A1 Journal article (refereed)
Migrant women, work, and investment in language learning : Two success stories (2019)

Iikkanen, Päivi (2019). Migrant women, work, and investment in language learning : Two success stories. Applied Linguistics Review, Ahead of print. DOI: 10.1515/applirev-2019-0052

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Iikkanen, Päivi

Journal or series: Applied Linguistics Review

ISSN: 1868-6303

eISSN: 1868-6311

Publication year: 2019

Volume: Ahead of print

Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton

Publication country: Germany

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2019-0052

Open Access: Publication channel is not openly available

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/65761


In the media, migrant mothers are often portrayed as uneducated, having trouble learning a new language, and preferring to stay at home rather than entering paid employment. This article offers a contrasting point of view as a result of examining how two migrant women narrativize their experiences of language learning and working-life-related integration during a three-year period. Specific attention is paid to how the women make sense of their language use over time, and how this may have contributed to their integration into working life and the wellbeing of their families. Interview data was analyzed using the short story analytical approach, focusing on both the content and the various scales of context portrayed in the stories. The analysis is informed theoretically by the concept of investment. The findings indicate that, first, English was used when interacting with members and institutions of the Finnish society, but gradually the use of English was replaced by an emerging Finnish proficiency. At first with the help of English and later, by deciding to invest in learning Finnish, both key participants managed to build new careers and meaningful lives for themselves and their families in a new environment.

Keywords: integration of migrants; language learning; Finnish language; migrants; labour immigration; women

Free keywords: integration; investment; language learning; migrant; short story analysis

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Ministry reporting: No, publication in press

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2020-18-08 at 13:48