Chronotopic identities of learners of Korean as a heritage language in Finland

Who decides their language priorities?


  • Dukkeum SUN Univerisy of Jyväskylä


heritage language learners, identities, chronotopes, heritage language classroom


The noticeable growth of the number of immigrant pupils has led to the growing needs for heritage language education in Finland. However, language studies have tended to be mainly focused on the national languages and English at regular schools. In this article, I attempt to explore the identities of the young heritage language learners based on the learners’ personal multilingualism and lived experience. Bakhtin’s concept of the chronotope, the time-space configuration manifested in the learners’ utterances, has served as a key resource for analysing the data of learners’ discourses on their language identities. Four distinctive chronotopes have been detected and implicated to frame various identities as language learners; the contemporaneous, the biographical, the social-historical chronotope and the ‘adventure time of everyday life.’ The findings show how the exploration of these chronotopes about the learners’ language repertoires and practices make visible the young learners’ playful sense-making process of constructing their identities. It has further led to an implication for language classrooms, where the learners’ agency to make sense of the identities from their own lives needs to be respected and encouraged.



2023-10-18 — Updated on 2023-12-21


How to Cite

SUN, D. (2023). Chronotopic identities of learners of Korean as a heritage language in Finland: Who decides their language priorities?. Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies, 17(3), 44–62. (Original work published October 18, 2023)