Trainer Nina Niemelä

Doctor of Philosophy, distinguished teacher

I studied at the University of Vaasa, Finland, majoring in the Swedish language. I graduated as a Master of Arts in 2001 and a Doctor of Philosophy in 2008. In my studies, I specialised in multilingualism and second language learning and acquisition. In addition, I minored in marketing and interpreting.

In my thesis, I examine interaction in a classroom – especially the communications between a teacher and a student.

Internationally, I have actively participated in various projects where teachers have been trained in ways of integrating language and content. In the case of teachers, the teaching has been adapted according to the target country’s needs. I have provided these trainings for teachers at various academic levels for example in Australia, Bolivia, Spain and Russia.

I worked for several years as a university teacher of the Swedish language. Additionally, during the degree reform programme, I coordinated the integration of the degree languages. I have also participated, as a language and content integration expert, in a project of the Ministry of Education and Culture that aimed to develop Swedish language teaching in universities. In 2016, Svenska folkskolans vänner and the association of Swedish language teachers in Finland awarded me the Svensklärarpriset in recognition of my work as
a Swedish teacher.

I am happy when I can create a link between theory and practice for participants, to explain why things should be done as I have presented. I have been especially praised for my balance between theory and practice, concrete exercises and activating participants.

From an academic to an entrepreneur

Read the whole story

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International educator

During my career, I have travelled around the world to teach. In my training sessions as a supplementary educator, I have helped the teachers of the target country to apply the principles of language immersion and language and content integration to better suit their societal situation. For example, in Bolivia, the school language is Spanish and the native language of the children is one of 36 indigenous languages. In practice this means that the teacher and student may not have a common language when the child starts school.

Latest publications

  • Niemelä, N., Lehto, T. & Katto, K. (2016).Integrointitehtävien mallintaminen – Esittelyt fokuksessa. In T. Juurakko-Paavola & H. Rontu (Eds.), Korkeakoulujen ruotsin opettajat yhteistyössä – ROKK-hanke, p. 102-127. Helsinki: Aalto yliopisto. Retrieved from
  • Niemelä, N. & Jauni, H. (2017). CLIL teachers perceptions of teaching CLIL courses. In J. Valcke & R. Wilkinson (Eds.), Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education: Perspectives on professional practice. Selected Papers from the IV International Conference Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education 2015. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.
  • Niemelä, N. & Jauni, H. (2014). Content and Language Integration as a Part of a Degree Reform at Tampere University of Technology. In Higher Education Perspectives on Content and Language Integrated Learning. Vic: University of Vic, Spain
    39–53. ISBN: 978-84- 941644-9- 1.
  • Jauni, H. & Niemelä, N. (2014). Language Learning in Task Management and Task Accomplishment. In Higher Education Perspectives on Content and Language Integrated Learning. Vic: University of Vic, Spain, 183–203. ISBN: 978-84- 941644-9- 1.


Interaktion i helklass under ett tema i språkbad (UNIVERSITAS WASAENSIS 2008)

Nina Niemelä |Business ID: 2756735-7 |Kalevan puistotie 15, 33500 Tampere, Finland |tel. +358 45 208 4456 | info@

Website: | Frontpage background photo © Isto E Järvinen

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