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Student Agency in Science Learning

Wedin, Å. & Aho, Bomström, E (2019). Student Agency in Science Learning-Multimodal and Multilingual Strategies and Practices among Recently .. 12(1), 67–74.


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This article describes early arrived students learning in upper secondary school attending the Language introduction program and in what way access to digital recourses (among other multimodal practices) support their learning process. This is important since the language of teaching and learning is not their preferred one. The study concludes that these students have agency in their learning, and this is supported by, for example the digital, multimodal tools. On the other hand, they are often left to take too much responsibility over translating and monitoring their learning, which ends up with them mainly governing how they perform the task within the given time frame and deeper learning is put aside. Students used digital tools for example to create glossaries when needed, online dictionaries, used google translate to communicate or translate, and to listen to music on the mobile phone or computer. They also shifted between the computer and the phone when needed, for example when the computer was needed as a writing device, but they still needed to use google translate. To know the meaning of concepts, words and their explanations was amongst the students considered as key for the learning now and in the future, a gatekeeper to knowledge and interdependence.

Inclusion and Digitalisation: Inclusion is an obvious theme, but the concept is not explicitly mentioned. Digital tools are conceptualized as one of many multimodal tools for learning. The study at hand is part of a bigger project: Recently arrived students in Swedish upper secondary school – a multidisciplinary study on language development, disciplinary literacy and social inclusion, 2018-2021, financed by the Swedish research Council, Grant nr: 2017-03566.

Feasibility for this project: This article is of high interest as it focuses on a marginalized group who is often exposed to processes of exclusion in educational systems and classrooms. Also, digital teaching and learning is problematized, what access and agency is really provided? In this case it seems to be a quite shallow one, not leading to deep learning and meaningful participation.




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