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Shared Resources or Individual Skills? Adult Immigrants Learning Finnish in Finland

Shared Resources or Individual Skills? Adult Immigrants Learning Finnish in Finland
121 St. Joseph St., Rm. 400
Time: Nov 3rd, 1:00 pm End: Nov 3rd, 3:00 pm
Interest Categories: Sociology (FAS), Slavic Studies (FAS), Linguistics (FAS), Language Studies (UTM), Geography & Planning (FAS), Education, Diaspora/Transnational, Comparative Literature (FAS), Communications, Communication, Culture, Information and Technology (UTM), Anthropology (UTM), Anthropology (FAS), 2000-
Lecture by Minna Suni, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland

The Department of Slavic Studies is pleased to present:

Minna Suni, Finnish Language Lecturer and Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland

Shared Resources or Individual Skills? Adult Immigrants Learning Finnish in Finland

Muzzo Family Alumni Hall, Room 400

  • Is there any sense in learning a small or "less commonly taught" language when English is so widely known?
  • Does the social context promote or hinder such learning?
  • How to maintain one's professional identity at work as a not yet competent speaker of such a second language?
  • How are the gradually developing second language skills valued by employers, colleagues and others?

These questions are commonly asked by people moving to Finland or other countries in which the majority language is a "less commonly taught" one. The answers given by immigrants themselves will be analyzed to show that individual learner beliefs and learning experiences are worth a closer look. The findings show that learning is commonly seen as an individual effort, but the real-life experience reveals the shared nature of language and modifies these perceptions.

The data comes from the project Finnish as a work language: A sociocognitive perspective to work-related language skills of immigrants (Department of Languages, University of Jyväskylä, Finland). The theoretical and methodological framework combines dialogical (e.g. Bakhtin 1986) and socio-cultural (e.g. Lantolf & Thorne 2006) approaches to second language development.


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