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Spaces for multilingualism in the Swedish school: Affordances and constraints in the national curriculum and teacher education
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, Centre for Research on Bilingualism.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9024-330X
2016 (English)In: Education and migration: Language foregrounded, 2016Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Swedish education ideology is captured in the motto: One school for all. However, growing numbers of multilingual pupils from diverse cultural backgrounds in the Swedish school system are presenting new challenges to both teacher educators and teacher students. With approximately 20% of Sweden’s population comprised of immigrants and at least 140 languages spoken by pupils in the compulsory school system, questions of affordances and constraints for multilingualism in the school are highly relevant today. While the official response to linguistic diversity is positive, with provisions for both mother tongue tuition and minority language instruction, the question is how spaces for multilingualism are being created in general policy and practice.

The present research is part of an ongoing project investigating multilingualism and interculturality in the Swedish compulsory school, through analyses of the discourse of education policy and selected teacher training programs, together with semi-structured interviews with teacher educators, student teachers in pre-service training and working teachers. The triangulation of methods allows for a deeper understanding of how the concepts multilingualism and interculturality are represented: on the one hand, explicitly and implicitly in teacher education in relation to national policy, and on the other hand, in the attitudes of individual teachers and students in response to the multilingual and multicultural classroom.

This paper will present two aspects of the current study of ideological and implementational spaces for multilingual education. The first part is an analysis of the development of the national curricula from 1994 to 2011 (with addenda 2015), focusing on the implicit and explicit conceptualizations of multilingualism in the texts; and the second part is an exploration of educators’ perspectives on spaces for multilingualism in their own teacher training programs. The affordances or constraints these spaces offer are fundamental to our possibilities to promote linguistic diversity and social justice in the schools of today’s global societies. Although the focus is on the Swedish context, the present research is of interest to other educators as well as to researchers and practitioners involved in creating education policy for compulsory schools in other multilingual contexts.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Educational Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-144207OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-144207DiVA: diva2:1109508
Conference
Education and migration: Language foregrounded, Durham, United Kingdom, October 21-23, 2016
Available from: 2017-06-14 Created: 2017-06-14 Last updated: 2017-06-20Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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