Collaborative learning in growing to become an expert

Researcher: Ulla-Maija Bergroth-Koskinen

Supervisors: Mia Halonen (PhD, docent) and Peppi Taalas (PhD)

Duration:  2010 -  on going

Funding: Academy of Finland for years 2010-2012 as part of sub-project 2 of the research consortium Know-Id (Collaborative construction of knowledge and identities in school and teacher education)

Description of the project

In the modern world, communication skills are crucial. This academic dissertation will study the role of language and communication skills as part of university students' professional expertise. I am interested in: how do students see the role of language competence as part of their expertise, and how do they use language to communicate their expertise to others? As a teacher-researcher, I will also focus on observing the development of the
skill with which one communicates his/her expertise to others through language. Adopting a sociocultural view on learning, this study explores the relationship between language, expertise, identity and membership in communities of practice. The research approach is design-based research, which means that this study aims to introduce theory-based innovations in teaching and through cycles of design, intervention and redesign create both an improved course design and new theories of learning. Data for the study is collected academic level English courses in the Language Centre of the University of Jyväskylä. This study will bring about new information about the skill with which one communicates his/her expertise to others as well as about how to support the development of that skill. The results of this study will benefit those planning learning activities and language pedagogy for higher education level.