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Jag måste tänka på ett annat sätt...: Fem folkhögskolestuderande med annat modersmål och deras upplevelser av att lära matematik på svenska
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies.
2013 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of the present study is to describe adult second language learners’ experiences of mathematics learning from a past and contemporary perspective. What experiences in mathematics do they bring? What does it mean to learn Mathematics through their new language?

The study is based on life-world narratives from five second language students with another native language than Swedish. Today they all study at a Swedish folk high school, at upper secondary level and they have previously studied at this level in Mathematics.


The result shows that the meeting with the Swedish school and folk high school context is confusing. They face a new school culture with quite different normative rules and it is unclear to them how to behave as good students in this context. They are positive about the response from teachers which is much unlike their previously experiences. The teachers are competent tutors, supportive, listening, encouraging, friendly, authorities without being iron handed.


The multilingual students in this study describe that the new language is of secondary importance in mathematics learning. Everyone starts off  in year one at upper secondary level and sees mathematics the first period as a refresher. Mathematic studies are, during this period, used to consolidate the mathematical concepts in the new language. All change automatically to their native or previous school language when working with mathematical tasks. There are basic mathematical  concepts learned and automated, it is too cognitively demanding to use the Swedish language. They are critical of how Mathematics is taught, a lot of individual work and pace and says that briefings and discussions are more effective, a teacher led approach that they are familiar with.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 45 p.
Keyword [en]
Mathematics, second language, multilingual, native language, folk high school, code switching, school culture, life-world phenomenology, understanding of Mathematics, adult student, socio cultural perspective
Keyword [sv]
Andraspråk, matematik, flerspråkiga, modersmål, code switching, folkhögskola, skolkultur, livsvärldsfenomenologi, matematikupplevelser, vuxenstuderande, sociokulturellt perspektiv
National Category
Pedagogical Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-28006Local ID: LPS:2OAI: diva2:629592
Subject / course
Teacher Education - Special Education
Available from: 2013-08-05 Created: 2013-06-17 Last updated: 2013-08-05Bibliographically approved

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Lisa (Lisbeth) Karlsson exarbete_130614(1275 kB)155 downloads
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