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Ideological tensions: A study of intersections of Swedish policies affecting language in education
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, English. (Utbildning och Lärande)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9024-330X
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Ideological tensions: A study of intersections of Swedish policies affecting language in education

Education in Sweden aims to promote equity and equality, articulated in the motto “one school for all”. This presentation addresses the layers of three policies affecting language practices in the Swedish education system: the Swedish Language Act, the national curriculum, and the teacher education programmes regulated by federal guidelines. Multilingualism is officially recognised in the Language Act (Språklag 2009), which promotes and protects Swedish as well as the “language diversity in Sweden”, and stipulates that those with a mother tongue other than Swedish “are to be given the opportunity to develop and use their mother tongue”. However, the national curriculum for the compulsory school does not clearly represent Sweden’s long experience and expertise with mother tongue instruction, mother tongue study guidance, and the subject Swedish as a Second Language, despite the presence of over 140 languages in Swedish schools. Instead, a monolingual ideology for a multilingual school persists, exemplified by implicit language hierarchies and little acknowledgement of the increasing linguistic diversity in today’s schools. Vague spaces for multilingualism in the official curriculum place great responsibility on teachers as well as teacher educators. Interviews with pre-service teachers reveal that they do not feel properly prepared for teaching in the linguistically diverse classroom, indicating a deficiency in teacher education programmes. Furthermore, there is uncertainty among teacher educators concerning who is responsible for teaching about multilingualism in teacher education. Thus, tensions exist in the intersection of the Swedish Language Act, the national curriculum, and the teacher education programmes. These three policies have been investigated through policy analyses and interviews. The presentation outlines how the affordances and constraints of the policies affect the ideological and implementational spaces for language policy processes, with a consideration of the implications for multilingual practices in the Swedish compulsory school.

 

Swedish Language Act (2009). Språklag 2009:600.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education and Learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-31486OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-31486DiVA, id: diva2:1381879
Conference
CfP – BAAL Language Policy SIG 2nd annual conference, 30-31 May 2019, University of Edinburgh
Available from: 2019-12-29 Created: 2019-12-29 Last updated: 2020-01-01Bibliographically approved

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No full text in DiVA

Other links

https://www.baal.org.uk/2018/11/12/cfp-baal-language-policy-sig-2nd-annual-conference-30-31-may-2019-university-of-edinburgh/

Authority records BETA

Paulsrud, BethAnne

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf