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  • 1.
    Roux Sparreskog, Christa
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    ”Välkommen till 3a!”: – En etnografisk fallstudie om språkutvecklande undervisning i ett språkligt och kulturellt heterogent klassrum2018Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Title: ”Welcome to 3a!”– An ethnographic case study on language-focused teaching in a linguistically and culturally heterogenic classroom

     

    The overall aim of this ethnographic case study is to study language-focused teaching in a multicultural Swedish school and a third grade composed of pupils with different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. The study focuses on the support of multilingual pupils offered by teachers and educators, on what didactic choices teachers make and what didactical methods are used during reading and writing lessons and on what language-focused teaching strategies the teachers and educators use.

    The results show that the school staff meet parents and pupils with openness, curious humility and advocate the use of dialogue for effective cooperation between school and home. Different vocational categories and educators with different linguistic and cultural backgrounds collaborate. They work solution-focused and language-oriented. The study shows didactical choices and methods used by teachers and educators and their reflections on the choices and methods. Working with words and texts is an important part of the lessons. Instructions, expressions of learning goals and delivery of working strategies are frequent. A variety of different methods is used, where many questions are asked and individual words or student responses are often repeated. The teachers work with clear frameworks and structure. The proximity and a good relationship with the pupils are valued. Professional cooperation is seen as a success factor and is a common feature of school life. The heterogeneity of the pupil group determines the choice of working methods. Building a Swedish vocabulary while developing knowledge is one of the most important objectives of teaching. The use of the Swedish language dominates the teaching

    A language-focused teaching strategy the teachers and educators use is the presentation of good examples. Strategies regarding writing, as well as behavioural instructions, were given.  Confirmation and praise were expressed and subject-related questions and clues were given. The class teacher clearly orchestrates the classroom, where subject content and concepts are put in context and parallels are drawn. The class teacher refers to previous lessons and other subjects as well as adjusts her language to the students' linguistic levels. Different forms of visual support are used regularly.

    Overall, this dissertation highlights:

    (a) Working at a culturally and linguistically heterogeneous school means a daily balancing act between socialisation and inclusion. Future democratic citizens must be trained, the Swedish school and the subject of language have to be developed, while taking into account the linguistic habits and cultural expectations of the home. Swedish school culture is to be conveyed without emptying the families of previous experiences.

    (b) Pupils in need of a higher linguistic or knowledge-based challenge need to stand back for the collective structural and linguistic needs for support. Pupils with the greatest need for linguistic compensatory bridges between home and school receive support through multilingual staff directly at school if they belong to one of the language groups represented at the school.

    (c) In spite of experienced, committed and cooperative staff, L1 education remains a difficult task to complete. L1 education seems to meet many practical organisational and status-related challenges. By employing multilingual staff, alternative solutions were found. L1 education is experienced by several pupils student as being something voluntary and unnecessary.

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