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  • 1.
    Bardel, Camilla
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Language Education.
    Erickson, Gudrun
    Österberg, Rakel
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Romance Studies and Classics.
    Learning, teaching and assessment of second foreign languages in Swedish lower secondary school – dilemmas and prospects2019In: Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies, ISSN 1457-9863, Vol. 13, no 1, p. 7-26Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents an overview of second foreign language (SFL) education in Sweden, especially at lower secondary level. It offers a survey of the historical development of the study of other languages than English as well as a reflection over the current state of the subject. Currently, there is a shortage of research on the circumstances and conditions of the learning, teaching and assessment of the Swedish school subject Modern languages, as well as on young people’s proficiency in other languages than English in Sweden. In order to contribute to a knowledge base for further research, the current paper reviews work considering the Swedish context concerning: a) frame factors, policy issues and organization of SFL studies b) attitudes towards plurilingualism and SFL motivation, c) teacher education and recruitment policies, and d) levels of attainment at the end of compulsory school. Throughout the paper, the European context is also taken into account. The paper ends with a discussion of the general status of the subject Modern languages in Swedish school and society, the fact that this subject is not mandatory, and the consistently high dropout rate that characterizes the current situation.

  • 2.
    Berglund, Jenny
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Education.
    Liturgical literacy as hidden capital: Experiences from Qur’an education in Sweden2019In: Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies, ISSN 1457-9863, Vol. 13, no 4, p. 15-25Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article focuses on a form of supplementary Islamic education that centres on Qur’an studies and examines the reported experiences of Muslim students that regularly shift between this and their mainstream secular school. Its aim is to better comprehend the dialectical interplay between this type of supplementary education and mainstream secular schooling. Within this framework, the article explores how the traditional way of reading, reciting, and memorizing the Qur’an might relate to the type of teaching and learning that occurs within mainstream public schools. It also explores the possibility of a secular bias within the Swedish school system, the contribution of Qur’an studies to mainstream schooling (and vice versa), Qur’an-based vs. mainstream notions of “reading”, especially in relation to the idea of “understanding” and “meaning”, and how competency in Qur’an recitation becomes valuable secular “capital” when translated from language of “liturgical literacy” to the language of “skills”. To balance and enhance our understanding of student experiences, this article employs a constructive understanding of Pierre Bourdieu's concepts of cultural capital and habitus as well as Andrey Rosowsky’s notion of liturgical literacy.

  • 3. Granfeldt, Jonas
    et al.
    Bardel, Camilla
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Language Education.
    Erickson, Gudrun
    Sayehli, Susan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, Centre for Research on Bilingualism.
    Ågren, Malin
    Österberg, Rakel
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Romance Studies and Classics.
    Special issue on Learning, teaching and assessment of second foreign languages in school contexts2019In: Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies, ISSN 1457-9863, Vol. 13, no 1, p. 1-5Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

     The current special issue of Apples – Journal of Applied Language Studies features a subset of the papers presented at the symposium Learning, teaching and assessment of second foreign languages in school contexts held at Lund University, Sweden, in December 2016. The symposium was organised by the TAL-project (Granfeldt et al., 2016), a research project funded by the Swedish Research Council and focusing on the learning, teaching and assessment of second foreign languages (SFLs) in Swedish schools1.

  • 4. Granfeldt, Jonas
    et al.
    Sayehli, Susan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, Centre for Research on Bilingualism.
    Ågren, Malin
    The context of second foreign languages in Swedish secondary schools: Results of a questionnaire to school leaders2019In: Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies, ISSN 1457-9863, Vol. 13, no 1, p. 27-48Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article reports the results of a survey focusing on the educational context of second foreign languages (SFL) to which 147 Swedish secondary school leaders responded. The study aims to provide a picture of how SFLs like German, French and Spanish are organised in a representative selection of Swedish schools across the country. The results of the survey show that there are major differences between languages when it comes to the language offer and the number of pupils and teachers in the respective languages. Moreover, there are also important differences between schools, some of which can be related to educational, socio-economic and regional aspects of the responding schools. A general conclusion of the survey is that conditions for SFLs currently vary across languages and across the country. One of the main challenges for the future seems to be to maintain a varying offer of languages in a majority of schools.

  • 5.
    Hedman, Christina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Language Education.
    Ganuza, Natalia
    Uppsala universitet, Sverige.
    Introductory commentary: Lived experiences of qur’anic schooling in Scandinavia2019In: Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies, ISSN 1457-9863, Vol. 13, no 4, p. 7-13Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Reading the contributions to this special issue, it is striking how little research has hitherto been conducted on qur’anic schooling and Qur’an faith literacy practices in Scandinavia, despite it being well-known that the Qur’an schools constitute important religious and social meeting points for many Muslim faith members (e.g., Risenfors, Gurdal, & Sorbring, 2011). In all of the Scandinavian countries, numerous children and adolescents regularly attend qur’anic schooling from a very young age. As argued by Day and Rogaly (2014), shared Islamic faith literacy practices and participation in qur’anic schooling thus contribute to creating a sense of social belonging and coherence for many faith members. Despite this being the case, we still know very little about faith members’ lived experiences of qur’anic schooling. This lack of attention in the research seems to be a global rather than a local phenomenon. For example, Moore (2011) claims that qur’anic schooling is “[o]ne of the least-studied and most poorly understood educational institutions in today's world.” Consequently, all of the papers in this special issue make a valuable contribution in widening the research focus, and in counteracting the invisibilization of qur’anic schooling and faith literacy in the research.

  • 6. Hildén, Raili
    et al.
    Fröjdendahl, Birgitta
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Language Education.
    The dawn of assessment literacy – exploring the conceptions of Finnish student teachers in foreign languages2018In: Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies, ISSN 1457-9863, Vol. 12, no 1, p. 1-24Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper addresses Finnish student teachers’ conceptions of assessment literacy in foreign languages. Student teachers’ assessment literacy (STAL) is a focal constituent of teacher cognition and can, according to prior research, be enhanced by principled instruction (DeLuca & Klinger, 2010; Volante & Fazio, 2007). STAL is suggested to imply knowledge, practice and ethical considerations. The nature and priorities of STAL are guided by local needs. Hence, topical issues in the Finnish language education were taken into account alongside general assessment theory. The research questions targeted firstly the emergent factorial structure of STAL, and secondly, the validity of a predetermined theory-driven model in alignment with official national priorities. The data were gathered on a web-based survey to 77 students prior to the lectures, and to 65 students after the lectures. The survey consisted of 75 statements about attitudes and practices related to various domains of assessment. Mainstream inferential statistics was used to compare the pre- and post-dataset. The componential structure of STAL attitudes remained more stable than the construct of practices across the study unit. The major dimension of both measurements was Acquired confidence in assessment of multiple aspects of language ability in the classroom. The envisaged or real practices underwent a substantial transformation towards a more learner-centered architecture highlighting flexibility and communication. Of the predetermined domains, working skills and professional self-esteem seemed to be most sensitive to a short-term pedagogical intervention. The tentative results pave the way for progressive development in raising the impact of teacher education for improved assessment literacy skills.

  • 7.
    Toth, Jeanette
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Language Education.
    Stakeholder beliefs in English-medium instruction for young learners in Sweden2018In: Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies, ISSN 1457-9863, Vol. 12, no 2, p. 37-54Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    While several studies have investigated English-medium instruction (EMI) or content and language integrated learning (CLIL) in Swedish upper secondary and tertiary education, few have investigated such programmes in Swedish primary schools. This paper explores perceptions among staff and students about affordances and constraints in the learning of content and languages, drawing on data from a larger longitudinal case study of an English-Swedish bilingual primary class during Grades 4-6. Data consisted of semi-structured interviews with a school leader, 12 teachers and 22 students as well as fieldnotes and photographs from classroom observations. Thematic analysis of the data revealed the belief among staff that learners acquired English naturally by being ‘forced’ to use it in English-medium subjects taught by native speakers of English. The use of Swedish among students in these subjects was generally seen as a potential scaffold when communicative difficulties arose, as students who were more proficient in English could translate and provide their classmates with explanations of difficult concepts in Swedish. However, staff and students nonetheless voiced concerns about students’ content learning as well as about limited development of subject-specific language in Swedish, which could have implications for their future Swedish-medium studies. Meanwhile, although multilingual students’ mother tongues were valued by the students themselves, participants did not acknowledge them as legitimate learning resources for use in the mainstream classroom, where only English and Swedish were allowed to be used in interaction.

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