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Svenska i engelskspråkig skolmiljö: Ämnesrelaterat språkbruk i två gymnasieklasser
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
Responsible organisation
2008 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Swedish in an English-language School Environment : Subject-based Language Use in Two Upper Secondary Classes (English)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to determine how English-language teaching in Sweden influences the subject-based communicative competence and language development in Swedish of upper secondary students. The focus is thus on the students’ mother tongue, i.e. the language which gets limited in the teaching practice within so-called content- and language-integrated learning (CLIL).

Data was primarily collected by participatory observation in two science program classes, one taught in English and one in Swedish, during their three years in upper secondary school. Additional data was collected through interviews, questionnaires, audio taping of classroom interaction and writing tasks. This created conditions for a comprehensive and nuanced description and interpretation of the linguistic behaviour of teachers and students in the CLIL practice, as well as of the experiences and perceptions they report.

Studies were carried out on classroom practice, student texts, and teacher and student experiences of CLIL instruction. These were linked to activity analysis, systemic-functional linguistics and ethnography of communication, i.e. research areas that emphasise the interplay between language, communication and social situation.

The general conclusions are: (1) CLIL students use less relevant subject-based language in speech and writing than do control students. This holds for all subjects except Swedish, where both CLIL and control students share linguistic conditions; (2) Swedish is a prerequisite for the students’ own active, subject-based participation in classroom interaction. There is almost no interaction when the language of instruction is English; (3) English is an obstacle, and is also considered as such. The students avoid using English, and the teachers consistently use code-switching strategies in response to the policy that “language should not be an obstacle”.

The results suggest that the CLIL environment is less conducive to learning, given current learning theories that focus on active participation. In the already teacher-dominated classroom, the linguistic and interactional demands that come with CLIL teaching seem to add to the challenge of assimilating advanced subject instruction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2008. , 312 p.
Stockholm studies in Scandinavian philology, ISSN 0562-1097 ; N.S., 46
Keyword [en]
CLIL (content- and language-integrated learning), subject-based communicative competence, language choice, code-switching, Swedish, upper secondary students, classroom interaction, communicative activities, activity types, text analysis, functional grammar, text activities, ethnography
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8247ISBN: 978-91-85445-99-8OAI: diva2:199897
Public defence
2008-11-21, hörsal 4, hus B, Universitetsvägen 10, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2008-10-30 Created: 2008-10-30 Last updated: 2013-02-21Bibliographically approved

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Lim Falk, Maria
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