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Who owns the words?: Teaching vocabulary in a multicultural class
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Swedish Language.
2013 (English)In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 4, no 2, p. 261-278Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The increasing diversity of Swedish society is affecting the Swedish school. Applying the perspective of critical literacy (Janks 2010), this study examines how teachers’ attitudes in a multilingual classroom affect the ability of pupils to develop semantic and critically reflective competence. The study shows that the class teachers hardly considered the pupils’ multilingualism and cultural background when devising a procedure using literary tests to engage pupils in talking, listening and writing and to increase their lexical knowledge. With its one nation, one people and one language (May 1999), the Western cultural heritage seems to be taken for granted as natural. The teachers’ domination, the pupils’ powerlessness, and the lack of diversity do not give the pupils access to the learning that the teachers expect, and the pupils are not provided with an opportunity to develop critical-analytical thinking. The study also shows that the teachers feel inadequately trained for teaching in a society of diversity, and often experience powerlessness in their role as teachers, searching for good tools to guide their pupils.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Co-Action Publishing on behalf of the School of Education at Umeå University, , 2013. Vol. 4, no 2, p. 261-278
Keywords [en]
diverse society, multilingual classroom, critical literacy, teacher education
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Humanities, Swedish
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-33258Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85057168379OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-33258DiVA, id: diva2:707557
Available from: 2014-03-24 Created: 2014-03-24 Last updated: 2019-08-29Bibliographically approved

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Svensson, Gudrun

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • Other style
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  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
  • rtf