Public Defence: Ingrid Miriam Rodrick Beiler
MA Ingrid Miriam Rodrick Beiler at the Department of Teacher Education and School Research will defend the dissertation Multilingualism as a Resource in English Writing Instruction - Opportunities and Obstacles in Five Linguistically Diverse Classrooms in Norway for the degree of Philosophiae doctor.
Photo: Sandra R. Nielsen
What would be the broad implications of Norwegian schools adopting translingual practices or a translingual policy across the curriculum?
- 1st opponent Professor Suresh Canagarajah, Pennsylvania State University, USA
- 2nd opponent Professor Fiona Copland, University of Stirling, UK
- Committee Chair Professor Eva Thue Vold, University of Oslo
Chair of defence
Professor Glenn Ole Hellekjær, University of Oslo
- Associate Professor Lisbeth M. Brevik, University of Oslo
- Associate Professor Joke Dewilde, University of Oslo
This thesis investigates multilingual practices in English writing instruction at the secondary level in Norway. The study responds to a need to critically examine language use in linguistically diverse English classrooms, a topic that has received minimal attention in Norway and similar sociolinguistic settings until recently. The research aim is to investigate how teachers and students use and position students’ multilingual resources in secondary-level English writing instruction, across four different instructional settings in Norway.
Two study sites, one lower and one upper secondary school, were selected as ‘telling cases’ (Mitchell, 1984) for exploring multilingual practices in English writing instruction. These encompassed four different instructional settings: introductory classes for recent immigrants and accelerated, mainstream, and sheltered streams in general academic studies. In total, 3 teachers and 76 students participated in the study. Linguistic ethnography (Copland & Creese, 2015) serves as the methodological and interpretive approach. Data include: field notes from 7 months of participant observation; audio, video, and screen recordings; instructional documents, student texts, and language portraits; and recordings of stimulated recall interviews with teachers and students. The analysis draws on ecological and translingual theories of language use, including the continua of biliteracy (Hornberger, 2003), translingual practice (Canagarajah, 2013, 2018), and translanguaging (García & Li Wei, 2014). The findings demonstrate possibilities for translingual instructional approaches that can support students’ writing development in linguistically diverse English classrooms, including by building on existing student practices such as translation. However, the study also draws attention to limitations in classroom translanguaging. These relate to students’ tendency in the introductory classes to set aside resources that had not previously served as a prestigious language of schooling, as well as the different positioning of translanguaging that drew on either majoritized or minoritized language resources in the general studies program.