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  • 1.
    Adinolfi, Lina
    et al.
    The Open University, UK.
    Link, HollyUniversity of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Pennsylvania, USA.St John, OliverÖrebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Translanguaging - researchers and practitioners in dialogue2018Collection (editor) (Refereed)
  • 2.
    Bagga-Gupta, Sangeeta
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Allard, Karin
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Nordmark, Marie
    Understanding communication and identities in culturally diverse school settings in present day Sweden: empirical explorations from 3 different language profile schools in present day Sweden2008Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Bagga-Gupta, Sangeeta
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Doing instructions: exploring instructions in multilingual classroom interaction2011Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Bagga-Gupta, Sangeeta
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Making complexities invisible?: Contributions to the representation of social interaction in scholarly writings2010Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Bagga-Gupta, Sangeeta
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Making complexities (in)visible: Empirically-derived contributions to the scholarly (re)presentations of social interactions2017In: Marginalization processes across different settings: going beyond the mainstream / [ed] Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017, p. 352-388Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Transcripts aspiring to represent naturally occurring interaction mediate analytic insights into fleeting human communicative performances that routinely implicate verbal and nonverbal dimensions in concerted action. Video technologies have introduced unprecedented opportunities to study interactional complexity in minute detail. This article aims to exemplify how the level of detail attended to in transcriptional representations can expand or restrict video data-derived results and throw different analytic light on the constitutive features of interactional phenomena and their generic workings. Towards this aim, various transcription formats are explored to represent classroom interaction from language focused lessons at a school setting in Sweden. The juxtaposition and analysis seek to highlight that making body orientations across time and space as well as written language unavailable for analysis renders invisible integral sense-making actions that bear consequentiality for participants. For the sake of emic and consequential analysis, appeal is made for an endeavour to attend to the interdependence of multimodal social practices that routinely compose naturally occurring interaction.

  • 6.
    Bagga-Gupta, Sangeeta
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Making complexities (in)visible: empirically-derived contributions to the scholarly (re)presentations of social interactions2012Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Bagga-Gupta, Sangeeta
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Orchestrating feedback: a study of teacher-student multimodal interaction in a language learning setting2010Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 8.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Approaching classroom interaction dialogically: studies of everyday encounters in a 'bilingual' secondary school2014Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis approaches classroom interaction in association with Bakhtin and conversation analysis (CA). The four studies presented in this thesis seek to highlight different aspects of classroom interactional encounters between the students and teachers of a secondary school class. Through these studies, the thesis addresses the following challenges: How can analysts account for ‘multilingual’ communicative practices in a way which respects the views and orientations of the participants? How may dialogism be relevant for classroom interaction? How can we move beyond the representational (in)sufficiency of an oral language focus on (classroom) communication for analysis of human meaning making practices?

    The studies arise from ethnographic fieldwork at an independent secondary school with a ‘bilingual’ educational profile where data of everyday instructional life was generated through participant observation and video recordings. Methodologically, the studies have been enabled by Bakhtinian concepts and conversation analytic conventions amplified for analysis of the complex range of modalities composing classroom interaction.

    Study 1 examines the way participants’ use of two (or more) languages in a ‘foreign’ language classroom throw light on each other in processes of lexical orientation which challenge the privileging or the subordination of any one language in language learning. Study 2 demonstrates the consequences for understanding the participants’ sense-making efforts of making representationally (in)visible integral aspects of their multimodal cooperations. Study 3 focuses on whole-class task instructions as interactionally complex by showing some of the mutual orientations through which teacher and students coordinate each other’s stances and consequently craft instructions collaboratively. Study 4 examines the concept of languaging critically in the light of Bakhtin’s penetrating perception of the utterance and underscores that while we may be able to language when communicating, we are also languaged communicators.

    List of papers
    1. Bilingual lexical interillumination in the foreign language classroom
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bilingual lexical interillumination in the foreign language classroom
    2010 (English)In: Language, Culture and Curriculum, ISSN 0790-8318, E-ISSN 1747-7573, Vol. 23, no 3, p. 199-218Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Foreign language (FL) education has been marked by a monolingual principle that has favoured 'intralingual' methodologies. Bakhtin's view of language interillumination - that languages throw light on each other - challenges such language teaching practices radically. Using conversation analysis methods, this article examines transcripts of interactional sequences from one eighth-grade French lesson for evidence of reciprocal lexical elucidation. Analysis suggests that participants accomplish interillumination by constructing frameworks of corresponding sets of French and Swedish lexical items which support interlingual exploration and participant (re)orientation to the words in relation to each other. Understanding foreign and familiar words is enhanced by bilingual countering which enables students to fit an unknown or unclear utterance meaningfully into their semantic networks. Patterns of interlingual contact and coordination, indeed bilingual interaction, serve sense-making processes and challenge the privileging or the subordination of any one language in language learning.

    Keywords
    foreign language, conversational analysis, interillumination, counter word
    National Category
    Pedagogy
    Research subject
    Education
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-12824 (URN)10.1080/07908318.2010.515994 (DOI)000283881000004 ()
    Available from: 2011-01-11 Created: 2011-01-03 Last updated: 2019-03-26Bibliographically approved
    2. Making complexities (in)visible: empirically-derived contributions to the scholarly (re)presentations of social interactions
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Making complexities (in)visible: empirically-derived contributions to the scholarly (re)presentations of social interactions
    2012 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    National Category
    Social Sciences Pedagogy
    Research subject
    Education
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-25367 (URN)
    Funder
    Swedish Research Council
    Available from: 2012-08-27 Created: 2012-08-27 Last updated: 2019-03-26Bibliographically approved
    3. Crafting instructions collaboratively
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Crafting instructions collaboratively
    (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This study examines classroom task instructions – an event commonly associated with noninteractional objectives and operations – as interactionally complex and co-crafted. Analyses of video sequences of task instructional activity from four different secondary school lessons seek to show that the management of task instructions is a distributed accomplishment, a locally sensitive order, arranged and sustained by its members. As sense-making projects, student questions routinely contribute to the work of orienting to tasks. Data show that instructors take remarkable care to meet both individual and collective accountabilities set up by student contributions in this environment. To achieve this objective, dual addressivity proves instructionally crucial. The study identifies two related senses in which task instructions are crafted collaboratively – sequentially and simultaneously. Educationally, it appears vital to recognize student instructed action as a condition for making task instructions followable and such in vivo work as integral to task-related learning.

    Keywords
    task instructions, classroom interaction, conversation analysis, (dual) addressivity.
    National Category
    Pedagogy
    Research subject
    Education
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-35189 (URN)
    Available from: 2014-05-28 Created: 2014-05-28 Last updated: 2019-03-26Bibliographically approved
    4. Language through languaging: Contested boundaries and semiotic countering
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Language through languaging: Contested boundaries and semiotic countering
    (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The complexity of language (Chapman, 2006) and its pervasiveness in our everyday lives (Hanks, 1996) challenges the task of trying to grasp language analytically. One way to make some inroads into the complexity of language is to approach it through scientific theories and conceptual apparatus. As Chapman (2006) explains, a scientific theory only accounts for one part of an intricate subject matter, but, the narrowing of scientific focus to certain aspects of the complex allows scientists to “say something constructive and systematic about what is going on” (p. 13). In this text, I seek to gain some leverage on language as a complex natural phenomenon through the concept of languaging.

    National Category
    Pedagogy
    Research subject
    Education
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-35190 (URN)
    Available from: 2014-05-28 Created: 2014-05-28 Last updated: 2019-03-26Bibliographically approved
  • 9.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Between question and answer: Mother tongue tutoring and translanguaging as dialogic action2018In: Translation and Translanguaging in Multilingual Contexts, ISSN 2352-1805, Vol. 4, no 3, p. 334-361Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In Sweden, tutoring in the mother tongue is a form of special educational support to enable pupils with non-Swedish language backgrounds to follow Swedish medium instruction and succeed at school. For pupils who risk failing to meet minimal curricular requirements, it is an educational right. This study investigates tutor-mediated interaction with Somali newly arrived pupils and subject teachers in oral examinations at the ninth year and asks how translanguaging may be relevant to speech performances in this multilingual setting. Both tutors and pupils translanguage advantageously to accomplish pedagogical objectives. Translanguaging proves subject to the personal aspirations of speakers, the organization of interaction as well as wider pedagogical goals. Following Bakhtin, discrepancy between tutor translingual interpretation and participants’ interpreted utterances is accounted for as the responsive engagement of a second consciousness that supplements other voices creatively. Central aspects of translanguaging are challenged through a dialogic lens. The implications of treating translanguaging in mother tongue tutoring as dialogic action include positioning translanguaging in an interactionist framework, the importance of a discourse of constraint as well as affordance, a dynamic epistemology and the need for teachers and tutors to be aware of the inherent meaning-making processes in translingual interpretation for pupil assessment.

  • 10.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Bilingual lexical interillumination in the foreign language classroom2010In: Language, Culture and Curriculum, ISSN 0790-8318, E-ISSN 1747-7573, Vol. 23, no 3, p. 199-218Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Foreign language (FL) education has been marked by a monolingual principle that has favoured 'intralingual' methodologies. Bakhtin's view of language interillumination - that languages throw light on each other - challenges such language teaching practices radically. Using conversation analysis methods, this article examines transcripts of interactional sequences from one eighth-grade French lesson for evidence of reciprocal lexical elucidation. Analysis suggests that participants accomplish interillumination by constructing frameworks of corresponding sets of French and Swedish lexical items which support interlingual exploration and participant (re)orientation to the words in relation to each other. Understanding foreign and familiar words is enhanced by bilingual countering which enables students to fit an unknown or unclear utterance meaningfully into their semantic networks. Patterns of interlingual contact and coordination, indeed bilingual interaction, serve sense-making processes and challenge the privileging or the subordination of any one language in language learning.

  • 11.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Bilingual speech and identity work in language education2008Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 12.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Code Alternation and Alignment in an International School2009Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Bilingual research has been characterized by a “monologic understanding of verbal communication” which most code-switching (CS) studies have shared (Cromdal, 2000: 40). Such understandings have tended to distinguish between cognition and situated language use and often linked CS to compensating for linguistic deficiency (Backus, 1999) or adhering to sociolinguistic norms (Blom & Gumpers, 1972). Monologic assumptions have, in my view, significantly limited analytical perspectives on the “intricate underlying operations” of bilingual communicative practices (Grosjean, 1992).

    A dialogic stance on human communication and, by implication, bilingual interaction challenges the sufficiency of psychological, linguistic and sociolinguistic explanations of bilingual language alternation practices (Cromdal, 2000). The implication of Bakhtin’s emphasis on the situatedness and mediative power of all communication is that bilingualism is primarily a social phenomenon. A recognition of the intersubjective nature of sense-making affords the prospect of appreciating code alternation dynamics in multilingual settings which go beyond accounts based on linguistic constraint (Poplack, 1980) domain-specific language distribution (Ferguson, 1959) and repairing communication trouble (Schegloff, Jefferson, & Sacks, 1977). Bakhtin’s claim that understanding is inherently dialogic and requires response has prompted an interest in exploring how the values and qualities of different languages brought into communicative play with each other can aid participants to realize their meanings and reach intersubjective understanding.

    My PhD research project is an ethnographic study of the bilingual interaction among eighth-year pupils and their teachers in an international school. Fieldwork data of bilingual communication practices and patterns are being collected in the classroom by means of field notes as well as audio and video film recordings. Several Bakhtinian concepts are proving fruitful as analytical tools for this study. These include addressivity, heteroglossia and counter word  comprehended by the basic paradigm of dialogicality .

    Addressivity, “the quality of turning to someone”, (Bakhtin, 1986:99) indicates Bakhtin’s broad view of human communication as a complex system of dialogic interrelationships into which voiced utterances are woven as responses to previous utterances, address others and anticipate further response. Initial analysis of classroom data suggests that addressivity with its relational and affective dimensions, extending retrospectively (communicative history) as well as prospectively (communicative future), governs bilingual language choice and use powerfully.

    Baktin’s concept of appropriation, making language one’s own, (1981:294) may be seen as the generator of the phenomenon that language is constantly undergoing ideological change, stratifying, as individuals wrench words from other people’s usages and make them serve their own communicative purposes (Bakhtin, 1981:271/2; Voloshinov, 1973:94). So language is a site of strife between centripetal and centrifugal forces at play on the frontline of communicative engagement and the ensuing struggle between linguistic system and situated performance is boundary-breaking and mind-forming (ibid.). Idiosyncratic appropriation and subsequent language diversification participate in a climate of heteroglossia, the multiplicity of ideological accents, world views and intentional possibilities crisscrossing language life (Moraes, 1996: 22). For the purpose of my study, heteroglossia has been useful in legitimizing a decoupling of code from (national) language and recognizing hybrid versions or mixed vernaculars in bilingual code work not, for the participants, as alternation between two or more languages, but as a single, integrated, identity-creating communicative code (Alvarez-Cáccamo, 1998).

    The Bakhtinian notion of counter word reflects the assumption that meaning emerges when two or more voices engage each other in dialogic interanimation (Voloshinov, 1973:102). Understanding is “dialogic in nature” (ibid) and responsive (Bakhtin, 1986:68) in that it emerges as a consequence of an individual response, not as a condition for response; it is precipitated by an active counter move that aligns itself to and confronts the words of another’s utterance. In view of this, I have hypothesized that bilingual communication mediates the possibility of responding to utterances in novel and different ways for the sake of making sense of what is happening. In my study, I have developed the concept of counter word to code-countering. I suggest that language alternation or mixing within a speaker’s utterance in social and institutional bilingual interaction may at times be better explained by the striving to explore or expand emerging meanings rather than to simply to express or explicate ready-realized messages.

    With the aid of these Bakhtinian concepts for analytical work, the value of a dialogic stance on bilingual language alternation and juxtaposition is tested against empirical data gathered in an international school classroom setting.

    Finally, Baktin’s insistence that language use – utterances and voices in relation to each other – is grounded in concrete social situations and mediates social interaction suggests that bilingual language production is both contextually sensitive and central in shaping its own unfolding context. Such a view of social interaction invites an attempt to marry sociocultural and conversation analysis approaches (one I hope to achieve) in order to better grasp the contingent and constitutive nature of code work.

    References

    Alvarez-Cáccamo, C. (1998) ‘From ‘switching code’ to ‘code-switching’: Towards a reconceptualisation of communicative codes’. In P. Auer (ed.) Code-switching in Conversation (pp. 29-48). London: Routledge.

    Backus, A. (1999) ‘Mixed Native Languages: A Challenge to the Monolithic View of Language’. Topics in Language Disorders; 19(4):11-22.

    Bakhtin, M.M. (1984). Problems of Dostoevsky’s poetics. Ed. and trans. C. Emerson. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

    Bakhtin, M. M. (1986) Speech Genres and Other Late Essays. Ed. C. Emerson & M. Holquist. Austin: University of Texas Press.

    Blom, J-P & Gumpers, J.J. (1972) ’Social meaning in linguistic structure: Code-switching in Norway. In J.J. Gumperz and D. Hymes (ed.s) Directions in Sociolinguistics. New York: Holt, Reinhart and Winston.

    Cromdal, J. (2000) Code-Switching for all Practical Purposes. Linköping Studies in Arts and Science 223.

    Ferguson, C.A. (1959) ‘Diglossia’. Word, 15: 325-340.

    Grosjean, F. (1992) ‘Another View of Bilingualism’. In R.J. Harris (ed.) Cognitive Processing in Bilinguals. Amsterdam: North-Holland.

    Moraes, M. (1996) Bilingual Education: A Dialogue with the Bakhtin Circle. Albany: State University of New York Press.

    Poplack, S. (1980) ‘Sometimes I’ll start a sentence in Spanish y termino en espanol’. Linguistics: An international Review, 18/7-8: 581-618.

    Schegloff, E., Jefferson, G. & Sacks, H., (1977) ‘The preference for sel-correction in the organization of repair in conversation’. Language 53(2): 361-82.

    Voloshinov, V. (1973) Marxism and the Philosophy of Language (L. Matejka and I. R. Titunik, trans.). New York and London: Seminar Press.

     

     

  • 13.
    St John, Oliver
    Högskolan i Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    Communication and Language Pedagogy2001In: Lärarutbildningens ämnesdidaktik: artiklar om den egna undervisningen presenterade vid konferens 27-28 september 2000 vid Högskolan i Gävle / [ed] Bengt Schüllerqvist, Roy Nilsson, Gävle: Högskolan i Gävle , 2001, p. 115-147Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 14.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Dialogism and CA in (exploratory) dialogue2015Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 15.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    "I'm a pigg man": Translanguaging against bilingual data and Bakhtin2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This conference paper reports on a study which aims to gain leverage on the complexity of language as a natural phenomenon through the concept of languaging.  Exploration of the concept proceeds on the basis of analysis of classroom interaction video data and Bakhtinian dialogism. Languaging has gained currency in sociolinguistics and dialogic accounts of communication. The term foregrounds language as communicational action and the diverse discursive practices realized through language performance between interacting beings in concrete social situations. The concept has been provoked by often contested boundary issues running centrally through the study of language. These include, first, the boundaries between language as system and action and second, between ‘national’ languages as well as between language variation within a language. A third boundary between language deployment and other types of communication is made salient by multimodal study of communication.

    Languaging represents an attempt to dissolve the system-action boundary by reconceptualizing abstract systems of linguistic resources “in action-oriented terms as constraints on […] languaging” (Linell 2009, p. 274). In this way, the organizing centre or force of constraint that holds language in dialectic tension so that it affords meaning potential across different contexts is its deployment in these contexts aligned retrospectively and prospectively in responsive action. In other words, it is people’s performances in the “chain of speech communion” (Bakhtin 1986, p. 84) which regulates the scope of what can be meant by what. The study points out difficulties with this assumption from a Baktinian perspective.

    Languaging holds considerable conceptual appeal for linguists who seek to highlight the competence displayed in the linguistically hybrid yet fluid communicative performances of people in multilingual settings. The concept covers the way ground-level language performance crosses both conventional interlingual and intralingual boundaries and composes novel fusions – phenomena that cannot be adequately accounted for by monolithic and monolingual approaches. However, the study points out that languaging does less descriptive justice to the other side of sustaining the possibility of human meaning-making, namely, that, while we may be able to language when communicating, we are also languaged communicators. In learning to manipulate language for meaning-making purposes, that is, to language, we are manipulated by language and, if we want to be intelligible, have to conform to its patterns and conceptual distinctions in the here and now.

    Multimodal analysis of human communication shows that oral language operates as one of a number of semiotic resources which work concurrently and cooperatively as a whole to produce naturally occurring interaction. In terms of interactional dynamics, the contribution of languaging is configured into a framework of modes which interilluminate each other to invigorate and specify local meaningful action. From this view, the privileging of language action which languaging as discursive practice suggests, creates a boundary between the operations of language and other communicative resources which risks misrepresenting the multilayered nature of human interaction.

  • 16.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Interactional inteillumination and participation in an additional language learning setting2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The effects of language orientation and practices on student classroom participation

    As a first point of departure, this study takes a sociocultural perspective on human action as mediated action (Wertsch 1998). This perspective is augmented by a dialogic understanding of language as actualized meaning (Bakhtin 1981, 1986; Morris 1994) and by a social practice theory of learning which views learning as a change in the way people participate in social activity (Lave 1993). Methodologically, the present study aspires to microanalysis, indebted particularly to the principles and procedures of conversation analysis (CA) but amplified by a transcription system designed to make multimodal analysis possible.

    The empirical materials analyzed in the study are video recordings of classroom interaction. They are taken from a corpus of video documentation of various subject lessons at an international secondary school in Sweden. Fieldwork involved ‘shadowing’ a class from the end of their 7th year through their 8th year during periods of fieldwork at the school spread at intervals over the academic year.

    The research questions relate to the way the study of communication and communication in the classroom have long been dominated by a) a linguistic paradigm (Scollon & Scollon 2009) and b) a monolingual bias (Davies 2003). Education is a language-saturated institution (Watson 1992) and much of the activity in the classroom is conducted in and through talk (Hester & Francis 2000). The first research question therefore runs as: ‘Does the privileging of oral language in classroom communication affect language learners’ opportunities to participate and contribute to classroom activity? If so, how?

    Teaching and learning in plurilingual environments provide lucid arenas in which to observe marginalization processes. Since one of the goals of instruction is communicative participation in what is for many students an unfamiliar or alien language, the way non-target language is made interactionally available/unavailable to students and the extent to which the target language becomes their sole passport to interactional arenas are critical to their levels of involvement in classroom activity. Thus the second research question: In what ways does including/excluding non-target language practices affect students’ opportunities to participate in instructional classroom procedures?

    Preliminary findings with regard to the first research question suggest that, in the classroom, there is a predominance of activities requiring students to produce verbal responses in the (formal) additional language the subject learning involves. It may be surmised that, when there is a primary orientation by teachers to the language produced or not produced, student responses tend to be assessed in black and white terms rather than for the shades of progress they may evidence. Sensitivity to the variety of communicative resources students may try to use when expressing themselves is likely to promote classroom interaction. With regard to the second research question, findings from, for example, French lessons, suggest that the way the navigational services of a familiar language are used, the manner in which gesture is deployed, both iconically and as a semiotic resource in its own right, and the amount of interactional space teachers allow students are critical practices for enabling students to participate in classroom instruction.

    The study relates to MP 2012 in that it extends marginalization/inclusion issues into microanalysis of classroom interaction where participation has been assumed as a condition of learning subject content (e.g. Salhström 1999). From a dialogic perspective, all school subject lessons involve learning additional language(s); any stance that makes the ability to wield such language in the throes of learning it the sole criterion of success and failure at school in attempts to grasp a subject risks marginalizing individuals educationally. 

     

  • 17.
    St John, Oliver
    University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    Intercultural Competence2003In: A Framework for Freedom: Learner Autonomy in Foreign Language Teacher Education / [ed] Kees van Esch and Oliver St John, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Publishing Group, 2003, p. 31-52Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 18.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, Department of Education. University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    Interkulturell kommunikativ kompetens i lärarutbildningen i främmande språk2006In: Mångkulturella aspekter på språkundervisningens kommunikativa praktiker: En konferensrapport / [ed] Ulrika Tornberg, Örebro, Sweden: Örebro universitet, Pedagogiska institutionen , 2006, p. 145-166Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 19.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Intersubjectivity and alterity in classroom interaction2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Dialogical epistemologies have spanned both teleological and nonteleological orientations to knowledge that is, both knowledge conceived as convergent on pre-determined epistemic goals and knowledge as divergent, moving centrifugally towards as-yet-unknown outcomes. Nonteleological conceptions of dialogue have challenged absolutist views. Bakhtin teaches us that what is frequently treated as finalized is inescapably unfinalized.

    The interdependence between communication and cognition assumed by dialogists foregrounds that question of how producing meaning and understanding interpersonally is related to appropriating knowledge and pedagogy. In accounts of social interaction, an intersubjectivity paradigm has long been privileged. Less attention has been paid to the transformative effects of communicative counteraction. This study explores the relationship between intersubjectivity as involving agreement and attunement in orienting to others and alterity with a focus on divergence and disagreement in other-orientedness. It aims to show the importance of intersubjectivity for explicating part of the logic of classroom interaction and to clarify empirically some ways in which alterity generates significant expansion of consciousness in the classroom.

    Data analysis indicates the strategic work teaches and students do to secure agreement and unity around goal-stipulated knowledge in instructional activity. The study also examines classroom data where divergent voices give rise to alternative views and novel understanding of a topic or action. In one episode, students’ resistance to the teacher’s explanation creates a counter movement to the official lesson. As a consequence, the teacher’s epistemic position is decentralized and a meeting of two consciousnesses illuminates a range of meanings related to a French term. In such encounters, participants’ cohesion-building strategies provide interactionally for opposition. In the classroom, both intersubjectivity and alterity are needed to resist reducing other-orientation to a single consciousness and to maximize the meaning-making advantages of bringing a second consciousness to bear on the consciousness of the other.

  • 20.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Language through languaging: Contested boundaries and semiotic counteringManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The complexity of language (Chapman, 2006) and its pervasiveness in our everyday lives (Hanks, 1996) challenges the task of trying to grasp language analytically. One way to make some inroads into the complexity of language is to approach it through scientific theories and conceptual apparatus. As Chapman (2006) explains, a scientific theory only accounts for one part of an intricate subject matter, but, the narrowing of scientific focus to certain aspects of the complex allows scientists to “say something constructive and systematic about what is going on” (p. 13). In this text, I seek to gain some leverage on language as a complex natural phenomenon through the concept of languaging.

  • 21.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Newly arrived pupils and translanguaging2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Title: Newly arrived pupils and translanguaging

     

    General abstract of the presentation (English) (max. 150 words)

    including the aims/objectives of the research, the methodology, the results, and the main conclusions and/or implications for practice

    The urgency to include immigrant children in schools is currently one of Europe’s most critical challenges. This presentation reports on a project designed to promote the language development and school subject knowledge of newly arrived pupils so that they can qualify for upper secondary schooling. Project aims include exploring school inclusion policy and practices and developing and implementing effective pedagogical approaches and provision.

    Methodologically, Bakhtinian dialogism in joint operation with conversation analysis provide the analytical tools. The project design combines focused observation, focus group interviews, stimulated recall and focus group dialogues.

    Preliminary results indicate the need to think beyond the traditional either language induction classes or direct integration scheme, the importance of cultural knowledge about pupils’ ways of reasoning for meaningful instruction and the advantages of engaging parents actively in their children’s schooling. Conclusions highlight solutions which are sensitive to local conditions and the human needs of newly arrived children.

     

     

    Detailed abstract

     

    1. How is this study founded by theory and/or how does it originate from practice? (max. 200 words)

      In Europe today, the learning conditions for newly arrived pupils gives cause for deep concern (Bunar, 2015). In Sweden, migrant children have the right to mother tongue instruction, but in Europe this is the exception rather than the rule (Siarova & Essomba, 2014). Despite report recommendations to value and make pedagogical use of newly arrived pupils’ language resources (e.g. Skolverket, 2014), multilingual education in Europe is still largely dominated by monolinguals norms and practices. Content and language integrated teaching has gained considerable educational support, but teachers in multicultural classroom lack ways of working with the language that builds up the subject they teach. Without the strategic pedagogical use of pupils’ current linguistic knowledge in learning a new language and without a focus on the language challenges of teaching school subjects, newly arrived pupils are likely to fall well below their potential levels of development and national curricular goals. 

      Despite pockets of innovative practice and success, knowledge about how newly arrived pupils can best be received and included is currently limited. This study is rooted in practice; it is a response to the struggle of newly arrived pupils to be included.

       

       

    2. What are the central research goal(s), problem(s) and/or question(s) in this study? (max. 150 words)

      The central research goals of this project are to:

       

      1.                         Explore the views and practices prevalent in schools and local educational authorities regarding the inclusion of newly arrived children’s language resources in order to learn about the ways in which these institutions provide for newly arrived children in their vicinities and identify potential areas of further development.

       

      2.                         Investigate the communicative practices characterizing interaction between newly-arrived pupils with teachers and peers with the goal of gaining understanding about the way pupils’ current linguistic repertoires and communicative competences relate to their additional and academic school language learning processes.

       

      3.                         In cooperation with the partner schools, develop and implement effective school-based policy and classroom practice for including such pupils in instructional activity and school life.

       

      4.             Explore and possibly strengthen the pedagogical usefulness of translanguaging for supporting newly arrived pupils in their efforts to master additional and academic languages in schools. 

    3. Which research design  did you use in this study and which methods did you use to analyse the data (i.e. subjects, instruments/intervention and procedure)? (max. 200 words)

      The methodology of this project is framed by an educational research design (McKenney & Reeves, 2012) in that researcher and practitioners innovate pedagogical approaches collaboratively. There is an aspiration to bring both external analyst and school participants into research cooperation in order to critically evaluate the current programme and elaborate creative thinking and approaches informed by the project learning experiences. The data generating methods include overlapping phases of focused observation, focus group interviews and stimulated recall.   The purpose of the observation is to generate key issues and questions for the focus group interviews and critical incidents for stimulated recall analysis. Focus group interviews and stimulated recall are, in turn, intended to guide the development of thinking and strategy for language development and inclusion work alongside newly arrived pupils. With regard to such development, focus group dialogues are envisaged as joint forums for reasoning together and decision making geared to strengthening the educational provisions for newly arrived pupils.

      With regard to data analysis, Bakhtinian concepts (appropriation, addressivity, multivoicedness, interillumination) proceduralized by conversation analysis make possible analysis of both situated interactional meaning making and the significance of the surrounding spheres permeating the lives and competences of newly arrived children.

       

       

    4. What are the results of this study? (max. 150 words)

      Orientation interviews are currently yielding insights into the local reception processes and provision for newly arrived children. Interviewees highlight the need to think beyond the traditional policy of either language induction classes or direct integration provision, the importance of cultural knowledge about pupils’ ways of reasoning for meaningful instruction, the advantages of engaging parents actively in their children’s schooling, the priority to profile newly arrived pupils on teacher education agendas.

      Preliminary results from a pilot study demonstrate the potential of translanguaging for talking inventively and understanding in two languages. At the same time, there is a need to maintain a balance between the affordances of multilingual communication practices without diminishing the systematic constraints that make possible the context-transcendent meanings of language. The study also attests to the importance of attending to the interactional work between multilinguals and recognizing that doing multilingual language is always configured into a larger multimodal framework.   

    5. What are the main conclusions of this study? (max. 100 words)

      Conclusions so far, point to the need for nuanced solutions. For example, school personnel are challenged to ride the tensions between treating newly arrived children like everyone else and making special organization and pedagogical provisions for their education. With regard to translanguaging as communicative performance and pedagogy, the crucial question appears to be not whether to translanguage or not, but rather when to translanguage and when to maintain target language use and support. Translanguage as linguistic facilitation can involve simplifying the (linguistic) task which may be counterproductive to the learning challenges teachers through tasks invite learners to engage with.

       

       

    6. Who (should) use the results of this study and how do the results contribute to the improvement of educational practice?  (max. 150 words)

      The results of the study should be used by the partner schools to develop meaningful ways of supporting the language and subject learning of the newly arrived pupils in their care. The knowledge gained from investigating partner schools is expected to impact the attitudes of educators, school policy and classroom methods towards enabling newly arrived children to succeed at school.

      Teacher education is seen as a key target. To make a long-term difference to the inclusion of newly arrived children, it is vital to find ways of transferring project findings to pre-service and in-service courses so that teachers become aware of the complex educational conditions newly arrived pupils introduce and are able to create opportunities to enable them to succeed.

      The results of the study should contribute internationally. There is a tremendous need to share experiences across national borders of what policy and practices may be context-specific and what context-transferable.    

    7. How are you planning to make your session interactive?  (max. 100 words)

      The following methods could be considered as ways of increasing interactivity in your sessions: Ask delegates to predict answers or results to the research questions; before elaborating your central concept, ask delegates for their ideas and/or experience with the concept; 'demonstrate' your research or treatment by distributing the questionnaires you used or by including video clips of the study set-up; ask delegates to offer explanations for your findings; ask delegates to think about any implications for practice; invite some participants in your study to take part in the sessions, for example, by Skype; give out tasks to delegates, for example, let them brainstorm the topic or research question; organise a small pair discussion about your results; use Twitter with a hashtag; present statements or polls to delegates and ask them to vote ‘for/against’; ‘yes/no’; ‘green/red’.

      Besides seeking to maintain a high level of eye contact, I will also begin by showing five engaging statements about newly arrived pupils which delegates should respond to and discuss in various configurations (e.g. by moving to 'agree'/'disagree' sides of the room and finding ‘opposite’ partners). The presentation will then address each statement. Delegates will be invited to brainstorm around key terms such as newly arrived pupils and inclusion before definitions and issues are offered. Furthermore, delegates will form focus groups to decide on an action plan of provisions which are congruent with the project’s findings and conclusions.

       

       

    8. Which question or general statement related to your study would you like to present to the conference delegates for discussion? (max. 20 words) 

      (e.g. related to your concept, your findings, the implications of your findings, future research plans, how to deal with limitations of your study, etc.)?

      What are the greatest challenges as well as the prospects of enabling newly arrived children to succeed at school?

       

    9. List of references 

      Bunar N. (Ed.). (2015). Nyanlända och lärande – mottagande och inkludering [Newly arrived pupils and learning – reception and inclusion]. Stockholm: Natur & Kultur.

      McKenney, S., & Reeves, T. C. (2012). Conducting Educational Design Research. Abington:Routledge.

      Siarova, H., & Essomba, M. A. (2014). Language Support for Youth with a Migrant Background. Policies that effectively promote inclusion. Sirius Network Policy Brief Series. No. 4.

      Skolverket (2014). PM. Dnr: 2014:00254. Slutbetyg i grundskolan [Final grade in secondary school], våren 2014.

       

       

       

  • 22.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Newly arrived pupils: Voices in counterpart and threshold experiences2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research aims, etc.

    Newly arrived pupils (NAPs) are a heterogeneous group with multiple needs which span learning, social and emotional dimensions. The challenge to include these pupils is particularly pressing because existing programmes of support are not proving adequate to enable newly arrived pupils to overcome the difficulties they face and succeed at school. NAPs comprise the school group that have the greatest difficulties attaining curricular goals and gaining qualification entries to upper secondary school. This presentation reports on a project geared to investigating the organizational and pedagogical provisions offered NAPs by a good practice school and to developing a school-based approach and classroom practice for including such pupils.

    This school’s model creates conditions for NAPs to continue their school education in relation to age-appropriate curricular goals. The model entails a dual-track programme of same-language NAP-only classes in which core curricular subject instruction is bilingual and integrated classes in which the NAPs join the regular teaching of other subjects in Swedish. This presentation focuses on one of the project aims which is to explore the usefulness of translanguaging for understanding the multilingual interaction in the classrooms where the NAPs are placed and supporting them in their language and subject learning efforts.

    Theoretical and methodological framework

    This study takes its point of departure from learning theories which explain the importance of both support and challenge for physical and intellectual development. For example, Vygotsky underscores that assistance from capable others without an element of personal exertion will not be sufficient to realize proximal potential and independent performance. A further aspect of the theoretical framework is theory and research which examine the learning conditions of segregated, ‘withdrawal’ and ‘immersion’ environments respectively. This because discourses circulating around educational responses to NAPs have centred on either language induction (segregated) programmes or direct integration into regular teaching settings. Generally, research has pointed to the logics of both surrounds and emphasized the need for targeted support such as tailored grammar instruction within a framework which requires personal exploration, meaningful engagement and efforts to cope with the situation. In view of the above, the framework also includes a survey of the various kinds of educational provision and support considered appropriate for NAPs and what studies indicate about their strengths and drawbacks.

    These perspectives are considered necessary to investigate and illuminate data for the purpose of evaluating the relevance of translanguaging for describing and supporting learning activity among NAPs.

    Research design, methods and data analysis

    The project has an emergent educational research design. Each of the three project phases has been informed by the former phase. Initially, orientation interviews with persons at various levels of NAP involvement in the municipality focused issues and provided perspectives which framed fieldwork at the partner school. Participant observation was conducted to generate both research data and key questions for the focus groups of teachers and pupils as well as the class tutor. These interviews provided answers related to the project aims and stimulated new perspectives on current practice and possible ways of improving it.

    Observation and interviews were chosen in order to gain data of both what participants think and what they do with respect to focal issues. Audio recordings are necessary for detailed analysis of participants’ interaction. Focus group interviews not only generate meaning making processes but, for the NAPs, allowed for interaction in their mother tongue as groundswell for their voices to be heard clearly in Swedish.

    With regard to data analysis, Bakhtinian concepts (appropriation, addressivity, multivoicedness and interillumination) proceduralized by conversation analysis make possible analysis of both situated interactional meaning making and the significance of the surrounding contexts permeating the lives of newly arrived children.

    Results

    Results related to translanguaging are enmeshed in tensions spanning the model. First, the tension between the different pedagogical approaches in the two learning environments. Language-focused content teaching and translanguaging in the segregated class contrasts to teaching approaches in integrated classes. Pupils’ struggle to follow instruction in the immersion environment underscores that commitment to language-focused and translingual support must be shared across the curriculum.

    Another tension inheres in the trilateral language learning task NAPs face. Everyday Swedish is as much a communicative challenge as the specialized language of school subjects. At the same time, NAPs in Sweden are engaged in maintaining and developing skills in their mother tongue. Translanguaging can bring these discourses into communicative play, align them, and make manageable what might otherwise be overwhelming.

    A further tension invades mother tongue use in each learning context. While mother tongue use in the NAP-only class affords extensive learning opportunities, it tends to be avoided in the integrated classes for fear being marginalized. In this context, pupils’ translingual practices interfere with their social need to fit in and belong to the class. Translanguaging needs to be promoted sensitively and related to both pupils’ need of cultural support and wider school inclusion.

  • 23.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    "Not teacher, not interpreter. I am a language assistant": Enabling newly arrived students to learn Swedish through bilingual language assistants (BLAs)2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    General description

    The use of a learner’s mother tongue during additional language acquisition is widely heralded as a crucially important learning asset (Cummins, 2017; Hyltenstam & Milani, 2012). Despite research and report recommendations to value and make pedagogical use of newly arrived pupils’ indigenous language resources (e.g. Cummins, 2017; Skolverket, 2016), multilingual education in Sweden is still largely dominated by monolingual norms and practices (Jalali-Moghadam & Hedman, 2016). This paper presentation reports the findings of a project geared to the introduction of mother tongue language mentors (LMs) into the initial levels of the regular Swedish for immigrants (SFI) teaching programme of an adult education institute in Sweden. The language mentor project is the vision of an SFI teacher team whose concern over the low number of students who manage to reach minimum requirement levels to pass the first study path spurred them to bring about organizational change. In August, 2017, eight mother tongue language mentors were recruited for the autumn term and a 6-month pilot project was launched. Their mother tongues included several Arabic varieties, Dari and Somali. In cooperation with the participating teachers, this study aims to document and investigate the development and learning processes among participants of the project in order to gauge the effect of mentor intervention on the pedagogical environment in which students strive to learn additional language. Research questions include:

    1. What indicators can be extrapolated from project data and second language acquisition research to serve as a basis for an evaluation of the kind of learning conditions mediated by teacher-mentor pedagogical cooperation for the development of students’ language skills?

    2. In what ways does the work of the language mentors alongside teachers in the first study path effect students’ opportunities to participate in instructional activity and learn Swedish as an additional language?

    3. In the light of project results, what changes need to be made to the mentor programme and their classroom practice in order to further improve conditions for students to achieve higher success rates on the first SFI study course?

    Theoretically, this research project is inspired by both Bakhtin’s (1981; 1986) concepts and translanguaging as an account of multilingual communication practice. Bakhtin’s concepts of voice, understanding as responsive and heteroglossia have proved particularly apt in illuminating the phenomena of interest. For example, data points to the way the mentors make student voices accessible to the teachers.  

    Translanguaging creates novel analytical and pedagogical prospects in multilingual education. The concept highlights the capacity of bi- and multilinguals to make themselves understood and produce nuanced meanings by gliding between languages so that they use a variety of features and practices from their whole linguistic repertoires (Creese & Blackledge, 2010; García & Wei, 2014). Such communicative mobility on the basis of all a speaker’s linguistic resources has significant promise for doing language which is a necessary condition for knowing it (Dewey, 1938).

     

    Methodology

    The first methodological objective was to devise a viable research design. To meet project objectives, indicators were extrapolated from participants’ responses, qualitative observation and second language acquisition research which would allow for analysis and evaluation of the quality of the conditions created by LMs and teachers for student language learning. Twelve indicators were discerned from project data highlighting, for example, mentor performance which insured that students have sufficient chance to make sense of Swedish input and to engage with teacher questions independently before the occurrence of mother tongue explanations.

    The two main methods of generating data within the project were direct classroom observation and series of interviews with students, mentors and teachers spread across the project period at initial, middle and final stages. Direct observations were seen as essential to gain an inside understanding of the context within which teachers, mentors and student were interacting as well as to capture a more comprehensive view of the focal setting than might be gleaned from the selective perceptions of the participants through interviews (Patton, 2002). Interview series were chosen as a way of tracking changes in participant experiences and perceptions which may cast light on significant development and learning dimensions within the scope of the project.

    Expected results

    Preliminary results point to significant positive effects of mentor participation in the first SFI study course. The middle and final student interviews provide evidence of advantageous learning experiences and a strong sense of personal and pedagogical support from the mother tongue mentors. Both students and mentors emphasize the critical role mentors play in building up students’ self-esteem and giving them hope as a necessary condition for motivated language learning. All the participants agreed that, given the mentors’ understanding of the students’ cultural differences and linguistic vulnerability, they are able to explain language and cultural difficulties in a way which the teachers simply cannot.

    The mentors’ interview responses coupled to observations of their classroom performance show a strong learning curve connected to an evolving realization of the role they need to play. From simply providing ongoing translation of teacher instruction, the mentors have developed practices characterized by strategic intervention and scaffolding techniques. According to the teachers, mentor work had shifted from an initial teacher-student relationship to a well-coordinated co-teaching scenario. A significant pedagogical result was a general appreciation of the need to make a clear distinction between helping (doing the work for the students) and supporting (enabling students to do the work themselves) students in their language learning and the significant benefits of achieving the latter. While there may be potential disadvantages connected to the inclusion of language mentors into SFI education such as a dependency on the intervention of mentor support and an incongruity of methods used by teachers and mentors, the evidence is overwhelming that the advantages of language mentorship at this level of language learning far outweighs possible disadvantages.

    Intent of publication

    At least two publications are being planned as joint. The first, designed to target a Nordic audience, gives special place to the voices and vision of the participating teachers whose initiative launched the mentorship venture. The second article will profile the project work and its results and target an international journal such as International Journal of Inclusive Education.

    References

    Bakhtin, M. M. (1981). The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Austin: The University of Texas Press.

    Bakhtin M. M.  (1986). Speech Genres & Other Late Essays. Austin: University of Texas Press.

    Creese, A., & Blackledge, A. (2010). Translanguaging in the bilingual classroom: A pedagogy for learning and teaching? The Modern Language Journal, 94, 1, 103-115.

    Cummins, J. (2017). Flerspråkiga elever: Effektiv undervisning i en utmanande tid. [Mulilingual pupils: Effective teaching in a challenging era]. Stockholm: Natur & Kultur.

    Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and education. New York: Touchstone.

    García, O., & Wei, L. (2014). Translanguaging: Language, bilingualism and education. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Jalali-Moghadam, N. & Hedman, C. (2016). Special Education Teachers’ Narratives on Literacy Support for Bilingual Students with Dyslexia in Swedish Compulsory Schools. Nordic Journal of Literacy Research, 2, 1-18.

    Hyltenstam, K. & Milani, T. (2012). Flerspråkighetens sociopolitiska och sociokutruella ramar [The Sociopolitical and the Sociocultural Frames of Multilingualism]. In K. Hyltenstam, M. Axelsson & I. Lindberg (Eds.), Flerspråkighet: en forskningsöversikt [Multilingualism: A research overview] (pp. 17-152). Vetenskapsrådets rapportserie 5. Stockholm: The Swedish Research Council.

    Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods (3rd Ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

    Skolverket (2016). Utbildning för nyanlända elever [Education for newly-arrived pupils], Stockholm: Skolverket [The Swedish National Agency for Education].

    Vygotsky, L. S. (1986). Thought and Language (A. Kozulin, Ed. & Trans.). Cambridge. MA: MIT Press. (Original work published 1934).

  • 24.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Practice and Presence: Bilingual interaction and identities in an 'international' school setting [LISA 21 and pilot study findings]2008Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Advanced Study Colloquium Proposal Abstract

    LISA 21 and Pilot Study Findings

    Oliver St John has worked within the field of foreign language pedagogy both as a teacher and teacher educator in the UK and Sweden. He is currently starting his second year of a five-year PhD programme within the LISA 21 project at the Department of Education, Örebro University, Sweden.

    LISA 21 is a new project which focuses on plurilingualism, identities and learning in culturally-diverse secondary schools. Taking sociocultural, postcolonial and pragmatist theoretical frameworks as points of departure and seeking to build on classroom interaction studies, the project aims to maintain multiple perspectives on these issues and to create new analytical and empirical intersections.

    The first section of this paper sketches some of the theoretical perspectives guiding this project by seeking to clarify the way the terms ‘language’, ‘identities’ and ‘culture’ are understood. Language is a primary means of mediating human action, but is itself constantly being tailored to serve individual purposes. It is argued that identities need to be understood as both social positionings and as having some kind of cross-contextual coherence. Culture, it is suggested, needs to be conceived as both differentiated and dynamic. This section also highlights the way both languages and identities are implicated when individuals learn. Multiple perspectives on these issues and maintaining balance between micro and macro approaches are considered vital to a more penetrating analysis of these issues.

    The second section of this paper presents the preliminary findings of a pilot study undertaken in the spring of 2007. Ethnographic fieldwork was carried out in a school for the Deaf and Hearing-impaired and an ‘international’ school with a view to gaining orientation and finer focus on areas of potential significance within the project’s ‘language and identities’ research questions. Three educational tensions are outlined as a way of communicating some preliminary results: suspending and resourcing dialogue in the classroom; transferring versus transforming understanding and identity affordances and restraints in plurilingual learning environments. The first of these seeks to convey the way a teacher’s orchestration of student participation in the classroom has important repercussions for students’ learning opportunities and the generation of certain kinds of knowledge. The significant contribution of student contributions to understanding in the classroom was also noted. With regard to the second, teacher practices suggested a view of knowledge as ‘packing’ brains whereas students’ behaviour demonstrated that their needs would be better satisfied with a transforming rather than a transferring of understanding. Thirdly, observations pointed to the need for pedagogical sensitivity where both identity affordances and restraints on student learning are created in plurilingual settings.

    Finally, the capacity to be comfortable alongside cultural differences and to appreciate them is highlighted as a ‘core’ life skill – one which needs to be fostered in school settings. Teachers need much support for this task and intercultural competence must be focused on in teacher education programmes if sustained opportunities for this kind of learning are to be an ongoing part of classroom priorities and practice.

     

  • 25.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Study guidance as translanguaging response to newly arrived pupils2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Newly arrived students and translanguaging – epistemological challenges  

    A central aim of the paper is to explore methodological and theoretical challenges of translanguaging in education for newly arrived immigrants in Sweden. The concept of translanguaging has emerged from a growing interest in multilingualism and multilingual education during the last two decades, especially in the Global North, which was previously — and to a large extent still is — dominated by monolingual norms. Translanguaging offers a challenging and expansive conceptual lens for understanding the linguistically hybrid yet fluid meaning-making practices of multilinguals (Garcia & Wei 2014; Creese & Blackledge 2010; 2015). It highlights the capacity of bi- and multilinguals to make themselves understood and produce nuanced meanings by gliding between languages so that they use a variety of features and practices from their whole linguistic repertoires. Such communicative mobility on the basis of all a speaker’s linguistic resources has significant promise for gaining opportunity to contribute to instructional processes and collaborate with other students so that (language) learning is maximized (Creese & Blackledge, 2010). . At the same time, tendencies in research on translanguaging stand in need of critical assessment. Translinguists insistence on a single integrated linguistic system supporting multilingual communication and the deconstruction of named languages (Otheguy, García & Reid, 2015) raises the question of the role of grammatical systematicity in language learning and how language retains coherent meanings or determinable meaning potentials across different contexts. Rather than accounting for translanguagers’ interaction in terms of individual repertoires and competence, participants collaborative interactional work also has to be inspected to understand aspects of translanguaging. By drawing on empirical examples from two ethnographic studies of language support for newly arrived students in subject learning from Swedish schools, we critically explore the potential of translanguaging.  

  • 26.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    The intersected word: Viewing intersectionality through a CA lens2009Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Is there a place for intersectionality in educational research? My answer in this presentation is ‘Yes, if intersectionality can be grounded in the way people in educational contexts co-accomplish their sense of one another and the world within the unfolding infrastructure of interaction. In support of this assertion, I plan to examine a transcription of talk-in-interaction in an attempt to show that social meanings and relations are oriented to through individual utterances, intersected by different accents and properties, in processes which are procedurally and collectively realized. I seek to relate intersectionality and intersubjectivity which is viewed as a situated condition for common understanding. This is as true for pedagogical encounters as for any other kind of communicative engagement people undertake.

  • 27.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    Towards a Pedagogy for FL Intercultural Competence2004In: Cultures in Contact: A Festschrift for Ingrid Westin / [ed] Marko Modiano, Gävle, Sweden: Högskolan i Gävle , 2004, p. 51-79Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 28.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Towards dialogic analysis of classroom interaction2015Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 29.
    St John, Oliver
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Towards dialogic analysis of classroom interaction: Operationalizing Bakhtin in empirically-driven study of human interaction2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This presentation outlines and illustrates some of the opportunities and challenges of operationalizing Bakhtinian dialogism in empirically-driven study of (classroom) interaction. In support of harnessing Bakhtinian concepts and conversation analysis (CA) in methodological partnership, some affinities between them are highlighted. Resonance between Bakhtin and CA inheres in, for example, a common perception and explication of social order in human speech as well as an insistence that language can only sensibly and seriously be studied in its situated communicative realization. Dissonance between Bakhtin and CA also exists particularly with regard to emic-etic approaches and interpretive stances. It is suggested that common orientations make a basis for productive partnership possible while divergent interests can complement each’s distinctive contribution.

    To illustrate a Bakhtin-CA methodology, examples are taken from a study which uses the Bakhtinian concept of addressivity as lens for inspecting some of the mutual orientations between participants and intricate instructor addressivity work in classroom task instructions. In this environment, student questions set up tensions between the demand to respond to the individual and responsibility to uphold the general instructional agenda. To meet both individual and collective accountabilities, dual addressivity – targeting two or more addressees in response to a student question – proves instructionally crucial.

  • 30.
    St John, Oliver
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Allard, Karin
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    LISA 21 project poster presentation2007Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    EARLI conference – LISA 21      August 2007

    LISA 21 and Pilot Study Findings

    LISA 21 is a one-year-old project supported by the Swedish Research Council which focuses on plurilingualism, identity work and learning in multicultural settings. It is part of the Communication, Culture & Diversity – Deaf Studies research group at Örebro university, Sweden. This text presents an aspect of the project group’s research interest and outlines the preliminary findings of a pilot study conducted by two of the project team.

    Project aims and methods

    Over the coming three years, in-depth fieldwork has been planned in three very different kinds of school – a school of the Deaf, an ‘international’ school and a multicultural school. These schools have been chosen because of their “good practice” status and all offer the opportunity to study plurilingual practices in teaching-learning situations. The fieldwork sites are secondary schools, specifically pupils in grades 7 to 9, since it is at these levels that it becomes possible to study the communicative practices of teachers and pupils in environments where they are using different languages for classroom communication.

    The project’s envisaged studies assume a sociocultural perspective and, since they emphasize communication practices in plurilingual school arenas, are also informed by classroom interaction studies and an ethnographically inspired methodology. Fieldwork will involve both participant and nonparticipant observation techniques as a well as a study of national, school and classroom texts which bear relevance for pupils’ learning experiences.

    Pilot studies, 2007

    During the spring of 2007, two pilot studies were conducted in a school for the Deaf and Hearing-impaired and an ‘international’ school with the aim of identifying key areas of commonality and contrast for forthcoming ethnographic investigation. The studies involved ‘shadowing’ two classes through their daily schedule over a ten-day period in order to piece together a picture of the pupils’ daily school lives and routines. Video and audio recording of lesson activity as well as field notes were the primary methods used to collect data. A preliminary analysis of the data has pointed to several areas of potential significance for further fieldwork. They are of particular interest because they suggest educational incongruities, even contradictions, whose tensions and resolutions have important bearings on learning and development at school. Schools showed themselves to be formidable cultural institutions wielding certain powers and authority and yet sites of enormous struggle between, for example, curricular mandates and vision, teacher beliefs, educational ethos, parental demands and student identities. In the following paragraphs, we outline five of these areas which we hope will contribute impetus to the project’s focused fieldwork and analytical framework.

    1. 1.      Sense-making in plurilingual environments

    One established way of analyzing communication practices in the classroom entails studying oral and writing activity. Oral interaction in school most commonly orientates around texts and presupposes that learners develop the ability to produce meaning when moving between text and speech. The generation of understanding with the aid of a text is based on a different approach to statements than is the case with speech. Given this difference, the way teachers and pupils use language when engaged in textual practices is of particular interest.

    An ability to access written forms assumes a familiarity with specific ways of negotiating meaning. In a visually-oriented environment, mapping out similarities and differences between Swedish and Swedish Sign language is of less relevance than gaining insight into how pupils and teachers seek to build bridges between an everyday vernacular and the more specialized language of school. This issue has not been given the focus it deserves since research has often failed to highlight heterogeneity in the classroom, preferring to treat the body of pupils as a unified group. Building discursive bridges is especially interesting among the Deaf and Hearing-impaired since ‘bilingualism’ has long been regarded as a language model which is particularly characteristic of their language use. Underlying support for the view of a standardized form of ‘bilingualism’ has been given by linguistically-inspired research into Swedish Sign language and Swedish as a second language for the Deaf. Over the last few decades, such research has had a prevailing influence on educational thinking, school language policy and the way the syllabuses for special schools have been formulated.

    1. 2.      Suspending and resourcing dialogue

    It was evident that the way teachers coordinate and conduct student attempts to contribute to the lesson has important repercussions for the extent to which pupils are allowed to engage with the subject matter and therefore for the generation of certain kinds of knowledge. Teachers exercised their monopoly on communication rights in the classroom by gate keeping access to the ‘floor’ and orchestrating student participation. Factors that governed teachers’ decisions to constrain rather than encourage student contributions included the teacher’s need to protect the delivery of his/her points from competing contributions. Behind this tendency is often a teacher-constructed body of material that the teacher feels pressure to ‘get through’ as well as conceptions of what counts as legitimate or ‘real’ school work.

    Given the patterns of participation these constraints imply, what kind of learning do they lead to? A constraint on classroom participation and a suspension of dialogical rights tended to divert participation and, with it learning, to the ‘edges’, centrifugally, where plenty of knowledge sharing was going on, but which was not directly related to the activity in the ‘official’ arena. The term diverted learning perhaps describes the kind of learning that emerges when pupils are denied an ‘official’ opportunity to gain a discursive grip on a particular issue or concept. There were also discursive barriers to student lesson participation which some teachers failed to break down, but which others managed to bridge.

    1. 3.      Transferring and transforming understanding

    In many of the lessons observed (Science and Social Studies being prime examples), there seemed to be a paradox, a critical tension, with regard to the learning aims and needs in the classroom. On one hand, the teachers seemed determined that the students should understand the lesson topics and reflect independently on them. On the other hand, their practices suggested a conception of gaining knowledge as transferring knowledge with very little room for the kind of interaction that encourages the co-production of understanding. The students’ questions and attempts to get a ‘handle’ on the topic demonstrated that their needs would be better satisfied with a transforming rather than a transferring of understanding. Even activity on the ‘unofficial’ fringe was sometimes geared to interacting with the topic meaningfully and trying to relate the new information to the pupils’ own experiences.

    Data suggested that a teacher’s conception of how pupils can become more knowledgeable has a decisive effect on the aims, the roles, expectations, interaction patterns, learning activity and outcomes in the classroom. For example, a view of knowledge development as a cumulative packing of brains with bits and pieces of information reduces student influence, and ultimately democracy, to responsibility for receiving and reproducing school learning material rather than reflecting on or interacting with it creatively and constructively.

    1. 4.      Linguistic resources

    Assuming a plurilingual perspective on a Sign language teaching setting, what linguistic resources do Deaf and Hearing-impaired pupils have access to when trying to understand each other in the midst of several potential language opportunities? This raises the question as to what importance the communication practices have for the teachers and pupils who participate together in classroom activities. The pilot study includes data showing different lessons in which different languages as well as different oral and writing activities shape different language encounters. The methods used captured sequences of classroom activity in which teachers converse with pupils about the relationships between different languages in different countries, language use, personal experiences of changing to a different language, code switching and second language socialization in Sweden among those with an ethnically different background. These sequences bring together both teacher and pupil experiences of language complexity regarding both language function and its different purposes in various contexts. The conversations with pupils suggest that a language need not create distance between everyday life experiences and the more technical language of the academic disciplines.

    The study also points to different aspects of code switching.  Data suggests that the use of code switching has a communicative purpose and serves different pragmatic functions at a general level. The grammatical aspect of code switching is also evident when different languages are interwoven at a more micro level into the conversation between teacher and pupils. More specifically, the data shows examples of linking, chaining between Swedish and Swedish Sign language where teacher and pupils juxtapose different terms and expressions with the purpose of introducing or underlining the meaning of certain words in different contexts.

    1. 5.      Identity affordances and restraints in school arenas

    A formal learning environment in which two or more languages are in operation as main means of classroom communication both creates opportunities for new identity positions, new roles and relationships in the classroom as well as conditions which restrain pupils’ ability to identify themselves as significant and eligible selves. On one hand,  the appropriation of new language practices extends pupils’ communicative capability, affords the possibility to display  an esteemed ‘bilingual’ competence and creates new roles, such as that of ‘interpreter’ of the teacher’s meaning or instruction for peers.

    At the same time, working in a second language can limit the students’ capacity to express meaning, can put them at a cultural disadvantage and, in the face of ‘foreign’ values and practices, may lead to alienation. Given these restraints, plurilingual learning settings, without considerable pedagogical care, can war against inclusion. Whether these tensions are resolved or remain sharp depends on several factors which include second or third language competence, attitudes to this language, self-confidence and cultural affinity or remoteness.

    Karin Allard and Oliver St John

    Department of education, Örebro university, Sweden

     

     

  • 31.
    St John, Oliver
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Cromdal, Jakob
    Institutionen för samhälls- och välfärdsstudier (ISV), Linköpings universitet, Sverige.
    Crafting instructions collaborativelyManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This study examines classroom task instructions – an event commonly associated with noninteractional objectives and operations – as interactionally complex and co-crafted. Analyses of video sequences of task instructional activity from four different secondary school lessons seek to show that the management of task instructions is a distributed accomplishment, a locally sensitive order, arranged and sustained by its members. As sense-making projects, student questions routinely contribute to the work of orienting to tasks. Data show that instructors take remarkable care to meet both individual and collective accountabilities set up by student contributions in this environment. To achieve this objective, dual addressivity proves instructionally crucial. The study identifies two related senses in which task instructions are crafted collaboratively – sequentially and simultaneously. Educationally, it appears vital to recognize student instructed action as a condition for making task instructions followable and such in vivo work as integral to task-related learning.

  • 32.
    St John, Oliver
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Cromdal, Jakob
    Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Linköping University, Norrköping, Sweden.
    Crafting Instructions Collaboratively: Student Questions and Dual Addressivity in Classroom Task Instructions2016In: Discourse processes, ISSN 0163-853X, E-ISSN 1532-6950, Vol. 53, no 4, p. 252-279Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study examines classroom task instructions—phases traditionally associated with noninteractional objectives and operations—and reveals their composition as interactionally complex and cocrafted. Analyses of video sequences of task instructional activity from three different secondary school lessons show that student questions routinely contribute to making task instructions followable. In this environment, student questions set up tensions between the demand to respond to the individual and responsibility to uphold the general instructional agenda. Data show that, as addressees of student questions, instructors take great care to meet both individual and collective accountabilities. To meet obligation to the addressee and exploit the instructional benefit of the question for the cohort, dual addressivity—targeting two or more addressees in response to a student question—proves a crucial method for achieving such principled practice. Educationally, it appears vital to recognize student instructed action as integral to task-related learning.

  • 33.
    St John, Oliver
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Elsen, Adri
    Learner autonomy and intercultural competence2007In: Challenges in Teacher Development: Learner Autonomy and Intercultural Competence / [ed] Manuel Jiménez Raya and Lies Sercu, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Publishing Group, 2007, 10, p. 15-38Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 34.
    St John, Oliver
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    Elsen, Adri
    Profiling for progress2003In: A framework for freedom: learner autonomy in foreign language teacher education / [ed] Kees van Esch and Oliver St John, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Publishing Group, 2003, p. 181-199Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 35.
    St John, Oliver
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Sercu, Lies
    Teacher beliefs and their impact on teaching practice: A literature review2007In: Challenges in Teacher Development: Learner Autonomy and Intercultural Competence / [ed] Manuel Jiménez Raya and Lies Sercu, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Publishing Group, 2007, p. 41-64Chapter in book (Refereed)
1 - 35 of 35
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