Language practices of Finnish mothers in the UK
An intercultural journey
Avainsanat:Finnish, English, multilingualism, intercultural, Finnish mothers, children
In today’s globalised world, an increasing number of people are involved in short and long-term migration between countries, many of them young families with children. Since Finland joined the EU in 1995, studying, working and marrying across boarders have become easier than ever before. This trend has created linguistic and cultural challenges, particularly for couples who have different nationalities, native languages and cultures. When children grow up in multilingual contexts, language practices are inherently different from monolingual or even bilingual families. There are no ready models for intercultural couples with children, who could potentially be using three or more languages. This report explores the language practices of Finnish mothers living in intercultural families in the UK and whether they wanted to pass on their native language(s) to their children. The findings are based on semi-structured interviews of 12 participants who elaborated on their language competencies, the influence of education, extended family and cultural markers.