Translanguaging Practices in English Language Teaching in Scandinavian Contexts

Marie Källkvist, Henrik Gyllstad, Erica Sandlund, Pia Sundqvist

Forskningsoutput: KonferensbidragKonferenspaper, ej i proceeding/ej förlagsutgivetPeer review


With the over-arching aim of contributing to the development of evidence-based teaching practices, this colloquium provides a forum for scholars doing research on language practices in the teaching of English as a foreign/second language (L2) in mainstream schools in Scandinavia. In Sweden, the English teaching profession has long been guided by monolingual, English Only, ideology, particularly at the secondary and upper-secondary levels where many students are proficient enough to use English as the medium of communication with their teacher (Authors 2017; Lundahl 2012). While the predominant ideology has been English Only, classroom observation studies in Sweden and Norway have shown that in practice many teachers enact a bilingual, English-Swedish or English-Norwegian classroom language policy (Authors 3 & 4 2016; Brevik & Rindal 2018; Lundahl 2012; Skolinspektionen 2011;). Given growing linguistic diversity in schools in Scandinavia, teachers may embrace English Only as the language policy for the future: English is the only shared language the English classroom (cf. Lundahl 2012). Alternatively – and in stark contrast – teachers may welcome translanguaging ideology and pedagogy, and intentionally draw on students’ entire meaning-making repertoires in the classroom. English teachers may thus find themselves at the centre of a tension between monolingual ideology and translanguaging ideology with little guidance from national-level syllabi. Educational policy documents in Sweden leave English teachers to rely on their own professional judgement for when to use languages other than English to facilitate students’ learning of English and fostering their identities as users of multiple named languages (Hult 2017). A research basis for translanguaging pedagogy is gradually developing. Four recent book-length publications on translanguaging in Swedish contexts (Paulsrud, Rosén, Straszer & Wedin 2017, 2018; Svensson 2017; Wedin 2017) reveal an impressive amount of interesting research in a range of educational contexts: primary education, mother-tongue instruction of different minority languages, deaf education, Swedish as a second language, subject teaching in English in English-medium schools, and higher education. At the same time, these books clearly reveal the lack of empirical research from L2 English classrooms in mainstream compulsory schools, i.e. the kind of school attended by the vast majority of students. The colloquium addresses this research gap by bringing together scholars who are researching the teaching of English in mainstream compulsory schools in Scandinavia. English classrooms are by their very nature multilingual spaces, so research is warranted here: All students are developing literacy in the majority language (Swedish in Sweden, Norwegian in Norway etc), in English (compulsory), often another modern language such as French, German or Spanish, and in mother-tongue instruction as an elective subject for students in Sweden who use a minority language at home. The colloquium includes presentations by five different researchers/research teams, representing different universities in Norway and Sweden. Using an ethnographic approach, presentation 1 focuses on teachers’ language practices in English for young learners in three primary schools in Sweden, all with a large multilingual student body. Presentations 2 and 3 present two separate studies researching translingual writing instruction in English classrooms in secondary and upper-secondary schools in Norway. Presentation 2 is based in linguistic ethnography, whereas presentation 3 reports results from a quantitative, quasi-experimental study. Presentations 4 and 5 turn our attention to beliefs about the role of multilingualism in the teaching and learning of L2 English in Swedish secondary schools among students (presentation 4) and among teachers of L2 English (presentation 5). While presentation 4 uses interview data from refugee-background secondary school students, presentation 5 reports results from a large-scale questionnaire study of English teachers in secondary schools across Sweden. To our knowledge, this is the first time Scandinavian researchers interested in multilingualism and the teaching of L2 English in mainstream schools gather in a colloquium to share and discuss their on-going, as yet unpublished, research.
StatusPublished - 2019
EvenemangThe 3rd Swedish Translanguaging Conference - Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sverige
Varaktighet: 2019 apr. 112019 apr. 12


KonferensThe 3rd Swedish Translanguaging Conference

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

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