UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Dr Riitta Valijarvi

Associate Professor (Teaching)



Joined UCL
1st Sep 2007

Research summary

The topic of my PhD was the grammaticalisation and lexicalisation of Finnish converbs in modern written Finnish. My research interests include language pedagogy, Uralic languages, endangered languages, translation studies, song lyrics, and verbal morphology and syntax. I have co-authored a grammar of North Sámi, a minority language spoken in Norway, Sweden and Finland, and co-edited a volume on Multilingual Metal Music. I am currently co-editing a reference volume on Uralic languages for Routledge, and analysing representations of Finland in textbooks of Finnish from the late 1800s to the present day. I am also working on West Greenlandic and Meänkieli grammar, and exploring ways to decolonise the curriculum by teaching students more about Arctic minority languages and cultures. 

Teaching summary

I have worked for Uppsala University, Medborgarskolan i Uppsala, Morley College, the European Union, the Foreign Office, and the University of Westminster. I have designed exams for the European Personnel Selection Office and the Foreign Office. I have experience of teaching all levels A1-C2 both in person and online.

Courses taught

Finnish Language Level 1 (SEEF0001)

Finnish Language Level 2a - Comprehension (SEEF0005) 

Finnish Language Level 2b - Production (SEEF0007)

 Finnish Language Level 3a - Comprehension (SEEF0011)

Finnish Language Level 3b - Production (SEEF0013)

Finnish A (SEEF0017)

New Language: Finnish (MA) (SEES0030)

Intermediate Language: Finnish (MA) (SEES0020)

Minority Languages of Russia: Cultural and Linguistic Diversity and Endangerment (SEEE0010)

Finland: Environment Society Culture (SEEF0009)

Finnish Society and Culture 3 (SEEF0015)

How Words Work: Sounds and Sense (SEEE0002)

How Words Work: Meaning and Modularity (SEEE0003)

I also contribute to the course

Histories and Cultures of the Nordic Region (SCAN0011)


Uppsala Universitet
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2007
Uppsala University
Other higher degree, Master of Arts | 2001
University of Turku
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts | 2001


I have been teaching Finnish language and culture since 2001. I finished my PhD thesis for Uppsala University, Sweden, and joined UCL in 2007. I became Associate Professor (Teaching) of Finnish and Minority Languages at UCL in 2019.