Leena Maria Heikkola

Image of Leena Maria Heikkola
Norwegian version of this page
Room HW 405
Visiting address Niels Henrik Abels vei 36 Henrik Wergelands hus 0313 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1102 Blindern 0316 OSLO

Academic interests

  • In my post doc project, I will be studying how speech therapy affects the different languages of multilingual persons with aphasia.
  • In my PhD Thesis, I studied how cognitive fatigue, a typical symptom of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), affects the language of persons with MS.
  • For my MA Thesis, I investigated how language use, mainly the use of dialect and code-switching, reflects the national identities of Finns and italians living in Oslo.
  • Since 2014, I have also been working together with Jenni Alisaari from the University of Turku, Finland, to investigate how singing affects learning a second language. I am especially interested in how pronunciation and spoken language are affected by singing.
  • In addition, I am currently investigating how Finnish speakers learn to produce and pronounce Italian vowels.



2017 PhD in Linguistics, Department of Finnish Language, Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland (dissertation on March 17th, 2017)

2017 BA in General Linguistics & MA in Phonetics, The Faculty of Humanities, University of Turku, Turku, Finland (to be completed by December 2017). Minors: psychology, statistics, Italian translation studies, Studies in medical and humanistic reseach on human nature

2014 Separate Studies in University Pedagogy, University of Turku, Turku, Finland

2008-2009 Fulbright Exchange, Finnish Language Teaching Assistant, Finnish Program, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

2007 Research Exchange, Division of Speech Pathology, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

2005 Master's Degree in Linguistics / Finnish Language, Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland

2003 Bachelor's Degree in Finnish language and literature, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway. Minors: Norwegian language and literature, Norwegian society, Italian language and literature, English language and literature, Medicine

Work Experience

2010-2017 University teacher and researcher, Finnish Language, Åbo Akademi, Turku, Finland

2009-2010 University teacher, Finnish Language and culture for foreigners, University of Turku, Turku, Finland (later part-time 2010-2016)

2008-2016 Finnish for foreigners / as a second Language teacher, various institutes, Turku & Helsinki, Finland; Brisbane, Australia; New York, NY, USA

2006-2009 Norwegian teacher / Expert in Norwegian language, various institutes, Turku, Finland

2004-2007 Translator (Norwegian-English-Swedish-Finnish), various institutes, Turku, Finland

2001-2006 Credit course facilitator, credit course teacher, camp counselor, Salolampi / Finnish Language Village, Concordia Language Villages, Bemidji, MN, USA

2004 Research Assistant, Research Department, Center for Domestic Languages (Kotus), Helsinki, Finland

2003 Nurse's Assistant, Silurveien sykehjem, Oslo, Norway

External Funding

For PhD Thesis:

2014 Eino Jutikkala Fund 23 000 €

2008 Finnish Cultural Foundation 18 000 €

2007 Waldemar von Frenckell Foundation 5 500 €

2007 Åbo Akademi Foundation 9 200 €

2006 and 2007 Finnish Cultural Foundation 16 000 €


For Fulbright Exchange at Columbia University, New York, NY, USA:

2008 Fulbright Center 11 900 €


For organizing two intensive summer courses in Finnish for foreigners during summer 2017:

2017 Finnish National Agency for Education 74 960 €


Project: How does singing affect learning (Finnish as) a second language; Teachers' beliefs and practices regarding linguistically and culturally responsive teaching; Teachers' beliefs and practices regarding singing as a teaching method

together with Jenni Alisaari, PhD, Faculty of Education, University of Turku, Turku, Finland

Project: Cognitive Fatigue and Language in Multiple Sclerosis

together with neuropsychologist Päivi Hämäläinen, PhD, and head physician Juhani Ruutiainen, MD, PhD, Masku Neurological Rehabilitation Center, Masku, Finland


Tags: Second language acquisition, Aphasia, Phonetics, Pronunciation, Italian, Multilingualism, Neurolinguistics, Finnish, Clinical Linguistics, Multiple Sclerosis, Norwegian person:publications: GetXMLCommand failed and fallback failed.
Published Mar. 28, 2017 5:10 PM - Last modified Sep. 8, 2017 1:29 PM