Irina Piippo, the project leader, is a Docent in General Linguistics and a sociolinguist specialising in the Arabic language at the University of Helsinki. In recent years, Irina’s research has focused on Finnish contexts of newly arrived migrants in educational settings and on the sociolinguistic aspects of multilingual language acquisition. Her research approach is ethnographic in nature.
The linguistic questions in this project are grounded in her previous research on multilingual Arabic language contexts in Finland (Finnish Cultural Foundation 2016–2017, Kone Foundation 2018–2020) and Arabic language instruction classrooms in Palestine (Kone Foundation 2013–2015). Within the framework of these projects, Irina has collected extensive video material from classroom situations. From 2020 to 2023, Irina also served as the Director of the Finnish Institute in the Middle East in Beirut, Lebanon.
In the MIGDIA project, Irina utilises interactional research methods to examine everyday multilingual and multilingual practices, particularly in Arabic native language classrooms. She has a specific interest in the agency of teachers in diasporic teaching contexts. Irina has explored the ideological dimension of linguistic practices. In MIGDIA, Irina examines the complex interplay of ideologies in everyday linguistic practices and its connection to institutional structures in education.