Student agency in science learning:Multimodal and multilingual strategies and practices among recently arrived students in upper secondary schools in Sweden

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Åsa Wedin Erika Bomström Aho

Abstract

The aim of this article is to develop knowledge about recently arrived students’ agency in learning science in upper secondary school in Sweden. The material was created through observations of science lessons and stimulated-recall interviews with four students. Findings showed that the multimodal and multilingual practices students were involved in, and the diverse strategies they used in these lessons, were enabled by their access to multilingual teaching material, including varied digital resources. Students were invited to use varied languages, but this does not, however, mean that the other languages were appreciated, and there is a danger in relying entirely on students’ own capacity to translate and understand. Our main conclusion is that students’ own agency becomes a prerequisite for learning in these classrooms, but that too much responsibility is put on the students to understand and learn the content and to develop required language skills. With the focus on vocabulary in the teaching, the risqué is high that students do not develop other linguistic skills that they will need in their further studies. Although the agency of these students was visible regarding strategies for their studies, their agency was mainly restricted to learning the prescribed theme in prescribed time.

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How to Cite
WEDIN, Åsa; AHO, Erika Bomström. Student agency in science learning:Multimodal and multilingual strategies and practices among recently arrived students in upper secondary schools in Sweden. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, [S.l.], v. 12, n. 1, p. 67-74, oct. 2019. ISSN 1307-9298. Available at: <https://iejee.com/index.php/IEJEE/article/view/881>. Date accessed: 15 oct. 2019.
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