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Språklig mångfald – resurs eller belastning? : En kvalitativ intervjustudie om rektorers syn på flerspråkighet som resurs för lärande och språkpolicyarbete / Linguistic diversity – resource or liability? : A qualitative interview study on heads of schools’ views on multilingualism as a resource for learning and language policy work

Authors
  • Kjörning-Bertheau, Maria
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2022
Source
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
Keywords
Language
Swedish
License
Green
External links

Abstract

The aim of this study is to investigate how heads of schools perceive multilingualism as a resource for learning and to what extent the process of writing and implementing language policies has provided a support for developing a multilingual view on languages in schools. This is done in accordance with the multilingual turn, which states that although a multilingual view on languages has spread in the global North in recent decades due to globalization and migration, a monolinguistic hegemony still persists in countries such as Sweden. Qualitative interviews were carried out with three heads of schools in Sweden and the findings of the study are discussed in relation to theories on school development and a framework for critical reflection on multilingualism. The results show that although the interviewed heads of schools express a positive understanding of and attitude towards multilingualism and language policies, traces of a deficit discourse can be found in their answers and their teachers struggle to make multilingualism a natural part of their everyday school practice. Multilingualism and multilingual children and pupils are at times seen as problems rather than resources. Furthermore, the monolingual norm is still visible in the interviews and teachers seem stuck in the assimilation stage and heads of schools unable to overbridge the gap between ostensive and performative aspects of school development. Implications of the findings are that heads of schools as well as teachers need to further develop a multilingual and diversified view on languages as a resource for learning in order to facilitate learning for multilingual children and pupils. 

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