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Dynamics in Interaction in Bilingual Team Teaching: Examples from a Finnish Preschool Classroom

  • Karita Mård-MiettinenEmail author
  • Åsa Palviainen
  • Anu Palojärvi
Chapter
Part of the Multilingual Education book series (MULT, volume 25)

Abstract

The current study aims to explore team teaching as it is manifested in bilingual interactional patterns in a preschool classroom in Finland. The data was collected in a preschool classroom where a bilingual pedagogy in Finnish (majority language) and Swedish (minority language) was implemented with monolingual Finnish-speaking children. Video recordings were made while two teachers with different predefined language roles were team teaching a class of 20 children during two circle times. A two-level analytic model was developed: on the macro level activity types, participant roles (type of leadership) and language allocation (the teachers’ relative use of Finnish and Swedish) were identified, and on the micro level teacher interaction was analysed in detail in terms of turn-taking patterns and language use. The findings are analysed in relation to the predefined roles of the two teachers – one as a Finnish speaker and the other as a bilingual Swedish/Finnish speaker. The results show extensive dynamics in how the predefined participant and language roles were put into practice: all three types of leadership (single, alternated and co-leadership) were identified in the data and both the teachers communicated both monolingually and bilingually in the various circle time activities. When communicating bilingually, the teachers applied strategies such as code-switching, avoidance of translation and the use of scaffolding to support understanding. Separation strategies (separation by person, topic or purpose) also appeared in the data, however. The two teachers’ cooperation was smooth and they supported and assisted each other in various ways both academically and linguistically.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karita Mård-Miettinen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Åsa Palviainen
    • 1
  • Anu Palojärvi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Language and Communication StudiesUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

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