Blog 5 by Anneli – Teaching practices or methods from languages perspective

Problem/task based learning and progressive inquiry are the pedagogical models which I apply in my courses (advance level courses). Group working is one of the main working modes. Independent study is also possible, especially in summer courses. Teaching language is English meaning that all course materials are in English and my emails to course email list are in English. In case course has several Finnish students but very few foreign students, I write emails both in English and in Finnish (double work for me but can prevent misunderstandings). Finnish students can do their course outcomes in English or in Finnish. They decide the language in groups. Many groups use English because it is, globally thinking, the working language in software development business, and it saves them for translating the course vocabulary to Finnish.  Multilingual groups are  using English as they working language. This may be a challenge for some students. I try to encourage the group manager and group members to work together. Sometimes it is hard job, sometimes things go smoothly.

In my web-based courses “Course guidelines” is one of the most essential documents. I have edited this document year by year according to students’ questions when they do not understand what to do. Now I think it working quite well because no questions are coming in anymore. I have noticed that it is extremely important to say/write very clearly with simple words what are the course rules and guidelines.