Kaisa Pankakoski

Kaisa Pankakoski

Research student, School of Welsh

After completing a four-year undergraduate degree in European Studies at the University of Portsmouth I gained a Master’s degree in International Journalism at Cardiff University. My dissertation titled Euroscepticism in Britain and Finland: attitudes and print media since accession (awarded distinction) looked at the two countries’ different histories and societies leading to different cultures of euroscepticism in a comparative analysis.

I spent ten years working as a freelance researcher, journalist, writer and translator in Wales, Finland and Chile before returning to academia in 2015. I am now a PhD candidate at the School of Welsh, researching trilingual children.

Professional memberships


A comparative study of trilingual families in Finland and Wales: sociolinguistics, intergenerational language transmission methods, language development barriers and children's perspectives.

The thesis investigates trilingual children in two bilingual societies' capital cities, Helsinki and Cardiff.

Observations and interviews are conducted to answer the following questions:

  • What are the intergenerational minority language transmission methods of potentially trilingual families?
  • What other factors, including sociocultural challenges and support or parental attitudes and background, influence minority or heritage language learning and trilingual language transmission in Helsinki and Cardiff?
  • What are the children's perceptions of acquiring their three first languages? Is there a link between families' strategies - including the possible extended families - and children's attitudes and/or active use of languages? Are there language strategies or factors that will have a more positive influence on trilingual children's perceptions and therefore motivation?

It is anticipated that the research results will offer detailed insights into sociolinguistic factors that influence the transmission of three languages; children’s perspectives; the role of extended families in language transmission; as well as strategies of trilingual families in Helsinki and Cardiff.

This study will add to our knowledge in an emerging field of multilingualism and the research results aim to strengthen the status of minority languages across the world. It will also provide resources for multilingual families.

News articles regarding the research project

From Cardiff University: Research student set for Finnish adventure
From the BBC: Byw mewn tair iaith
PhilSoc Blog Entry: Trilingual families in bilingual capital cities

Research interests

Multilingualism, trilingualism, bilingualism, sociolinguistics, linguistics, sociology of language and second language acquisition.