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Language and content learning in vocational subjects in Swedish upper secondary education

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Ingrid Henning Loeb
Ann-Sofie Holm
Lotta Olvegård
Per Holmberg
Publicerad i NORDYRK, konferens, Roskilde 8-10 juni 2016
Publiceringsår 2016
Publicerad vid Institutionen för svenska språket
Institutionen för pedagogik och specialpedagogik
Språk en
Ämnesord second language learning, vocational education, upper secondary education
Ämneskategorier Utbildningsvetenskap


Vocational education (VET) is often regarded as a suitable ‘practical’ alternative for students who do not meet the eligibility requirements for higher education preparatory programs or for newly arrived young immigrants, a group of students which are increasing in upper secondary VET. However, the role of language in learning and the interrelationship between content and language has been pointed out by many (Fang & Schleppegrell 2008; Cummins 2003; Gibbons 2006). Also, the OECD and the Swedish National Board of Education advocates language and content learning through systematic support in all school subjects (OECD 2006; Skolverket 2012). Yet, there is no research on language and content learning in upper secondary VET. This paper draws on findings in a current pilot project of field studies in different VET programmes in four schools in western Sweden. Different techniques for field work (Czarniawska 2007) have been used, including audio recordings of VET teachers’ instructions and their dialogues with students. The researchers come from the educational sciences and humanities. Practice theories in education (Kemmis & Smith 2008) and systemic functional linguistics (Rothery 1996) are used for analysis. The paper will present some findings of critical aspects and examples that enable language and content learning.

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