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The development of academic vocabulary in Swedish

Chapter in book
Authors Per Holmberg
Published in Investigating content and language integrated learning : insights from Swedish high schools / edited by Liss Kerstin Sylvén.
Pages 173–186
ISBN 9781788922401
Publisher Multilingual Matters
Place of publication Bristol
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Swedish
Pages 173–186
Language en
Keywords academic vocabulary
Subject categories Swedish language, Educational Sciences


CLIL research on language development and learning has normally focused on the target language for CLIL education, typically English. In this chapter, the potential language effect of CLIL education is seen from another perspective, focusing on the language with reduced curriculum time – in this case, Swedish. The aim is to map upper secondary school students’ appropriation of a general academic vocabulary of Swedish, in both CLIL and non-CLIL groups. General academic vocabulary is an essential dimension in advanced proficiency that upper secondary schools need to nurture in preparing students for university studies in English as well as Swedish. The investigation builds on two previous studies where different approaches were used to distinguish the general academic vocabulary in the same corpus of upper secondary school students’ texts. One of the two studies applied a statistically established list of words that are overrepresented in Swedish academic texts, the Swedish Academic Word List (Lim Falk & Holmberg, 2016). The other study identified a type of words that functions as a core lexical resource in academic discourse, grammatical metaphor (Jansson, 2016).

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