Doctoral Dissertation

4.7.2018 M.A. (Educ.) Sotiria Pappa (Facul­ty of Educa­tion and Psyc­ho­lo­gy, Education)


4.7.2018 12:00 — 15:00

Location: Muu , Ruusupuisto D104 Helena
Release: 4.7.2018 You’ve got the color, but you don’t have the shades (Pappa)
M.A. (Educ.) Sotiria Pappa defends her doctoral dissertation in Education "'You’ve got the color, but you don’t have the shades’: Primary education CLIL teachers’ identity negotiation within the Finnish context".

Opponent Professor Heini-Marja Pakula (University of Turku) and Custos Professor Anneli Eteläpelto (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in English.

The new National Finnish Core Curriculum promotes every teacher as a language teacher and the integration of language learning with different aspects of the curriculum. In the light of this change, this interview-based dissertation aims to understand how teachers in Finland doing Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) in primary education see, experience and express themselves in their work.

The main findings of this dissertation research of M.A. Sotiria Pappa highlight the emotional and time-intensive nature of doing CLIL as well as the importance of a dynamic interrelationship among colleagues.

Firstly, despite the many positive emotions in CLIL teaching, teachers seem to feel rather hurried and frustrated. This is mostly due to a lack of time for preparation and spending time with colleagues, but it is also due to the pace of instruction which did not afford teachers the time to delve deeper into the content though the foreign language.

Secondly, events in the collegial community help CLIL teachers exercise the aspect of their professional identity that connect with the classroom as an instructional and interpersonal environment. The findings suggest that CLIL teachers draw on values, pedagogical priorities, shared practices, and narratives on CLIL, which they then translate into pedagogical action in their classrooms in an independent and self-sufficient manner.

Thirdly, the findings suggest that, if not suppressed or disregarded, negative emotions can serve as a cohesive element that promotes rapport. Emotions are not only embodied experiences, but also social events, since they are shared with and endorsed by others, which is important for a sense of membership and normalcy in teachers’ work environment.

How to support CLIL teachers?

Although CLIL classes are scheduled similar to regular classes in the school timetable, they require more preparatory time, such as material designing and language-sensitive lesson planning. CLIL teachers would benefit from material banks and time for team teaching or collaborative lesson planning. The expenditure of temporal resources and persistent effort in doing CLIL could also be acknowledged in financial terms.

Furthermore, it is important that collegial communities and cultures be strengthened at school level by means of joint teaching activities, training in CLIL and foreign language pedagogy, the validation of negative emotional experiences in the day-to-day teaching reality, and the exchange of intellectual resources and professional experiences among colleagues. Collectively contributing to a sense of belonging and helping create a self-regulating professional community with shared objectives may help support the enactment of professional identity in the classroom, sustain motivation for CLIL, and abate feelings of loneliness, frustration, and rush.

Background information

Miss Sotiria Pappa studied at the 1st General High School of Karditsa, Greece, in 2007. In July 2011, she graduated from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, with a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature. For the following two years, she worked as an English language teacher and in March 2015, she completed the International Master’s Degree in Education at the University of Jyväskylä. From August 2015 until the present, she has been a doctoral student at the Department of Education, University of Jyväskylä, focusing on research in the professional identity of teachers engaged in Content and Language Integrated Learning.

Further information:

Sotiria Pappa, +358 (0)401545495 or sotiria.s.pappa@jyu.fi.

Publication information

This dissertation is published in the series Jyväskylä Studies in Education, Psychology and Social Research, number 619, 123 p., Jyväskylä 2018, ISSN: 0075-4625, ISBN: 978-951-39-7465-7. It is available at the University Library’s Publications Unit, tel. +358 (0)40 805 3825, myynti@library.jyu.fi. E-publication: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-7466-4

More information

Sotiria Pappa