Key Actors Anticipating Futures for Foreign Language Education: A Motive Analysis

Maritta Riekki & Leena Kuure
University of Oulu
Maritta.riekki _arvaa_, leena.kuure _arvaa_

The affordances of new technologies may be changing the scenarios for foreign language learning and teaching in the future quite radically. However, earlier research shows that pre-service and in-service teachers’ conceptions of how language education is best accomplished have not markedly changed. This `historical body´ becomes visible in language-learning-related beliefs and is strengthened through curricula and pedagogical infrastructures among others (Kalaja et al., 2011; Riekki & Kuure, 2013; Taalas et al., 2008). Our paper aims to examine the complexity of issues related to imagining futures for foreign language learning and teaching. The data include thematic interviews of a number of key actors in the field and various guiding documents such as the national curriculum. We will  conduct a motive analysis (Burke, 1969/1945; Scollon & Scollon, 2004) to identify the voices of various participants and the main discourses on possible change circulating in the data across multiple timescales. The results offer insight for curriculum design in language education with respect to the needs of the future.


Keywords: foreign language education, changing practices, motive analysis



Burke, K. (1969/1945). A Grammar of Motives. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Kalaja, P., Alanen, R., Dufva, H. & Palviainen, Å. (2011). Englannin ja ruotsin kielen oppijat toimijoina koulussa ja koulun ulkopuolella. AFinLA-e 3, 62–74.

Riekki, M. & Kuure, L. (2013). Future language teachers elaborating shared interests with technology developers. Paper presented at EuroCALL 2013, 11–14 September, 2013, Evora, Portugal.

Scollon, R. & Scollon, S.W. (2004) Nexus Analysis Discourse and the Emerging Internet. New York: Routledge.

Taalas, P., Tarnanen, M., Kauppinen, M. & Pöyhönen, S. (2008). Media landscapes in school and in free time – two paralel realities? Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy, 3, 240–256.


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