There is a general opinion in Finland that insufficient Finnish language skills are the main reason for the problems that immigrants have in finding employment. Two major educational reforms are now tackling this issue: one concerns the integration training available for unemployed immigrants, the other all upper secondary vocational education provided in Finland.
Both share the idea of promoting learning at the workplace and for working life needs. This ethnographic project investigates how the second language skills of immigrants develop in these transforming educational models.
Theoretically the project draws on usage-based approaches to second language development. It brings together ecological perspectives and Complex Dynamic Systems Theory in a nexus analytical framework. The findings can be applied in the development of working-life oriented language pedagogy.