Abiturienttien kokemuksia vieraan kielen opiskelun työläydestä ja sen vaikutuksesta lukion kielivalintoihin

Upper secondary school students’ views on the laboriousness of studying foreign languages and its effect on choosing optional languages


  • Pirjo Pollari Jyväskylän yliopisto
  • Katja Mäntylä Jyväskylän yliopisto
  • Outi Veivo Turun yliopisto
  • Jaana Toomar Jyväskylän yliopisto


vieras kieli, valinnaiskieli, lukio


This paper discusses studying optional languages at upper secondary school in Finland, and in particular students’ views on dropping the optional language. The number of students choosing an optional language has decreased during the past decades. In earlier studies, teachers have suggested that a heavy workload might be one of the main reasons for this decrease. We interviewed nine students at upper secondary school and here we concentrate on those four who discontinued their optional language studies. The data were analysed via content analysis. The results show that the reasons behind dropping an optional language are manifold, and can be traced to individual values, but also to school structures and to how society seems to value languages. Heavy workload is also reflected in answers in different ways: the participants acknowledged that good language skills take time and effort which they were not always willing to invest in.