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Language norms in L2 education for adult migrants – translanguaging pedagogy in the age of mobility

  • Annika Norlund Shaswar EMAIL logo
From the journal Multilingua


International mobility has caused a need for language education where adults can learn the language(s) used in their new country. In Sweden, the language programme SFI (Swedish for immigrants) provides basic second language education for adult immigrants. For those learners who are not yet functionally literate, basic literacy education is included. This article aims to explore the concept translanguaging pedagogy in relation to the articulated and embodied language norms of one SFI teacher. The empirical data, produced by ethnographic methodology, consists of classroom observations and semi-structural interviews. The method of analysis comprises a set of sociolinguistic questions, three categories of language norms (double monolingualism, integrated bilingualism and polylingualism) and discourse analysis, centering on deictics, indexical signs and reported speech. Findings show that although the teacher does engage in translanguaging practices, her teaching practices cannot be referred to as translanguaging pedagogy because she has made no deliberate decision to include the students’ full linguistic repertoires and there are contradictions both within and between her articulated and embodied language norms. It is concluded that it is crucial for educational development in contexts characterised by mobility that teachers in linguistically heterogeneous classrooms increase their awareness of their language norms and the students’ linguistic resources.

Corresponding author: Annika Norlund Shaswar, Department of Language Studies, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden, E-mail:


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Received: 2021-10-13
Accepted: 2021-11-05
Published Online: 2021-11-29
Published in Print: 2022-05-25

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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