Junior researchers

  • MA Ulla Aikio-Puoskari (University of Oulu)

Ulla Aikio-Puoskari is a PhD student at the University of Oulu, majoring in Saami Culture. The title of her dissertation is The Sámi Education in the Comprehensive Schooling of Nordic Countries – A Comparative Study from the Perspective of Linguistic Human Rights. Her research interests are: position of the Sámi language in Education, instruction in Sámi and through the Sámi language, bilingualism, educational policy, language policy, linguistic human rights, indigenous education.

List of selected publications


  • MA Jie Dong

Jie Dong is in her second year of doctoral study on rural-urban migration, migrant children’s identity construction and linguistic/sociolinguistic exchanges in China within the context of globalization. She did her BA in economics at the Beijing International Studies University and completed her MA in second language education at the Institute of Education (IoE), University of London. During her MA at the IoE Jie Dong developed the research interest in linguistic/sociolinguistic diversity among internal migrant communities in China. She is passionate about improving migrant children’s access to formal education in urban China. Her research interests include language ideology in China context, language and identity, and migration studies in China as well as worldwide. She currently undertakes her fieldwork on internal migrants’ identity construction and migrant children’s education opportunities in Beijing.


Samu Kytölä is a doctoral student at the Department of Languages at the University of Jyväskylä. Samu’s doctoral dissertation in progress deals with the varying use of English in Finland-based football forums on the web. He combines sociolinguistics, pragmatics and discourse analysis in his analysis of plurilingual, polyphonic discussion threads with both Finnish and non-Finnish participants.

Samu’s current research interests include language and equality, linguistic repertoires and affordances, language ideologies, language and identity, World Englishes, English in Finland, written code-switching and mixed codes, the multilingual internet, computer-mediated communication, virtual communities, and discourses of football.


Pia Lane is a doctoral research fellow at the Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies at the University of Oslo. She has recently defended her thesis A Tale of Two Towns: A Comparative Study of Language and Culture Contact where she compared two bilingual communities undergoing language shift: Bugøynes – a Kven community in Northern Norway – and Lappe – a Finnish community in Ontario, Canada.

Her research interests include: bilingualism, sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, minority language policies, cognitive morphology and computational linguistics.


    • Dr. Solveig Luedtke (PhD)

    Solveig Luedtke has done her PhD on Globalization and Localization in rap music by the example of American and German rap texts at the University of Hannover. During the time of her research, she spent one year in Australia to compare Australian and American rap texts, in particular the use of varieties such as African American Vernacular English and Australian and Aboriginal English within rap lyrics of the respective communities of practice. The examination includes the study of code switching and language crossing as well as the choice of metaphors and construction of genre roles and application of certain speech acts. She is also taking a strong interest in gender aspects of language use. Her main research areas are variolinguistics, metaphor theory, and critical discourse analysis.


    Máiréad Moriarty has a keen interest in multilingualism particularly from the macro point of view, with multilingual contact at the level of society being of particular interest. The presence and places for minority language in contemporary society has so far dominated her research. She is currently in the process of completing her PhD thesis, which examines the role of minority language television as a mechanism for language policy. The thesis is a comparative study of the Irish and Basque situations. moriarty.jpg

    Shaun Nolan completed a PhD in 2006 at the Department of Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Limerick, Ireland, entitled French Language Policy and the Multilingual Challenge, from Maastricht to an Enlarged Europe: A study of developments from 1992 to 2004 with particular reference to the case of Gallo. His current research interests include French language policy for the French-speaking world, Europe and in France itself; the formulation of language diversity policy (primarily in France and in the Francophonie); the investigation of language attitudes in minorised sociolinguistic communities (primarily in France). nolan.JPG

    • MA Lin Pan (University of London)

    Lin Pan is a PhD student at the School of Culture, Language and Communication, Institute of Education, at the University of London. She has completed her MA degree at the Capital Normal University, Beijing (China). Lin Pan has worked as a project officer in the Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges in the Minister of Education in China and as a lecturer in the College of Foreign Languages at the Beijing Language and Culture University. Lin Pan’s research interests are: language ideology, stylistics and TESOL / Second Language Acquisition and her current research concerns a study of learners’ and institutional ideology towards English / English learning in China.


    • MA Torkel Rasmussen

    Torkel Rasmussen is a doctoral student from Norway, from the Finnish bank of Deatnu river. He is a Sámi and was some sort of a Sami speaker till he became 20 years old. As a young adult he learned to speak the Sámi language and today he uses it as the main language at home, work and in the leisure time.

    During his studies of Sámi languages at the University of Tromsø he got interested in sociolinguistics. In 2005 he wrote his master thesis on demographical changes of the north Sámi speaking population in Norway and Finland in the 20th century with an emphasis on the maintenance and revitalization of the language in the recent years. In 2007 he will start to work on his PhD. He will question how and why maintenance and revitalization of north Sámi happen in the Deatnu valley both on Norwegian
    and Finnish side.


    • MA Massimiliano Spotti

    Massimiliano Spotti graduated as a Bachelor of Education from the University of Oxford in 1999. From there, he moved onto reading for an MA in Applied Linguistics (socio-cultural approaches) at Goldsmiths College, University of London. From September 2004, he is covering the post of Research Trainee for Babylon Research Centre at the Faculty of Arts at Tilburg University, the Netherlands. His current doctorate project is a collection of two ethnographic case studies in multicultural classrooms in the Netherlands and Belgium - Flanders. There he investigates the construction of immigrant minority pupils’ identities and the negotiation of identity taking place in everyday classroom interactions among pupils and (monolingual) primary school teachers.

    Further, his research interests range from the construction of regimes of citizenship in the Dutch language area, to more theoretically rooted issues such as the link between authenticity, moral reliability and the production of multiracial identities through language. At the moment, he is also working together with Ad Backus to formulating a project that explores the mechanisms of contact induced language change and links it with contact induced identity change.

    • MA Boglárka Straszer (University of Uppsala)

    Boglárka Straszer is a doctoral student at the Department of Modern Languages at the Uppsala University. Her current research interests are: sociology of languages (language choice, language shift and language maintanence), immigrants and minorities (linguistic and cultural issues), ethnolinguistic identity, cultural encounters, Finno-Ugric languages and cultures.

    Her topic for the doctoral thesis is Linguistic identity among Hungarians in Sweden and Finland. Her study is sociolinguistically oriented and focuses on the linguistic identity among second generation adult Hungarians living permanently in Finland and Sweden.


    She concentrates on their language competence, language choice, and attitudes towards 'Hungarianness', as well as on the position of the Hungarian language in the two countries. The aim is to compare the linguistic identity and attitudes among Hungarians in Sweden and Finland respectively, and try to pin-point factors on societal and individual levels influencing their language situation and the future prospects for language maintanence or language shift among them.

    Marianne Toriseva is a postgraduate student of Finnish in the Department of Languages, University of Jyväskylä. She works in the FiDiPro project funded by the Academy of Finland. She is also a member of the Jyväskylä research team of the Centre of Excellence for the Study of Variation, Contacts and Change in English (VARIENG, also funded by the Academy of Finland).

    In her doctoral study she investigates the uses and functions of English in written Finnish texts. The focus of her study is on the multilingual environment of the Finnish youth's and young adults' skateboarding culture. The data consist of written texts from Finnish skateboarding magazines and skateboarding sites in the Internet which contain English expressions, words, phrases, clauses and longer sequences of texts and interviews of writers and readers of these texts.

    The main goals of her study are to find out what kinds of language forms are used in different situations and what kinds of social and discursive functions the variation of Finnish and English has in written skateboarding discourse.

    Marianne Toriseva

    • MA Natalia Vaiss

    Natalia Weiss is a PhD student at the Centre for Applied Language Studies in the University of Jyväskylä. She graduated from Tallinn University in 2004. She did her BA in Estonian culture, Estonian as a second language, and translation theory and completed her MA in comparative linguistics and the Estonian language.

    Her current research interests include such areas as bilingual education, second language policy and planning, language attitudes, and motivation in learning through a second or a foreign language.

    Her ongoing research is concerned with the implementation of the educational reform, according to which as of 1st September 2007, all state Russian upper secondary schools of Estonia should start the transition to at least 60 % of their instruction delivered through the Estonian language. In particular, her research focuses on examining the attitudes of Russian-speaking students towards bilingual education and their psychological readiness for the future changes in the educational system.

    • MA Anastassia Zabrodskaja

    Anastassia Zabrodskaja is a researcher at the Department of Estonian Philology at Tallinn University, Tallinn, Estonia. She received her MA in 2005. From 2005 she has been a doctoral student in linguistics.

    The metaphor "Life with Two Languages" became a part of her life in 1999 when she began her studies at the university. Using Estonian and Russian was suddenly her everyday reality.


    Choosing different languages for different purposes and code-switching have all been part of her daily language use. Therefore, the issues discussed in NORFACE Seminar Project are very close to her heart. As a multilingual speaker, a second language educator and a researcher, Anastassia has always been fascinated by the notion of multilingualism. Her research interests comprise Russian-Estonian language contacts and language change in Estonian Russian.

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