Language in the workplace: Migrant cleaners in Finland

Maiju Strömmer, a member of the Jyväskylä Discourse Hub and a PhD Candidate in the University of Jyväskylä’s Department of Languages, has just published a blog post on the Language on the Move research site, based on her fieldwork with migrants who work as cleaners in Finland.
Read the full blog post by clicking here!

[Blog post excerpt:] “Cleaning is a so-called entry-level job, where students and newly arrived immigrants get their first chance to work. In Finland, as in many other Western countries, cleaning is the most common job for immigrants. The language barrier is often regarded as the main reason for migrants’ difficulties getting a job. It is doubtful, however, whether migrants working in low-paid low-skilled jobs really do have any opportunities to move on. My PhD tackles this question by exploring the opportunities cleaners have for learning the language of their new country.”

Cleaner at work. Source: Strömmer (2016).

Language on the Move (currently edited by Ingrid Piller and based at Macquarie University) is a peer-reviewed sociolinguistics research site devoted to multilingualism, language learning and intercultural communication in the contexts of globalization and migration.

For more on Maiju Strömmer’s research, visit her website. She uses linguistic ethnography and discourse analysis to examine what kinds of opportunities and constraints for interaction and language learning exist in cleaning work.

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