raised hands holding speech bubbles with "hi" in different languages

Doctoral project: How language policy is made in lower secondary schools

The project's interest lies in how language policy is manifested in the actions and speech of teachers and multilingual students, as well as in the school's physical environment.

Project information

Project name
How language policy is made in lower secondary schools. An ethnographic study from the perspective of teachers and multilingual students.
Doctoral student
Anneli Marceteau
Linda Fälth
Assistant supervisor
Henrik Nilsson
Autumn semester 2022–autumn semester 2026
Pedagogy (Department of Pedagogy and Learning, Faculty of Social Sciences)

More about the project

Most classrooms in Sweden today are linguistically heterogeneous, which affects, challenges and places new demands on school activities. How different languages are reflected in the teaching structure and the physical environment of the school is important for how multilingual pupils perceive themselves and their value.

Having the opportunity to use all their linguistic resources also benefits multilingual pupils' language and knowledge development. This, in turn, has an impact on the students' engagement in their studies and thus their success at school.

At the same time, research shows that Swedish schools are permeated by a monolingual norm, where the culture and language of multilingual pupils are not legitimized. Language policies, both explicit and implicit, influence teachers' teaching practices while providing a degree of freedom in teaching that varies from teacher to teacher, which has consequences for the learning opportunities of culturally and linguistically diverse students.

The purpose of the doctoral project is therefore to make visible how, where and why language policy is manifested in the speech and actions of teachers and multilingual students, as well as in the physical school environment.