[ExI] How PISA surveys systematically overestimate Finland

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Fri Nov 9 15:15:51 UTC 2012

On 9 November 2012 02:48, Aleksei Riikonen <aleksei at iki.fi> wrote:

> http://finnish-and-pisa.blogspot.fi/
> It boils down to the Finnish language having certain properties which
> cause the questions in PISA surveys to be easier when phrased in
> Finnish.

Very interesting. It reminds me of stories about hindi and other
sanskrit-derived languages as especially conducive to good programming

OTOH, it is true that in Italian while the orthography and spelling are
fantastically easy, we have a not-so transparent lexicon (even though
probably more transparent than English, especially for Latin-derived
stems); but German would appear to share both features. Heck, Heidegger,
while being by no means an "easy" philosopher,  is himself an endless game
with lexicon transparency... Morevoer, shouldn't Japanese (three alphabets
plus a Chinese-derived ideographic system, and two radically different ways
to pronounce the same ideograms/words!) find themselves at the opposite end
of the spectrum?

Lastly, I was glad to hear that in Finland "Adventurous approaches (such as
starting with words or sentences as wholes) are not used", being myself a
survivor of such wildly posthumanist alternative educational methods.

I had to learn at once to write "oca" (goose) on my first school day
without having learned O, C and A first, and the fact that I still remember
that might well mean that even if I do not really realise it, my subsequent
intellectual development was irrimediably damaged by the trauma. :-)

Stefano Vaj
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