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The Role and Importance of Bilingual Minority Schools’ Pupils for Inter-Nordic and Bilateral Language Communication in a Majority Context
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1993-4404
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
2009 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The long-term efforts to strengthen the Inter-Nordic semi-communication between the Scandinavian languages have by large been successful, but mainly between speakers of Danish-Norwegian-Swedish. Finland’s position in this since long established inter-Nordic cooperation has been strengthened by the high-level bilinguality among Finland Swedes, the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland. The potential of Sweden Finns (a Finnish-speaking minority in Sweden) as a bridging factor has not been actively developed to become an asset in the Inter-Nordic labour market. One reason is the failure of the Swedish educational system to fully promote the bilingual capacity of Sweden Finnish adolescents, other possible reasons are likely to be revealed by the study.

This paper presents an ongoing research project that focuses on the bilingual capacity of young Sweden Finns and on finding out how this capacity is taken into account as a potential resource in Inter-Nordic semi-communication. This concerns both the youth themselves, and the potential employers of some sectors of society. A follow-up aim is to promote the bilingual capacity of minority speakers, in the first place that of Sweden Finnish youth, but in a wider perspective, that of other bilingual speakers of lesser-used and major Nordic languages.

The study is intended to function as a case study concerning in particular Sweden Finnish youth. Its aim is to create a model possible to copy to other similar situations involving bilingual education and its role for closing the gap between the Scandinavian and Finno-Ugric languages, in the first place. In a wider perspective the project concerns how Nordic languages are promoted in the process of globalization in comparison to specifically English, in this inter-Nordic perspective.

The study consists of several steps which aim at describing whether and how the bilingual capacity of Sweden Finns is taken into account as a potential to retain and strengthen Inter-Nordic semi-communication. The study contains three aspects:

a)            A survey study to Nordic, bilateral Swedish-Finnish, Swedish and Finnish institutions and organizations. The aim of the study is to chart the organizations’ consciousness about the potential of Sweden Finnish minority speakers’ language resources, and how this is taken into account.

b)            An interview study/language competence evaluation among a selection of school-leavers from independent bilingual schools in Sweden. The aim of this study is to find out what the linguistic capacity is among adolescents at school-leaving age, both through self-evaluation and by studying some language competence indicators.

c)             A survey study among former pupils of independent bilingual schools, regarding their evaluation of the use and value of their bilingual capacity in the labour markets at Nordic level, in Sweden and Finland.

The paper presents the research design, aims in greater detail and some preliminary results as well as a selection of analyses from the survey studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009.
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-8038OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-8038DiVA, id: diva2:293237
Conference
XII International Conference on Minority Languages, 28-30 May, Tartu, Estonia
Available from: 2010-02-11 Created: 2010-02-11 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved

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Gynne, Annaliina

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CiteExportLink to record
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