”Herravälde. Är det bara killar eller?” Andraspråksläsare möter lärobokstexter i historia för gymnasieskolan.
This thesis explores and characterizes Swedish high school students’ encounters with history textbook texts, with a focus on students having Swedish as their second language. Reading history textbooks entails comprehending and learning not only the subject matter but also the specific language of history. In order to perform successfully in history as a school subject, Swedish high school students are expected to read texts in the field of history in an analytical and critical manner. However, difficulties in understanding written school-related texts is likely a contributing factor why many L2-students do not achieve the same marks as their L1-peers. These difficulties are investigated within the current body of work. The results of this thesis are generated from two empirical studies. The first study investigates structural and lexico-grammatical features in five high school history textbooks, drawing on systemic-functional linguistics, SFL. The second study explores a number of L2 and L1 high school students’ mediated encounters with their history textbook. The data for the second study is derived from two series of conversations with eleven L2- and L1-readers. The results show that history textbook texts impose great linguistic demands upon the L2-readers. For example, in order to comprehend the texts the reader must have: a large and deep knowledge of vocabulary, an ability to analyze complex linguistic structures, and an ability to make inferences which is necessary for interpreting implicit information in addition to identification and tracking of historic actors within the texts. The L2-readers who struggle to comprehend the textbook texts, and/or do not share the textbook author’s frame of references, use various textual and contextual resources to find clues in order to make meaning of the text. One important resource for the L2-readers to make meaning of the text is the reader’s own interpretation of the teacher’s expectations of the students’ understanding of history as a school subject. However, both textual and contextual clues can lead readers to unexpected interpretations of the text contents.
Doctor of Philosophy
Göteborgs universitet. Humanistiska fakulteten
University of Gothenburg. Faculty of Arts
Department of Swedish ; Institutionen för svenska språket
Måndagen den 16 juni, kl. 13.15, Lilla Hörsalen, Humanisten, Renströmsgatan 6
Date of defence
Denna doktorsavhandling i humaniora med inriktning mot utbildningsvetenskap har genomförts inom ramen för forskarskolan i utbildningsvetenskap vid Centrum för utbildningsvetenskap och lärarforskning, Göteborgs universitet. Centrum för utbildningsvetenskap och lärarforskning, CUL Forskarskolan i utbildningsvetenskap Doktorsavhandling 35
reading in a second language
upper secondary school
subject specific literacy