Tuula Jäppinen

Finnish as a work language of immigrants in companies: experiences of Finnish language use, language attitudes and language learning.

Sirkku Latomaa

My PhD thesis combines several approaches to the study of multilingualism: language maintenance and loss, language planning and policy and demolinguistics. The purpose of the study is to examine what the immigration-related language policy is like, how it has been implemented and how it has been changed during the past twenty years. On the one hand, language policy is analyzed on a macro-level, as expressed explicitly in legislation and other official documents, and, on the other hand, on a micro-level, as unwritten implicit policy which is manifested, for example, in various solutions, practices and beliefs on the level of municipalities, schools and families. On the basis of demographic data, the study aims to show some possible ways to obtain a more accurate picture of multilingualism in Finnish society. For example, for the sake of global economy, it is advantageous to bring forth the plurilingualism possessed by current and future labor force of immigrant origin. In addition, more accurate information about the students’ language background is needed for the purposes of language-in-education planning.

Tuija Lehtonen

The research explores the health care part of the AIKIS project (Development project for language education of adult immigrants) administered by the National Board of Education. Teachers involved in AIKIS produce web-course materials for Finnish and Swedish language. In the part under study, the aim is to promote the development of language skills needed in the health care sector, and to support job seeking and vocational studies.

The research questions are:

  • How are work-related language skills defined by the AIKIS health care content planners and how and when do they think these skills are learnt?
  • How do the users of the material define work-related language skills and how and when do they think these skills are learnt?
  • How do work-related language skills manifest themselves in AIKIS-materials in relation to the questions above? How and when are these skills being developed in web environmnent? How do the materials support social interaction in the workplace and learning language from the environment?

Maiju Strömmer

My PhD thesis explores Finnish language learning at so called survival or entrance jobs, e.g. in the cleaning industry. Typically the language proficiency requirements at entrance work are low, and therefore they offer employment opportunities to immigrants also right after their arrival to Finland.

The study focuses on second language use and learning at work. Also the support received from members of a work community is taken into account. Work-related interaction is analysed to find out what kind of language learning opportunities the work environments offer. The aim is to observe multicultural work communities and locate good practices that support Finnish language learning and integration.

Aija Virtanen

International nursing students' beliefs about their work-related language skills and their development

The aim of this study is to explore what kind of beliefs international nursing students have about their work-related language skills: how do they learn the second language, in what kind of situations, and how does the environment support or hinder language learning? The focus is both on the students and on the working community during the practical trainings.