The Development of Russian Heritage Pupils' Writing Proficiency in Finnish and Russian
Nieminen, L., & Ullakonoja, R. (2018). The Development of Russian Heritage Pupils' Writing Proficiency in Finnish and Russian. In R. Berthele, & A. Lambelet (Eds.), Heritage and School Language Literacy Development in Migrant Children : Interdependence or Independence? (pp. 161-187). Multilingual Matters. Second Language Acquisition, 119. https://doi.org/10.21832/BERTHE9047
Published inSecond Language Acquisition
© Channel View Publications 2018
James Cummins has stated that “a cognitively and academically beneficial form of bilingualism can be achieved only on the basis of adequately developed first language (L1) skills” (1979, p. 222). In this chapter we focus on bilingual writing development and its connections to learners’ cognitive and linguistic skills in L1 and L2 and background factors. Our participants come from Russian-speaking immigrant families living in Finland. All participants go to Finnish schools and are either integrated into mainstream classes or have started a preparatory class specially designed for recently arrived immigrant children. The basic aim of this chapter is two-fold and thus, the study is introduced in two phases. In Phase 1 the aim is to follow the development of L1 Russian and L2 Finnish writing skills between two time points (T1 and T2). In Phase 2, we look for correlations and predictive relations between writing outcomes and the linguistic, cognitive and background variables to see what kind of factors may enhance bilingual writing development. In both phases of the study a special attention is payed to the relationship between the skills in the two languages. The study introduced here is a part of a larger research project, Diagnosing Reading and Writing in a Second or Foreign Language (DIALUKI, 2010‒2013; www.jyu.fi/dialuki; Alderson et al., 2015; Alderson & Huhta, 2011: 45‒48; Nieminen et al., 2011), funded by the Academy of Finland, the University of Jyväskylä and the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The aim of the multidisciplinary project was to investigate how literacy skills normally develop in a second or foreign language so that diagnostic tools for assessing learners’ literacy skills could be developed. In DIALUKI, we tested many measures originating from the fields of psychology, special education and language assessment to predict strengths and weaknesses in reading and writing. The participants of the project came from two language groups: Finnish learners of English as a foreign language (N = 637) and Russian learners of Finnish as a second language (N = 264). The pupils were recruited on a voluntary basis: pupils, their parents and the municipal authorities gave their written consents. In this chapter the focus is on a longitudinal subsample of 47 pupils from the Russian-Finnish group. ...
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Ullakonoja, Riikka (2009)
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