Språk, interaktion och lärande i mångfaldens skola
Sammanfattning: This thesis consists of an introductory summary and three studies focusing language, interaction, and learning in multilingual schools. The overall aim of the thesis is to contribute to the understanding of student learning in diverse schools. The first study of the thesis examines the field of cooperative learning with the aim of summarizing, in an overview, research that addresses small group activities in heterogeneous classrooms. The overview indicates that this research is dominated by input-output studies. Process-oriented studies of student interaction constitute a smaller part of research within this field.The two subsequent studies were carried out in three multilingual middle school classes in Sweden. The second study concentrates mainly on the second language learners of these classes with the aim of describing language and learning conditions in actual classrooms. A main finding of the study is that second language students fell behind their monolingual Swedish speaking peers in social studies and in other subjects across the curriculum. The study also shows that students form separate groups of Swedes and immigrants inside as well as outside the classroom.The third study investigates small group activities in the above mentioned classes. The aim of the study is to gain insight into students’ joint problem-solving processes and thereby provide a broader understanding of learning as socially and interactionally constituted. The data consists of video recordings of small group conversations from which language-related episodes were identified, transcribed and studied applying conversation analysis methods. The findings show that the students are able to scaffold each other effectively in co-constructing linguistic knowledge through social interaction. At the same time, negotiations of power and status are included in their problem-solving processes.
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