Monday, 19 December 2016

A workshop on co-located schools

I am the postdoctoral researcher of the Jyväskylä Language Campus project Multilingual schoolscape – Multilingual learning environment which organized a workshop on co-located schools on 2 December in Jyväskylä. Co-located schools (kieliparikoulut/samlokaliserade skolor) are cases where a Finnish and a Swedish medium school have moved together. Currently there are 35–45 such schools in Finland, and their number is growing. In co-located schools, a multilingual environment is given, but the potential of such cases has only recently been recognized for language learning and practice. 

Our team

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Our new publication on schoolscape research

With my colleague Petteri Laihonen, we have just published a paper on schoolscape research, focusing on language ideologies and organizational cultures in different sociocultural settings:

Laihonen, P. & T. P. Szabó 2017. Investigating visual practices in educational settings: schoolscapes, language ideologies and organizational cultures. In: M. Martin-Jones & D. Martin (eds.), Researching multilingualism: Critical and ethnographic approaches. Routledge, pp. 121–138.

Book cover from the publisher's website
In our introduction we summarized the aims of the paper as follows:

Friday, 18 November 2016

My new paper on Hungarian schoolscapes

Recently I published a paper on agency and the management of diversity in Hungarian schoolscapes. In this paper I study agency from two points of view. First, I investigate how reflections on the schoolscape help us to reconstruct educational practices and understand the role of various agents (students, teachers, parents, external agents like politicians, publishing companies, etc.) in processes of teaching and learning. Second, I am interested how the researcher's agency influences the fieldwork situation in which we generate the data together with the research participants. I analyze walking tours in four Hungarian school buildings (I wrote about my walking-based method tourist guide technique earlier in another paper as well). 

Multilingual schoolscape – Multilingual learning environment

I co-organize the following workshop – welcome!
Monikielinen koulumaisema – monikielinen oppimisympäristö
Mångspråkigt språklandskap – mångspråkig inlärningsmiljö
Multilingual schoolscape – Multilingual learning environment

We invite you to discuss current issues in the development and research of co-located Finnish and Swedish medium schools in Finland to a workshop at the University of Jyväskylä on 2 December 2016 from 11:00 to 15:30.

Co-located schools (kieliparikoulut/samlokaliserade skolor) are cases where a Finnish and a Swedish medium school have moved together. Currently there are 35–45 such schools in Finland, and their number is growing. We see co-located schools as clear examples of educational institutions where a multilingual learning environment is given. In this workshop we explore good practices and visions of how such cases could be used as a resource for language practice and learning.

Participation is free of charge, the language of the presentations is English.

The registration period is over.

Preliminary program (updated on November 26)

Saturday, 22 October 2016

My Marie Curie project report summary is published

I spent two fantastic years with working on my Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship project Finding own words: in the search of non-authoritative education in Hungary between April 2014 and March 2016. The project report got accepted, and the report summary is now published on the website of the European Commission.

The grant brought me to several places and made me more mobile than ever. Locations marked on the map: Finland (Jyväskylä [marked with yellow], Oulu, Turku, Helsinki, Tampere, Vaasa, Joensuu); Hungary (Budapest, Szeged); Norway (Tromsø, Oslo); Estonia (Tallinn); UK (Leeds, Loughborough); Slovakia (Bratislava, Nitra); Austria (Vienna); US (Berkeley, Cal) and Canada (Calgary)

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Opening Learning Environment: the school of the future

"We invite you to explore the new premises of Valteri Centre for Learning and Consulting, Onerva which manifests how teachers, students and architects created the school of the future which makes education accessible for all" – this was the invitation to a program I co-organized at the science popularization event Researchers' Night on 30 September. 

The logo of Researchers' Night (in Finnish: Tutkijoiden yö; in Swedish: Forskarnatten)

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

My guest post on TLANG blog: gaining new approaches to the study of school environments

The UK research blog TLANG blog invited me to summarize my visit to the University of Leeds in December 2016 and I was happy to write about contemporary approaches to the study of school environments. TLANG is the title of a research project and stands for Translation and Translanguaging: Investigating Linguistic and Cultural Transformations in Superdiverse Wards in Four UK Cities. Team members summarized their main goals on the blog as follows:
We will look closely and over time at language practices in public and private settings in Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, and London. We will investigate how communication occurs (or fails) when people bring different histories and languages into contact. Outcomes will impact on policy on economic growth, migration, health and well-being, sport, cultural heritage, and law, by informing the work of policy-makers and public, private and third sector organisations. 
My impressions from the Leeds campus
In Leeds, I gave two invited presentations on schoolscape research and had very inspiring meetings with TLANG team members James Simpson, Mike Baynham, John Callaghan, Jolana Hanusova, Jessica Bradley and Emilee Moore De Luca. I enjoyed their company and received insightful feedback on my work which helped me a lot. I hope I can visit them again soon.

Here you can read my post:

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

8th Linguistic Landscapes International Workshop, Liverpool

I attended the 8th Linguistic Landscapes International Workshop from 27 to 29 April 2016 at the University of Liverpool. The workshop was organized around the keywords regeneration, revitalisation and re-territorialisation. The event included more than forty presentations so I decided not to report on all of them. Rather I focus on issues that seem to be the most relevant to my own research: agency in the linguistic landscape and methodological developments in linguistic landscape studies. In brief, I am interested in what, who and how contributes to the creation and interpretation of linguistic landscapes in various societal settings, including research encounters and academic discussions.

Liverpool's Albert Dock as seen from the Ferris wheel

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Exploratory Workshop for Participatory Visual Methods

I was among the organizers and presenters of the first Exploratory Workshop for Participatory Visual Methods at our university. The full-day workshop was held on 13 May 2016 as a cooperation of researchers from the Department of Arts and Culture Studies, the Centre for Applied Language Studies and the Department of Languages. Six papers, three exhibitions and 77 registered participants were included in discussions of societally engaged scholarly work. By the end of the day, the significance of the relationship between researchers and participants was underlined. That is, visual methods do not only explore stories about the people investigated, but also reflect on the researcher's position.
An attractive poster invited the attendees to the venue

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

My article on university language policies

I wrote an article about my lived experiences with some tensions between de iure and de facto language policies at my university from an international staff member point of view. I often experience that international researchers with limited proficiency in Finnish are excluded from discussions at meetings and various other events. I summarized my goals with the article as follows:
Managing a huge multilingual workplace such a university is [...] challenging. However, negotiating language policies and implementing them in a flexible way would make the barriers between the 'Finns' and the 'international staff' less visible and would create a working environment that is much more comfortable for everyone included in our academic community. I hope that sharing my experience invites others to tell theirs so that we can initiate or extend such negotiations.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Concluding 'Finding own words': a dissemination seminar

My Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship project has arrived to its closing phase. Now it is time to summarize the results and the most important lessons learnt from planning and implementation. With my colleagues, we organized a seminar on 23 March to share our experiences with the project. The event was part of the seminar series From researcher to researcher organized by our university's Research and Innovation Services.

I open the seminar

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

My trilingual post on Kone Foundation's Boldness blog

I happily accepted the invitation of Kone Foundation's Boldness blog to write about my work on the management of linguistic diversity, with a special regard to my position as a researcher in a minority position. The text was published today in English, Hungarian and Finnish.