MultiLing Winter School 2022: Communication in the multilingual workplace - Perspectives from sociolinguistics and conversation analysis

MultiLing's Winter School 2022 focuses on the multilingual workplace as a multi-layered space where linguistic skills intersect with social, cultural and psychological factors. There will be both public sessions open for the general audience and sessions for enrolled Ph.D. participants only.

Picture on the left: skyscrapers. Picture on the right: a male and a female workers wearing a protective helmet, discussing over work-related papers

Foto: Oliwia Szymanska / Nadia Frantsen, UiO

Research on communication in the workplace is situated at the intersection of social and linguistic concerns and can have many implications for workers’ conditions and rights, and for career development. The 2022 MultiLing Winter School focuses on the multilingual workplace as a multi-layered space where linguistic skills intersect with social, cultural and psychological factors. Our aim is to address communication in and around the multilingual workplace from various perspectives, examining communication skills and needs among both blue-collar and white-collar workers, and in both spoken and written modalities. Additionally, we will consider the multilingual workplace through multiple methodological lenses, including conversation analysis (CA), interactional sociolinguistics, and ethnographic fieldwork. In this way we aim to address a wide range of contexts and support PhD researchers with varied data, analytic methods, and interests. Participants in the course will also be invited to discuss the potential application of workplace communication research in different domains, potentially including employers, management, national policy, and workers’ unions.


For information about enrollment, admission and deadline, please visit the course webpage.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the PhD candidate will:

  • Have knowledge about current theoretical and methodological approaches to research on communication in the multilingual workplace, including different workplace settings and different communicative modalities
  • Be familiar with the contributions of conversation analysis, interactional sociolinguistics, and linguistic ethnography as methodological approaches to researching workplace communication
  • Be able to evaluate and critically analyze theoretical concepts and methodologies employed in research on communication in the multilingual workplace
  • Present their own research, and engage in discussion of their peer’s research
  • Participate in discussion of the potential application of workplace communication research in a variety of domains


Participants are granted credit on the basis of 1) participation (minimum 80% of course activities); 2) a presentation and discussion of own work; and 3) serving as a discussant for the presentation of another participant.


There are two main activities during the PhD course: Sessions (open for general audience) and Cases (closed, for enrolled participants only).
- In sessions, lecturers present different topics from their field of research. The length of the session varies, but in all sessions, there will be time for discussions after the presentation.
- In cases, PhD candidates present their work in progress.  Each slot is structured as follows: presentation of data/methodological issues based on the submitted abstract followed by discussant comments from one of the other participants. This is followed by a general discussion.

**We hope that participants will attend in person, however we will support hybrid participation if this becomes necessary.**

Reading list

You can download the reading list here.


The participants must be enrolled in a PhD program in linguistics or a related field of study. There is no course fee, but participants will have to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses. If you are unsure whether your research would fit within the scope of the course, please contact the organizers to discuss.

Application procedure

All applicants are kindly asked to submit (together with their application):
1) A 250-word description of the data and method(s) that they would like to present for discussion during the course. The students will be asked to give a short presentation introducing their study and a challenge they have encountered, and discussing it in the light of relevant publications on the reading list for the course.
NB! UiO-applicants: Send the description to the organizers.
2) All external (non-UiO) applicants: A brief letter of recommendation from their supervisor indicating that the course is relevant for the applicant.
3) Go to the course front page, to find links to Søknadsweb and/or Studentweb, where you register your application. 


Profile picture of Oliwia. She wears a white shirt and smiles.Oliwia Szymanska (UiO)




Profile picture of Haley. Haley De Korne (UiO)






Profile picture of Jan. He is wearing glasses and smiling.Jan Svennevig is a professor at the University of Agder and a research professor at MultiLing Center for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan at the University of Oslo where he does research in the filed of Conversation Analysis. His major interest is the establishment of understanding in conversations where one party is an L2-speaker. Other areas of his research are pragmatic particles in Norwegian and communication in institutional encounters, such as meetings and police investigative interviews. He is the Principal Investigator in the project Communicating rights in police investigative interviews (2018-2021), researching how police investigators inform suspects with second language background about their rights. He is also a part of NorPol: L2 communication among Polish migrants in Norway, where he works with communication in construction sites. Recently (2015-2020) he led a project on Language and communication in multilingual speakers with dementia.

Profile picture of Tina. She stands against a wall and smiles.Tiina Räisänen works as a university lecturer in Linguistics and Discourse in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Oulu, Finland. Her research focuses on professional communication and discourse in various working life settings, where she investigates interaction, intercultural communication and multilingualism in the workplace through ethnographic and discourse methods.  In particular, she is interested in professionals as language learners and users and their trajectories of socialization in the global working life and knowledge economy. She has investigated the use of English as corporate language in global knowledge work, translingual practices in global business and identity construction in English as a Lingua Franca contexts, among other topics.

Profile picture of Pawel. He is wearing a red shirt and glasses.Pawel Urbanik is an associate professor of Nordic Linguistics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). His research centers around grammatical phenomena and action formation in interaction, second-language use in workplace settings, police interviews with L2 suspects, alignment of gesture and syntax, and comparative analysis of Polish and Norwegian. He uses Conversation Analysis and Interactional Linguistics as methods. His latest research focuses on how L1 and L2 language users orient to the overall structural organization of talk by selecting certain grammatical structures and how they use gestures to depict actions they name in speech. He is a part of the projects Communicating rights in police investigative interviews and NorPol: L2 communication among Polish migrants in Norway at the University of Oslo.  

Profile picture of Toril. She wears glasses and smiles.Toril Opsahl is an associate professor at the Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies, and since 2017 she has been a MultiLing Core Group member.  Currently she is PI of the NorPol project (L2 communication among Polish migrants in Norway) financed by the Research Council of Norway (2020-2024).
Her research interests are multilingual language practices, multiethnolectal speech styles, language attitudes, language in the workplace, multilingualism and education, discourse markers and phenomena associated with the grammar-pragmatics interface. She wrote her PhD thesis as a part of the national research project UPUS (Linguistic development in urban environments) and has been  awarded the Alliance Kunnskap Oslo’s prize for the best research contribution on an Oslo-related topic in 2009.

Image may contain: Person, Smile, Chin, Dress shirt, Neck.Oliwia Szymanska is a Postdoctoral Researcher at MultiLing Center for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan and a member of the NorPol project. Previously she worked as a senior lecturer in Norwegian as a Second Language at the Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies (UiO) from 2018-2020. She researches different aspects of second language acquisition and language transfer, with a special interest for conceptual transfer. At present her main focus is on the comprehension of Norwegian metaphorical expressions among L2-learners, and communication in Norwegian specialist healthcare. She also has many years of experience teaching Norwegian to physicians within specialist healthcare.

Profile picture of Kristin. She smiles.Kristin Vold Lexander holds an MA in Franchophone Africa and a PhD in Linguistics, and is currently a Researcher at the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. She has worked extensively on multilingualism and literacy, digital interaction and transnational families in the Senegalese context. From 2020-2024 she is principal investigator of the DigiMulti-project ('Digital interaction and multilingualism at work and in school: The case of Lithuanians in rural Eastern Norway') funded by the Research Council of Norway through its Young Research Talents scheme. 


Profile picture of Madgalena. She is wearing a red blouse. She has short hair and glasses.Magdalena Domeradzka holds a PhD in Linguistics from the   University of Poznan, Poland, and works as an assistant professor at the Department of Scandinavian Studies at SWPS University in Warsaw. Her research interests range from linguistic categorisation, semantics and sociolinguistics to discourse analysis, especially political discourse. Apart from teaching undergraduate and graduate students of Scandinavian studies in Poland she also has extensive experience teaching Swedish for special purposes to doctors coming from a number of European countries who have been recruited to work in Sweden. She co-operates as a translator and publicist with Swedish Public Radio, and between 2015 and 2020 she co-hosted Polenpodden, a Swedish language podcast on current events in Poland.

Tags: Sociolinguistics, Psycholinguistics, Communication in the workplace, Multilingualism
Published Nov. 5, 2021 11:50 AM - Last modified Jan. 21, 2022 11:42 AM