Texts, literacy events and practices (Luukka)

Texts, literacy events and practices (Luukka)

This sub-project of the HisLit-project is based on the Department of Languages (JYU) and it is led by Minna-Riitta Luukka.

In this study, we approach literacy within a sociocultural frame as a set of culturally defined practices used in various literacy events in which different texts are presented.  This approach expands the research towards the framework of the latest international literacy studies that adopt the systemic-functional framework, and the linguistic analyses focus on meanings and functions in authentic contexts rather than on forms and structures. Literacy is viewed as comprising both reading and writing; therefore, we will also analyse students’ writings – the texts they produce and the literacy events and practices involved in the writing processes.

In this sub-project, we study particularly texts used in history classrooms, collaborative reading and writing practices, student essays in history and students’ proficiency in historical literacy. A special attention is given to students with immigrant background. Moreover, in collaboration with other sub-projects we focus on teaching and assessing historical literacy.



Minna-Riitta Luukka, PhD, a professor of Finnish language (JYU), is an expert in text and discourse analysis and literacies, especially writing. She has conducted research on classroom interaction, academic discourses and texts, media texts and the youth’s everyday media uses, as well as published articles on mother tongue teaching, especially the teaching of writing and literacies. She has been in charge of two 3-year projects funded by the Academy of Finland. The previous one dealt with challenges for future literacy pedagogies and ninth graders’ literacy practices in both school and out-of-school contexts. She has served as an expert in the process of reforming the Finnish National Core Curricula and she is a member of the Finnish Matriculation Examination Board. In HisLit-project she will focus on analysing written and multimodal historical texts and literacy events around them in classrooms.

Sari Sulkunen, PhD, a senior lecturer (JYU), has studied literacy proficiency of Finnish children, adolescents and adults, and factors associated with and explaining literacy proficiency, as well as  reading engagement. She has worked on several international reading literacy studies, most recently on a project examining the relationship between literacy proficiency and age based on the PIAAC-data (Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies). She was a member of the European Union’s High-level Group on Literacy and is currently a member of the reading expert group for the PISA 2018 literacy framework. In HisLit-project, her main focus is on the conceptual relationship between multiliteracy and disciplinary literacy as well as on assessment for learning.

Johanna Saario, PhD, a lecturer of Finnish as a second language (JYU), has studied literacy practices in social studies, especially from the angle of students with an immigrant background and learning in their second language. She has also been a team member of the project focusing on ninth graders’ literacy practices in both school and out-of-school contexts, led by Minna-Riitta Luukka and funded by the Academy of Finland. In HisLit-project, she studies the literacy practices and knowledge construction of history in both classroom interaction and in students texts, with a special focus on multilingual students learning in their second language.

Doctoral students

Hilkka Paldanius (JYU) is a doctoral student of Finnish language. For her master’s thesis, she studied the genre of expository essays in the matriculation examination of health education. In HisLit-project she studies the essays that students produce in history lessons, with a focus on the genre and the discourse of the essays, and the use of historical documents as a basis for knowledge construction in students’ writing.