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English as a Transcultural Language in Swedish Policy and Practice

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Abstract

The globalization of English in Sweden is examined as it takes shape in educational policy and practice. Following in the tradition of a “new wave” of language policy and planning research that emphasizes connections between policy and how it is interpreted by local stakeholders, this investigation focuses on textual data from Swedish national curricular documents and observational data of preservice English language educators during teacher training. Discourse analysis was conducted in order to illuminate underlying policy discourses, on the one hand, and facilitate tracing intertextual connections to the voices of educators, on the other hand. Drawing upon current perspectives on linguistic globalization, major discursive tensions engendered in the processes of transculturation through which English as a global language is locally situated in Sweden are brought to light. The study illustrates how educational language policy serves as a discursive space for ongoing negotiation about the status of English in Sweden.

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