Dr Tarja Nyman, senior lecturer (University of Jyväskylä)
9th-11th May 2012, Tallinn University, Estonia Session 1E (2), room M-649 Newly qualified foreign language teachers at the beginning of their professional career TARJA NYMAN University of Jyväskylä, Finland MARIA RUOHOTIE-LYHTY PAULI KAIKKONEN University of Tampere, Finland The study ”Developmental paths of young foreign language teachers” is a long-term project conducted over the period 2002–2011. The purpose of the study was to investigate young teachers’ experience of initial education and their first four years as qualified teachers. The focus of the working life study was on how newly qualified teachers create their teaching practices and what kind of challenges they encounter at school. Thirteen newly qualified teachers were included in the study and their work in school was followed from 2004 until 2008. The research data was collected with annual interviews and in addition each teacher wrote developmental essays or maintained a log book on their work. The teachers were also sent key focusing questions via email on a regular basis. Two doctoral dissertations were produced on the basis of the study: Dr Tarja Nyman’s “The development of pedagogical thinking and professional expertise of newly qualified language teachers” (2009) and Dr Maria Ruohotie-Lyhty’s “First steps on the path of teacherhood. Newly qualified foreign language teachers’ agency and professional development” (2011). The proposed paper presentation for the Tallinn NQT-COME Conference is based on the findings of both dissertations.