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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

Whose Finnish?

As a professor of Finnish, Jyrki Kalliokoski’s teaching is concentrated on two areas: Finnish as a second language and Finnish language and culture, which is a subject aimed at international students. In his research, he explores second language use, language learning and multilingualism to find out how communication works between people with different linguistic backgrounds.

Kalliokoski is interested in the diversity of linguistic resources as well as the way in which they are learnt and the fluency of interaction, rather than the errors and misunderstandings of language learners.

Whose language is Finnish, who has the right to decide what kind of language is correct and incorrect, and who is an expert in these things? We tend to think that the answer to these questions is self-evident. However, changes in the structure of Finnish society and its increasingly multilingual population compel us to see things from a fresh perspective. Although when Finns speak English and use the language with confidence trusting in their language skills they tend question the authority of ‘native’ speakers of English, these same Finns are very sensitive to mistakes in the speech and writing of those who have learnt Finnish as adults.

We need information on how people who are multilingual, and who work in demanding expert positions, assess their own language use and the norms of the language. We also lack information on the normative expectations placed on their written texts and speech turns.

Kalliokoski is currently studying how people who have learnt Finnish in adulthood function as professionals and members of the workplace community. A central method is to analyse their narratives about their work, their use of Finnish, linguistic choices and the language attitudes they face. The data is interview based.

Finnish Language Day in Porto University, 2002. Photo: Mika Palo.​​​
Finnish Language Day in Porto University, 2002. Photo: Mika Palo.​​​


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