Doktorsavhandling, 2019.

Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för konst, kommunikation och lärande, Pedagogik, språk och Ämnesdidaktik.

Åsa Bjuhr

This thesis highlights elements of the schooling for newly arrived students aged 16-19 within the Swedish school system in six different municipalities, where the transition between the language introduction programme and national programme at upper secondary school is central. The main purpose is to provide knowledge of pupils’ experiences of the aforementioned transition. In this thesis, the concept of transition has a broader and more abstract meaning than just the actual move from one activity to another, and the thesis also focuses on the time spent in the language introduction programme and the first months in a national program at upper secondary school.

Three studies are included in this thesis, where discourse analysis, curriculum theory and organizational theory of the school are used as a theoretical framework. The first study is an analysis of syllabuses from 1980 to 2011 for the subject Swedish as a second language within primary and secondary schools. The second is a study that interviews teachers in the language introduction programme, and the third study is based on interviews with pupils who have studied language introduction programme, but at the time of the interviews were studying in their first semester on a national programme.

The analyses show that the transition is governed by curriculum and regulations that teachers and students must adhere to. The teachers carry out their everyday work on the basis of curriculum and regulations, such as the Education Act, but also on the basis of the individual school’s organization. From an organizational perspective, this gives teachers limited personal room for manoeuvre. It also appears that the choice of national programmes and other choices that students can make within the framework of their schooling are sometimes obvious to the students and made by the students themselves. Nevertheless, other times teachers and study counsellors make the choices without the students’ knowledge. An additional result shows that the students say they experience a discrepancy when it comes to teaching of the various school subjects in the language introduction programme and the national programme at upper secondary school. The linguistic support that the students received during the time at the language introduction programme is not perceived by the students to be at the same level as the national programme. A development of linguistic support in various subjects within the national programme could, from a didactic perspective, lead to a less abrupt transition for the students.