A1 Journal article (refereed)
Sujuvaa mutta viron kielen vaikutusta : yleisten kielitutkintojen arvioijien käsityksiä vironkielisten suomenoppijoiden suullisesta taidosta (2020)

Ahola, S. (2020). Sujuvaa mutta viron kielen vaikutusta : yleisten kielitutkintojen arvioijien käsityksiä vironkielisten suomenoppijoiden suullisesta taidosta. Virittäjä, 124(2), 217-242. https://doi.org/10.23982/vir.79831

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsAhola, Sari

Journal or seriesVirittäjä



Publication year2020


Issue number2

Pages range217-242

PublisherKotikielen seura

Publication countryFinland

Publication languageFinnish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessDelayed open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/77503

Additional informationAvoimesti saatavissa Journal.fi -palvelussa vuoden viiveellä.


This paper studies the perception of National Certificate (NC) raters (N=44) of the spoken Finnish of L1 Estonian speakers. The paper further describes ways to identify the learners’ L1 and what effect this identification has on the perception of their language skills. The approach relies on contextualised conceptual research. The data is gathered from the research project ‘Broken Finnish: Accent Perceptions in Societal Gatekeeping’, funded by the Academy of Finland. Concentrating on five different L1 languages, the project examines the influence of foreign accent on assessing spoken Finnish. This article focuses on the spoken products of L1 Estonian speakers (N=10) who were assessed using the NC assessment criteria by granting each learner separate proficiency levels on the basis of both a general holistic criterion and six analytical criteria. In addition, the raters were asked to write up their comments regarding the learner’s product, to name their L1, and to give reasons for these assumptions. These comments have been analysed from the perspective of discourse analysis. Educational background, work experience, and experience of different L2 learners as well as surrounding societal and cultural factors are all reflected in the raters’ perceptions. L1 Estonian was readily identified and this identification had clear implications for the perceptions of the learner’s skills. The impact of the learner’s source language was often commented upon, and there were certain expectations regarding their proficiency level due to the proximity of the two languages. The products were described as fluent, natural and understandable, but these concepts were related to different analytical criteria and their significance varied from rater to rater. Assessments focused on accuracy and range as well as grammatical control, and better assessments were granted to those identified as Estonians than those who were not. As the Estonians were identified from their pronunciation, the raters found several shortcomings with respect to pronunciation control and phonology. In addition to pronunciation, the learner’s manner of speaking and speech content were extrapolated to form wider assumptions regarding their skill levels.

Keywordslanguage skillsevaluationFinnish languageoral language skillslanguage learninglanguage examinations

Free keywordsvironkieliset; kielitaitokäsitykset

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Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2020

JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-22-04 at 11:42