Social injustice in learning of the second language among immigrant children in Finland: conventional narratives and perceptions

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This is a comparative ethnographic research, comparing the primary school level migrant learners’ performance in the learning of the national language of the host countries in Finland and Tanzania. A response from nine teachers, drawn from Tanzanian International Schools, attended by expats’ children, was collected through structured interviews. Additionally, two In-Depth Interviews, targeting Tanzanian Swahili teachers at the international schools, was conducted using the narration approach. The study uses MAXQDA to comparatively analyze the findings of fourteen research articles on immigrant pupils’ learning challenges
of the Finnish language as a second language in Finland, and gathered information from this study’s survey is used to analyze the use of Kiswahili as a second language in Tanzania. The research focuses on a comparative analysis of the learning and use of official languages of the host countries as second languages, used in facilitating learning among primary school learners. In Finland, the official language analyzed is Finnish, whereas in Tanzania, the official language analyzed is Kiswahili. The International schools in Tanzania offer Kiswahili lessons to all learners in primary school as guided by national education policy, whereas all public and international schools in Finland offer Finnish lessons for all learners under the education policy. The responses in both Finland and Tanzania are deconstructed qualitatively to illuminate the similarities and differences between European migrant learners and African migrant learners using a second language for learning, and to further deconstruct the nuanced epistemological injustice against minorities. The theories in this research are derived using the grounded theory approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-79
Number of pages18
JournalEUREKA: Social and Humanities
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2021
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Grounded theory
  • Kiswahili
  • Finnish
  • Ethnographic research

Field of science

  • General education
  • Multidisciplinary


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