoski and Tom Dubois discussing the teaching of Finnish at the University of Washington (Seattle) in 1995. Photo: Anna-Maija Raanamo.​​
Jyrki Kalliokoski and Tom Dubois discussing the teaching of Finnish at the University of Washington (Seattle) in 1995. Photo: Anna-Maija Raanamo.​​


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