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Communicating Local Knowledge in a Foregin Language: A comparative study of ideational and interpersonal aspects of primary school pupils' L1 and L2 texts in the Seychelles
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
2019 (English)In: L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature, ISSN 1567-6617, E-ISSN 1573-1731, Vol. 19, article id 12Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Drawing on evidence from second language medium of instruction (L2 Mol) context (the Seychelles), the objective of the study was to investigate to what extent the choice of language is a factor that influences pupils' writing and their opportunities to incorporate their own knowledge, person, experiences and world views in their school knowledge production. The evidence is based on findings from a corpus of 308 written texts, produced by 154 primary six pupils in the Seychelles in the subject of Social Studies, where each pupil answered the same task under controlled conditions in their native tongue (Kreol Seselwa) and in English (L2 Mol) in a counterbalanced design. Apart from text length, aspects of two metafunctions from Halliday's Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) were investigated in the analyses, namely 1) the cognitive ideational dimension and 2) the social and interpersonal dimension. With relevance to the ideational dimension, we also looked at how students resorted to code switching to express their ideas. The results of the study show that pupils produced longer texts when writing in Kreol Seselwa and that they code switched more in the English texts. Further, the Kreol Seselwa texts contained far richer vocabulary to describe the semantic domain of the locally contextualised topic of the exercise. It was also evident that pupils used far more first-person pronouns when writing in their mother tongue, indicating a closer engagement with the text than when they wrote in English. The study has implications for policy-makers, teachers and most importantly learners in other multilingual settings, particularly in post-colonial countries like the Seychelles, where the mother tongue is undervalued in the classroom.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
International Association for Research in L1 Education (ARLE) , 2019. Vol. 19, article id 12
Keywords [en]
Code switching, Kreol Seselwa, L2 medium of instruction
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-166512DOI: 10.17239/L1ESLL-2019.19.01.12ISI: 000498521500030OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-166512DiVA, id: diva2:1380076
Available from: 2019-12-18 Created: 2019-12-18 Last updated: 2019-12-18Bibliographically approved

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