Catarina Economou

Göteborgs universitet

Avhandlingen är på svenska även om sammanfattningen är på engelska.

Abstract

This thesis takes its point of departure in recent criticism directed at the Swedish school system, especially regarding the fact that students with a foreign background do not get the same opportunities or attain the same results as Swedish-born students.

The general aim of this thesis is to study and analyse multi lingual students’ situation from a critical didactic perspective, focusing on content and teaching in Swedish as a Second Language in upper secondary school.

The legitimacy of and views on the subject are examined, as well as how the students are selected and categorised. The role that fiction has in the context of the subject is also investigated and discussed.

The main sources of inspiration for the theoretical framework of the study have been the works of Nussbaum and Cummins. In addition, theoretical and methodological approaches are drawn from McCormick´s socio-cultural model, Rosenblatt’s reading forms, as well as Tengberg, and Goodlad’s curriculum theory. The methodology used in this thesis is ethnography as well as curriculum and text analysis.

The thesis consists of four articles. Article one, “The secondary school subject of Swedish as a Second Language – is it necessary?” examines the subject from different angles. The second “Swedish and Swedish as A Second Language – two equal subjects?” compares and analyses the two curricula.

The third “Reading Fiction in a Second Language Classroom” and fourth “Multilingual Pupils’ Reading of Doctor Glas” consider the role of fiction within the subject, examining how a group of second language learners interpret and discuss the novels and how they interact with each other in relation to the literary texts. Furthermore, the last two studies analyse what forms of reading the students use.

The thesis shows that the subject Swedish as a Second Language is still subordinated to the first language subject Swedish, with fewer cognitive challenges, as the aims of the curriculum reveal. Swedish as a Second Language focuses more on linguistic forms, often in isolated contexts, and less on meaning-making, e.g. reading of fiction and personal development.

It also indicates that second language learners, in this context, are competent readers, able to understand and make meaning of different novels, use different forms of reading as well as make use of their broad experiences of different cultures in relation to literary texts. Finally, the thesis concludes with a discussion about the content in a future, new and inclusive subject of Swedish that is necessary to develop in today’s multicultural and globalized society.