Paulina Chavez Rodriguez profile picture
Chavez Rodriguez
Doctoral Researcher, Department of Education
Doctoral researcher


Areas of expertise

language education
immigrant integration


I have been a doctoral researcher at the Department of Education at the University of Turku since 2020. I have a lifelong interest in language learning, starting from learning languages as a child, to teaching languages during my 20s, to now researching about how language learning is part of processes of identity negotiation.

As an early career researcher I have a long way before I can consider myself an expert in any field so I am eager to learn, network, and work to develop my expertise.


I have taught English mostly to children. I was a 1st and second grade class teacher in Mexico for 2 years in a Spanish-English bilingual private primary school and an English teacher at a bilingual preschool for one year.

I have also taught classical ballet to children, teenagers, young adults, and adults and tutored teenagers and young adults in Mathematics.

In Finland, I have taught Spanish and English to preeschool and schoolaged children in afternoon clubs and summer camps.


My research focuses on how adult immigrants negotiate their identities through Finnish language learning, especially as part of integration training. I understand identity as understanding of selves in relation to others, and in relation to our past, present and future possibilities. Language from a postructrualist perspective is more than signs and symbols for communication, it includes culture, history, social cues and power. Through language learning and linguistic interactions in and about the target language, adult immigrants learn to negotiate our senses of selves and long lasting identities as our relations to our previous selves, our current social networks, and our possibilities for the future.