Benefitting from L1 while learning English in Swedish schools? : A mixed methods study based on the responses of Swedish EFL teachers
Abstract: Superdiversity has reached the EFL classroom and consequently language acquisition’s starting point has changed from one to various native languages. EFL teachers in Sweden meet a broad spectrum of students, varying from nearly bilingual when it comes to English, to students, who have to learn both English and Swedish from scratch. Meanwhile, the Swedish school system aspires to provide all students with an equal education. In addition to the increasingly diverse student body, EFL teachers also face the dilemma of steering documents that can be perceived as favouring the traditional monolingual principle of language teaching, while at the same time EFL teachers are asked to support students’ development into plurilingualists that embrace linguistic and cultural diversity. This thesis seeks to investigate EFL teachers’ reasoning concerning linguistic diversity and inclusion methods in the EFL classroom, as a part of school practice. Furthermore, this thesis aims to give a picture of the current situation in Swedish schools and seeks to find indications of whether further training is required in order to embrace the diversity of the globalized classroom. Mixed methods are used to examine the current situation and the results are based on the answers of 35 EFL teachers in Sweden. The findings indicate that most EFL teachers rarely include students’ L1 in the EFL classroom and that the inclusion of students’ L1 is for many participants related with weaker proficiency in English. Additionally, the necessity of enhancing the benefits of translanguaging pedagogy for all students, and consequently further education for EFL teachers can be identified, because the very important aspect of identity that matters when it comes to school success has hardly been considered.
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