Omaa paikkaa etsimässä: edistyneisyys suomea toisena kielenään puhuvien kokemana
In search of one’s own place: advancedness as experienced by speakers of Finnish as a second language
Avainsanat:suomen kieli, edistyneet kielenoppijat, legitimiteetti, toinen kieli
This article takes up a central question of Kirsti Siitonen’s dissertation – how advancedness in Finnish as a second language can be characterized – and investigates it from the perspective of research terminology as well as the lived experience of language users. We first discuss how and with what implications advanced learners of Finnish have been referred to in the research literature, i.e. whether they have been regarded as learners, speakers or other kinds of language users. Applying a small stories approach to interview data from different research projects, we then explore what advancedness means to such language users themselves. We conclude that advanced learners navigate a complex sociolinguistic context in which their place is not self-evident. Insights into their experiences contribute to debates about the migration – or recruitment – of highly educated professionals who need very advanced Finnish skills in order to work in their field in Finland.