Migration and language learning: professional trajectories of highly educated Indonesian migrants in Norway

This PhD project investigates language practices and experiences of highly educated Indonesians learning Norwegian for professional purposes in Norway.

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Nuranindia Endah Arum (photo: Nadia Frantsen/UiO)

About the project

Learning the language(s) of the country of residence is one of many challenges that migrants might have to face in order to be professionally and socially included in the new country. This study investigates the experiences of highly educated recently arrived and long-term migrants from Indonesia in Norway in learning the Norwegian language. Illuminating the perspectives of multilingual and multicultural Indonesians, this study contributes new insights into research on migration and integration in multilingual workplaces, and the legitimization of second language speakers. It examines their reported language practices in different Norwegian professional settings and how their language learning experience is shaped by their migration and work trajectories, lived experience of language (Busch, 2015), and language, identity, and investment (Darvin and Norton, 2015). 

To understand the dynamics between language, South-North migration, professional trajectories, and integration processes, this study adopts a mixed-method approach which includes online questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, language diaries, and document analysis. It will address the following research questions:

1) What challenges and opportunities do highly educated migrants experience in learning Norwegian for professional purposes? In particular, what are the structural and agentive factors that interplay in their language learning experience?

2) How are Indonesian migrants positioned within the local job market and in the workplace?


2020 - 2023


Busch, B. (2015). Expanding the Notion of the Linguistic Repertoire: On the Concept of Spracherleben —The Lived Experience of Language. Applied Linguistics. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amv030

Darvin, R., & Norton, B. (2015). Identity and a Model of Investment in Applied Linguistics. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 35, 36–56. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0267190514000191

Published Sep. 27, 2021 2:03 PM - Last modified May 13, 2022 10:13 AM