"Det är inte så att vi exklusivt pratar svenska." : Flerspråkighetens möjliga utrymmen i låg- och mellanstadieklassrum. En studie av flerspråkiga grundskollärares perspektiv

Sammanfattning: This dissertation explores and discusses minoritized multilingual teachers’ perspectives on their own multilingualism, and their use of languages other than Swedish, the language of instruction, in regular teaching. Multilingual teachers comprise about 20 percent of the teacher population in Swedish primary schools and the number of pupils who speak minoritized language(s) (that is, languages other than Swedish) is growing. The overall aim of this thesis is to contribute new and increased knowledge about possibilities for using minoritized languages in mainstream teaching in primary schools (with pupils ages 7–12). Five multilingual teachers at two different schools with a high proportion of pupils with migrant backgrounds participated in the study. The fieldwork spanned over a six-month period during which I observed lessons and other activities, wrote fieldnotes and conducted interviews with the teachers. Furthermore, I conducted a research-generated activity that included work with language portraits and reflective conversations among teachers. Methodologically, the study is rooted in linguistic ethnography where an analytical focus is on both interaction and the wider social context. The overall theoretical framework is socio-constructivism, which also contributed useful analytical concepts. Article I focused on what and how teachers discursively position their own multilingualism in relation to their teaching, pupils, colleagues and caregivers. In Article II, I focused on the teachers’ practiced language policy. The analysis was based on fieldnotes from observations in class and during the school day. In Article III, I illuminated multilingual teachers’ perspectives on their pupils’ language identity construction through language portraits. The results from the three studies show how minoritized multilingual practices among the teachers and their pupils are (re)negotiated, limited or enabled in an ongoing process meaning that some of the teachers relate to their own multilingual use with ambivalence. The results also show how the teachers construct their multilingualism as a resource, for example, by creating spaces where multilingual use is valued and legitimized, both for subject learning and for a sense of emotional safety, and also in relation to caregivers. Teachers’ reflections thus comprise complex notions of language, linguistic identity and multilingualism, which they interconnect with own experiences and emotional understanding. The thesis aims to contribute to further discussions and research about minoritized multilingualism in (Swedish) primary school contexts, where both pupils and teachers are able to use their whole language repertoires to enhance learning and develop multilingual identities.