Finnish as a work language

A sociocognitive perspective to work-related language skills of immigrants

The aim of the project Finnish as a work language is to find out how immigrants learn Finnish needed at work, and what constitutes sufficient language skills in different situations.

The main focus is on the factors affecting the development of work-related language skills of immigrants working in the health care sector, but the study also looks at immigrants working in business or in the field of research and education.

Research topics range from field-specific language needs and developing work-related language skills to interaction and counselling practices in multicultural and multilingual work communities. Special attention is paid to the role of the surrounding work community members in language learning. Also language and education policies and current development projects (e.g. AIKIS) related to immigration are examined.

The theoretical framework of the project is sociocognitive, combining dialogical and sociocultural perspectives. Methodologically the project is mainly based on ethnographic approaches and qualitative case studies. The project continues research work started within the project Dialogues of appropriation: Dialogical perspectives to language learning and teaching (2008-2010); see also Scaffolding and affordances.

The project has received three-year funding from The Emil Aaltonen Foundation (2011-2013).

PI: PhD  Minna Suni


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