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Utmaningar och möjligheter för utländska lärare som återinträder i yrkeslivet i svensk skola
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Language Education.
2015 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Challenges and possibilities for foreign teachers who reenter the professional sphere in the Swedish school (English)
Abstract [en]

This doctoral dissertation investigates the challenges “foreign teachers” experience in the encounter with the Swedish school and the possibilities they have to manage challenges and to establish their legitimacy. The participants of this study were newly employed in the pre-school, the primary school and the secondary school.

The material includes interviews with 21 teachers and complementing observations at the workplaces of five of these teachers. Principals and colleagues have also been interviewed as well as administrators and teacher educators of supplementary teacher training programs.

The shift of language of instruction was reported as causing challenges and demanded time and energy from the teachers in preparing the lessons. Here the teachers mentioned knowledge and correct use of the subject specific vocabulary and the ability to use everyday language in the process of building a bridge to the language of the subjects. Difficulties in the interaction with colleagues and parents were reported; when being positioned as less competent due to their second language speaker status. Some examples also reveal that everyday interaction demands knowledge of social practices that are not always familiar to these teachers.

The value of individual assets (e.g. professional experience, profound subject knowledge and multilingualism) is enhanced when school principals recognize the resources of these teachers and make use of them in the communities of practice at school.

In using activity theory, difficulties in the interaction with students or problems with questioning parents could be analyzed with regard to communities of practice, rule systems or division of labor in the activities of the school.

This thesis emphasizes the importance of a critical discussion of existing norms, values and hierarchies in local school contexts if schools in Sweden in general are to be seen as learning and working contexts for teachers as well as students of all backgrounds.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för språkdidaktik, Stockholms universitet , 2015. , 212 p.
Doktorsavhandlingar i språkdidaktik - Dissertations in Language Education, 5
Keyword [en]
immigrant teachers, foreign teachers, language in the workplace, immigrants in the workplace, teacher socialization, activity theory
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Education in Languages and Language Development
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-110842ISBN: 978-91-7649-069-3OAI: diva2:773560
Public defence
2015-01-30, hörsal 10, hus E, Universitetsvägen 10 E, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Flerspråkighet Litteractitet Utbildning (FLU)
Available from: 2015-01-08 Created: 2014-12-18 Last updated: 2015-07-06Bibliographically approved

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