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MultiLingual Spaces

The Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology | Lund University

MultiLingual Spaces

Multilingual Spaces? Language Practices in English Classrooms

This research project focuses on classroom interaction and the learning of English in secondary-school classrooms in Sweden. We know from prior research that English teachers in Swedish schools tend to use English as the main medium of instruction in the classroom. We also know that most teachers resort to Swedish in order to manage the classroom, explain task and grading requirements as well as explain vocabulary and grammar. There is limited research in classrooms in which there is linguistic diversity, however. Therefore, we are addressing a number of questions that relate to language-diverse classrooms: Is the use of Swedish a hindrance or a help to students who are native speakers of languages other than Swedish? Should we – in fact – adopt an English-Only approach in linguistically diverse settings? What is the value of translation equivalents in students’ strongest languages for expanding their vocabulary in English? What language should teachers use when explaining grammar to students?

The overarching aim of the project is to develop research-based knowledge of language practices in English classrooms. We do our research in collaboration with six English teachers at four different secondary schools in Sweden. We focus on school years 7-9.

MultiLingual Spaces is funded by the Swedish Research Council over four years (2017-2020).