Towards an In-Depth Understanding of English-Swedish Translanguaging Pedagogy in Multilingual EFL Classrooms


  • Marie Källkvist Linnéuniversitetet
  • Henrik Gyllstad Lunds universitet
  • Erica Sandlund Karlstads universitet
  • Pia Sundqvist Universitetet i Oslo, Norge



This paper focuses on language practices in multilingual English as a foreign language (EFL) classrooms in lower-secondary education. Based in the Ethnography of Language Policy, it presents a case study of a lead teacher of EFL and a year-8 class in a large urban multilingual school in Sweden. The study aims to map and understand language practices used in this classroom as being part of a larger sociocultural context, focusing on the perspectives of the teacher and four successively trilingual students who had had between four and eight years of schooling in Sweden. Field notes, lesson observations and interviews revealed that practices can be described as English Mainly + Swedish, referred to here as ‘English-Swedish translanguaging pedagogy’. While English was the base language in lessons, Swedish was used judiciously but consistently, serving different specific purposes. Discourse analysis of ethnographic data showed that the teacher’s practices can be traced to his lived experience and to discourses in policy documents. Student participants expressed positive attitudes to the language practices used, which can be explained by them having developed sufficient command of Swedish in the school domain and being loyal to an institutional policy document, their teacher and fellow students.


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