Recently arrived students in Swedish upper secondary school

– a multidisciplinary study on language development, disciplinary literacy and social inclusion. A research project within the research program migration and integration.

Project leader: Päivi Juvonen External link.

Project period: 2018-2021

Seat of learning: Linnaeus University

Project title: Recently arrived students in Swedish upper secondary school – a multidisciplinary study on language development, disciplinary literacy and social inclusion (NyGy, 2018-2022)


What is the project about?

The current project describes, analyses and discusses a hitherto under-researched area of recently arrived students’ schooling: their linguistic and academic development and social inclusion in upper secondary school. Recently arrived students who start their schooling in upper secondary school usually begin in a Language Introduction (LI) program, which offers Swedish as a second language as the main subject.

The rationale behind the program is that in order to be able to follow instruction in Swedish in the mainstream class, students need to learn Swedish. Education in the LI program is also to be individually adapted to each student’s needs, competences and capabilities according to an individual study plan conducted after evaluation of the students’ previous subject knowledge. It may thus, also include education in other academic and vocational subjects, both at compulsory school level and at the level of upper secondary school.

Hence, the introductory program is intended to be transitional and the students are supposed to quickly move on to one of the national programs. In the LI classroom, students who have started their schooling in compulsory school but are not qualified to start at a national program in upper secondary school study alongside students who have just arrived in Sweden. The result is a heterogeneous student body with varying profiles in terms of years in Sweden, school background, grounds for staying in Sweden, country of origin, future plans and proficiency in Swedish, factors known to co-variate with school success.

Research questions

  • What content is taught in LI?
  • How is the content taught in LI?
  • What kind of Swedish as a second language development can be seen during the time the students are enrolled in LI?
  • What kind of academic development, measured in terms of grades passed, can be seen during the time the students are enrolled in LI?
  • What kind of instructional support is offered to the students in LI?
  • What are the opportunities for inclusion in the mainstream for recently arrived students?

The data analysed is collected through linguistic ethnographic methods (participant observation, classroom recordings, linguistic landscaping), written documentation of the students’ development, texts written by the students, policy document, interviews, formative assessment and surveys.

To analyse qualitative data we apply linguistic ethnographic methods and to analyse language data we apply systemic functional linguistics and basic linguistic theory. In quantitative analyses standard statistical methods are applied. The data is collected in a large city and two minor municipalities in different parts of Sweden.

Participants

Participants in the project represent three different Higher Education institutions (Linnaeus University, Stockholm University and Dalarna University) as well as different scientific disciplines (educational linguistics, bilingualism research, educational sociology, pedagogic work) with different theoretical and methodological approaches (language development, disciplinary literacy, inclusion). The team has ample experience of research within their respective areas of expertise, as well as collaboration over disciplinary boarders.

The research is conducted in close collaboration with practitioners in order to collaboratively create new knowledge that can contribute to the development of the education of newly arrived students in upper secondary school, as well the organisation of the school form.

Publications

Bunar, N. & Juvonen, P. 2021. ‘Not (yet) ready for the mainstream’ – newly arrived migrant students in a separate educational program, Journal of Education Policy, (Open Access) DOI: 10.1080/02680939.2021.1947527.

Juvonen, P. & Källkvist, M. (eds) 2021. Pedagogical Translanguaging: Theoretical, Methodological and Empirical Perspectives. Multilingual Matters: Bristol.

Juvonen, P. & Källkvist, M. 2021. Pedagogical Translanguaging: Theoretical, Methodological and Empirical Perspectives - An Introduction. In Juvonen, P. & Källkvist, M. (eds) 2021. Pedagogical Translanguaging: Theoretical, Methodological and Empirical Perspectives. Multilingual Matters: Bristol. (Open Access: https://www.channelviewpublications.com/page/open-access/ External link.)

Källkvist, M. & Juvonen, P. 2021. Engaging Teachers and Researchers in Classroom Research: Issues of Fluidity and Time in Two Multi-sited Projects. In Juvonen, P. & Källkvist, M. (eds) 2021. Pedagogical Translanguaging: Theoretical, Methodological and Empirical Perspectives. Multilingual Matters: Bristol. (Open Access) https://www.channelviewpublications.com/page/open-access/ External link.

Wedin, Å. 2021a. Positioning of the recently arrived student: a discourse analysis of Sweden’s Language Introduction Programme, Journal of Multicultural Discourses, DOI:10.1080/17447143.2021.1913174

Wedin, Å. 2021b. (Trans)languaging Mathematics as a Source of Meaning in Upper-Secondary School in Sweden. In Juvonen, P. & Källkvist, M. (eds) 2021. Pedagogical Translanguaging: Theoretical, Methodological and Empirical Perspectives. Multilingual Matters: Bristol. (Open Access) https://www.channelviewpublications.com/page/open-access/ External link.

Wedin, Å. 2021c. Languaging in mathematics classrooms: Space for students’ varied language repertoires in the Language Introduction Program in Sweden. Nordic Studies in Mathematics Education NOMAD. 26(2) 67–85.

Wedin, Å. 2021d. Teacher professionality at a time of mobility: Positioning Teachers in the Language Introduction Programme in Sweden. Apples – Journal of Applied Language Studies. 15(2), 1–18.

Wedin, Å. & Bomström Aho, E. 2019. Agency in science learning in a second language setting: Multimodal and multilingual strategies and practices among recently arrived students in upper secondary school in Sweden. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education. 12 (1), 77–84. DOI: 10.26822/iejee.2019553339.

Wedin, Å. & Stenbäck, L. 2020. Föreställningar om läsande och läsundervisning hos lärare i svenska som andraspråk. Educare 2020:4, 109–135. DOI: 10.24834/educare.2020.4.5.

Popular science publications and debate articles:

Wedin, Å. 2019. Språk som resurs för meningsskapande i naturkunskap och matematik. Lisetten.

Wedin, Å. 2020. Skrivande på språkintroduktionsprogrammet. Lingua 4.

PublISHED ON

UpDATED ON

MORE WITHIN THE SAME SUBJECT AREA

  1. Rethinking Integration: a comparative mixed methods study of civil society action in vulnerable superdiverse neighbourhoods in Sweden

    A research project within the research program migration and integration.

  2. The rehabilitation and integration of the Holocaust survivors in Sweden

    – a historical study of Swedish aid for survivors of the genocide on the Jews of Europe. A research project within the research program migration and integration.

  3. Lived religion and social mobility among migrants

    A research project within the research program migration and integration.