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Multilingual literacy among young learners of North Sámi: contexts, complexity and writing in Sápmi
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6157-2879
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Flerspråkig literacitet bland elever som studerar nordsamiska : kontexter, komplexitet och skrivande i Sápmi (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

This thesis presents an investigation of the complexities of the immediate, ideological, educational, and societal contexts for literacy development among North Sámi learners between the ages of 9 and 15 who live in Northern Finland, Norway and Sweden in the central regions of Sápmi. Further, this thesis focuses on one area of literacy, namely writing. It examines these children’s writing, its phases and peculiarities, writing strategies, and the nature of transitions that these multilingual writers experience in switching between North Sámi, English and their respective national majority language. The main body of the collected materials consists of computer mediated pupil texts that the author gathered at 10 schools that arranged compulsory schooling in Central Sápmi during the school year 2012-2013. The texts were collected using keytroke logging methodology that not only records the final written product but also keeps track of changes and other writing activity during the writing session. Other materials collected and analyzed in this study include questionnaires addressed to the pupils, their parents, and to their language teachers. The materials also include detailed interviews with with 24 teachers from the participating schools. This study consists of six individual papers that focus at 1) research methodological aspects that concern studying Indigenous populations, 2) language attitudes, ideologies and available language arenas that have an impact on biliteracy emergence in North Sámi speaking Sápmi, or 3) the qualities and characteristics of multilingual pupil's writing and texts. The implications of the six individual papers are analyzed with respect to language revitalization and biliteracy emergence using the Hornbergian Continua of Biliteracy as the overarching theoretical framework. North Sámi, English and the national majority languages in the respective countries are constantly present in the lives of Sámi learners. Young Sámi learners grow up to be multilingual citizens of the global north through this extensive exposure to many languages and cultures from multiple sources such as popular culture, literature, media, community, tourism, and school. In their writing, multilingual Sámi learners show a wide spectrum of strategies and knowledge that carries over from one language to another. Nevertheless, most young Sámi learners cannot draw on equally many points on their Continua of Biliteracy in all their languages. Due to factors such as scarcity of adequate teaching materials, lack of popular culture and media content in Sámi languages, and language compartmentalizing language ideologies, the scales on the continua of biliteracy are in severe imbalance for many Sámi learners. Many Sámi learners risk losing their indigenous heritage language because the non-indigenous languages are prevalent in school as well as out of school contexts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University , 2015. , 113 p.
Series
Umeå studies in language and literature, 27
Keyword [en]
bilingualism, complexity, Continua of Biliteracy, diversity, global North, keytroke logging, learners, literacy, Nordic Countries, North Sámi, Sápmi, school, writing
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Finno-Ugric Languages
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-102922ISBN: 978-91-7601-284-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-102922DiVA: diva2:811183
Public defence
2015-06-11, Hörsal E, Humanisthuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 15:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Literacy in Sápmi: multilingualism, revitalization and literacy development in the global north (Vetenskapsrådet 2011-6153)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2011-6153
Available from: 2015-05-20 Created: 2015-05-11 Last updated: 2015-06-09Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Researching writing development to support language maintenance and revitalization: Methodological challenges
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Researching writing development to support language maintenance and revitalization: Methodological challenges
2016 (English)In: Indigenous Writing and Education / [ed] Sullivan, Kirk, and Cocq, Coppélie, Leiden, Netherlands: Brill Publishing , 2016Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Leiden, Netherlands: Brill Publishing, 2016
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Finno-Ugric Languages
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-101334 (URN)
Projects
Literacy in Sapmi: multilingualism, revitalization and literacy development in the global north
Funder
Swedish Research Council, B0615301
Note

Accepterad och In Press, boken är inte publicerad ännu

Available from: 2015-03-27 Created: 2015-03-27 Last updated: 2017-03-06
2. Davvisámegielat čálamáhtu konteaksta [The context of North Sámi literacy]
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Davvisámegielat čálamáhtu konteaksta [The context of North Sámi literacy]
2015 (Sami languages (Other))In: Sámi dieđalaš áigečála, ISSN 0805-4312, no 1, 29-59 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The context of North Sámi literacy

This article sets out to unravel the contexts of Sámi literacy that are necessarily and unavoidably intertwined with the bilingual and biliterate actuality of the Sámi learners in North Sámi speaking regions of Sápmi in Sweden, Norway and Finland. The study presented in this paper is a language sociological cross-sectional case study. Our primary material consists of the 128 questionnaires that were gathered from 9 and 12 year old North Sámi learners and their parents during the school year 2012-2013. We have approached and analysed the questionnaire data using the Hornbergian Continua of Biliteracy theoretical framework as our main conceptual tool.

According to our findings Sámi language is often conceived of as being a difficult language to write and having more value when spoken fluently. Such views seems to, in turn, have negative effects on how literacy skills in Sámi are perceived both by the pupils and their parents. Paradoxically, when placed on the scales of the Continua of Biliteracy framework, we see that the literacy context of many young Sámi learners of today is limited to the literary realm of school, and to literate rather than oral contexts. Our findings further implicate that there are substantial interregional differences in the state of Sámi literacy that are due to as well ideological as practical factors that arise in this complex bi- and multilingual context. Although some regions are coping better with reaching balanced biliteracy and good Sámi litercy skills among Sámi learners, Sámi literacy practices everywhere are in need of special attention and focused measures so that they can withstand the pressures that in the present cause considerable lack of balance in many Sámi learners biliteracy scales.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Tromsø: , 2015
Keyword
literacy, Continua of Biliteracy, methodology, sociolinguistics, North Sámi, čálamáhttu, guovttegielat čálamáhttu joatkašuvvi skálat, metodihkka, sosiolingvistihkka, davvisámegiella
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Finno-Ugric Languages
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-101329 (URN)
Projects
Literacy in Sápmi: Multilingualism, revitalization and literacy development in the global north
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2011-6153
Available from: 2015-03-27 Created: 2015-03-27 Last updated: 2016-06-01Bibliographically approved
3. Sámi time, space and place: exploring teachers' metapragmatic statements on Sámi language use, teaching and revitalization in Sápmi
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sámi time, space and place: exploring teachers' metapragmatic statements on Sámi language use, teaching and revitalization in Sápmi
2015 (English)In: Confero: Essays on Education, Philosophy and Politics, ISSN 2001-4562, Vol. 3, no 1, 1-46 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Keyword
erasure, iconicization, ideological and implementational space, Indigenous language education, language ideologies, language revitalization, metapragmatic statements, place, recursivity, Sámi
National Category
Specific Languages Learning Social Anthropology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-101335 (URN)10.3384/confero.2001-4562.150618 (DOI)
Projects
Literacy in Sapmi: multilingualism, revitalization and literacy development in the global north
Funder
Swedish Research Council, B0615301
Available from: 2015-03-27 Created: 2015-03-27 Last updated: 2016-06-02Bibliographically approved
4. Researching literacy development in the globalised North: studying tri-lingual children's English writing in Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish Sápmi
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Researching literacy development in the globalised North: studying tri-lingual children's English writing in Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish Sápmi
2016 (English)In: Super Dimensions in Globalisation and Education / [ed] David R. Cole & Christine Woodrow, Singapore: Springer, 2016, 55-68 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Singapore: Springer, 2016
Series
Cultural Studies and Transdiciplinarity in Education, ISSN 2345-7708 ; 5
National Category
Specific Languages Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Finno-Ugric Languages; language teaching and learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-101336 (URN)10.1007/978-981-10-0312-7 (DOI)978-981-10-0310-3 (ISBN)978-981-10-0312-7 (ISBN)
Projects
Literacy in Sapmi: multilingualism, revitalization and literacy development in the global north
Funder
Swedish Research Council, B0615301
Available from: 2015-03-27 Created: 2015-03-27 Last updated: 2017-03-06Bibliographically approved
5. Meaning-making across languages: a case study of three multilingual writers in Sápmi
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Meaning-making across languages: a case study of three multilingual writers in Sápmi
2017 (English)In: International Journal of Multilingualism, ISSN 1479-0718, E-ISSN 1747-7530, Vol. 14, no 2, 124-143 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sápmi is a geographical area that runs across the Kola Peninsula in Russia to northern Finland, Norway and Sweden. All Sami languages have been going through a rapid language change process and many of the traditional language domains have disappeared during the last decades due to previous national and local language policies. Nevertheless, recent growth of positive attitudes towards Sami languages and culture both within and outside the Sami group has given new momentum to the language revitalisation process. At the same time, English is becoming more present in the Sami context through tourism, media and popular culture. This study investigates 15-year-old writers' meaning-making in three languages they meet on a daily basis: North Sami, the majority language Finnish/Norwegian/Swedish and English. Data were collected in schools where writers wrote two texts in each language, one argumentative and one descriptive. Using a functional approach, we analyse how three writers make meaning across three languages and two genres. Results show that writers made use of similar ways of expressing meaning on the three levels we investigated: ideational, interpersonal and textual, but also how the production differed between the texts, and how context and content interacted with writers’ meaning-making in the three languages.

Keyword
Writing, multilingualism, indigenous language, meaning-making, Sami
National Category
Specific Languages Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-101339 (URN)10.1080/14790718.2016.1155591 (DOI)000399550200006 ()
Projects
Literacy in Sapmi: multilingualism, revitalization and literacy development in the global north
Funder
Swedish Research Council, B0615301
Available from: 2015-03-27 Created: 2015-03-27 Last updated: 2017-05-30Bibliographically approved
6. Procedural differences in bilingual writers' computer mediated writing: evidence from treatment of gradation in text
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Procedural differences in bilingual writers' computer mediated writing: evidence from treatment of gradation in text
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keyword
writing, gradation, awareness, adaptation, word-internal pauses, key-stroke logging, North Sámi, Finnish
National Category
Other Humanities not elsewhere specified Specific Languages
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-101337 (URN)
Projects
Literacy in Sapmi: multilingualism, revitalization and literacy development in the global north
Funder
Swedish Research Council, B0615301
Available from: 2015-03-27 Created: 2015-03-27 Last updated: 2015-05-18

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Citation style
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