Reporting on a new research project describing and analysing English in Finland in the early twenty-first century.
In a recent article, Taavitsainen and Pahta (2008) conclude that English in today's Finland has entered a new phase in which it is increasingly used alongside the country's national languages (also McArthur, 2002; Graddol, 2006). The new uses, they suggest, constitute a new form of second language in which English is used (a) as a lingua franca, and (b) as a language serving ‘glocalized’ needs to express local meanings in a global setting. Their evidence consists of various forms of language mixing in public discourse. Other forms of evidence, with similar conclusions, come from the recent national survey on Finns' uses of and attitudes to English, carried out at the University of Jyväskylä in 2007 (Leppänen et al. 2009). This survey provides evidence on the changing role of English in Finland, and attempts to answer questions such as where, how and by whom English is used alongside the other languages in the country.