Afinlandia Award 2020 to MA Karoliina Möttönen

AFinLA (Association Finlandaise de Linguistique Appliquée) awards the Afinlandia prize annually for a distinguished Master’s thesis, and every three years for a Doctoral dissertation. This year, the prize is awarded in the Master’s thesis series. Numerous thesis of outstanding quality were nominated from multiple areas of applied linguistics and numerous Finnish universities. The awardee was announced in conjunction with the AFinLA autumn general assembly, which was organized online on 12 November, 2020.

This year the awardee is:

Karoliina Möttönen (University of Eastern Finland) for her Master’s thesis Language policy and language ideoalogies in a multilingual Sweden Finnish school community.


The awarded thesis is socially relevant and timely for a number of reasons, as it adds to our understanding of the language policies and ideologies at play in schools in which a minority language is spoken. The thesis is theoretically ambitious, and Möttönen has demonstrated a strong grasp of the international theoretical background, which is exceptional in scope. The ethnographic research strategy is methodically challenging, and has required considerable work in the data collection phase. The data consists of an ethnographic field diary and the interviews of 15 research participants. The argumentation in the thesis is clear and logical. The thesis affirms earlier findings but also succeeds in generating new information particularly about the agency of lower secondary school students in the school community.

The abstract for the thesis is available at

In addition to the two Afinlandia awards presented, AFinLA also wishes to recognize the following three Master’s thesis with an honorable mention:

·     Aleksandra Nyholm (University of Helsinki): ”Must have sufficient skills”: Understanding the English requirements of international Master’s programs at Finnish universities. Link:

·     Merja Ponkala (University of Tampere): Muistiot ministeriöiden työssä. Monimenetelmällinen tutkimus virkakielen konventioista ja niitä ylläpitävistä diskursseista. Link:

·     Pauliina Puranen (University of Jyväskylä): Suomalaisen työelämän kielet ja asiantuntijuus maallikoiden verkkokeskusteluissa. Link:

For details, please contact:

Lotta Lehti, AFinLA ry. (Afinlandia-coordinator),      , tel. 0400 661268

AFinLA ry.:

Karoliina Möttönen,