Praxis and language: Teaching newly arrived migrant children to “live well in a world worth living in”


  • Mervi Kaukko Monash University, Australia
  • Jane Wilkinson Monash University, Australia



praxis, ethics, language schools, TESOL, Finland, Australia, newly arrived students


This article continues the well-established discussion of the ethics of TESOL by adopting a praxis perspective that views TESOL as holistic, ethical and moral task, rather than a technical task of delivering learning outcomes in a new language. This article is informed by the authors’ empirical research in Finnish preparatory classes, and in intensive English language schools in Australia, including interviews with teachers, students and educational leaders. Drawing on literature and this research we consider how English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EALD) and Finnish as a Second Language (F2) teaching can promote “a good life” for the individual learner and human kind.


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Author Biographies

  • Mervi Kaukko, Monash University, Australia

    Mervi Kaukko is a Finnish researcher and a teacher, currently based at Monash University, Australia. Mervi’s current research has three primary areas: migration and refugee research, intercultural education and practice theories/praxis. For example, Mervi is interested in finding out what kind of educational arrangements enable refugee students’ learning and school wellbeing in their new home countries.

  • Jane Wilkinson, Monash University, Australia

    Jane Wilkinson is Associate Dean, Faculty of Education, Monash University. Jane researches educational leadership for social justice focusing on youth of refugee origin in schools and universities. Jane’s latest book is Navigating complex spaces: Refugee background students transitioning into higher education (with Naidoo, Adoniou and Langat, Singapore: Springer, 2018).


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How to Cite

Praxis and language: Teaching newly arrived migrant children to “live well in a world worth living in”. (2018). TESOL in Context, 27(2).
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