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Auto Mechanics in English: Language Use and Classroom Identity Work
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. (Studier i Barndom, Lärande och Identitet som Interaktionella praktiker (CLIP))ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8179-4049
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This is a compilation thesis consisting of three different articles with the purpose to explore the relationships between language practices, identity construction and learning in the context of the Vehicle Program, a vocational program in Swedish upper secondary schools. A feature of the particular setting studied here that sets it apart from the general education of auto mechanics in Sweden is that it was carried out in English.

The study focuses on language practices within a community of practice where the norms for second language use, gender arrangements and identity work are negotiated in conversations between students and between students and teachers. The language practices are considered as talk-in-interaction, and identity construction and learning are understood as processes in socially situated activities.

The study was conducted through an ethnographic approach, including observation, field notes, approximately 200 hours of video recorded interactions, and interviews with students and teachers. The recorded interactions were analysed using tools from conversational analysis and methods focusing on linguistic activities and interactional patterns. An eclectic approach combining linguistic ethnography, ethnometodological conversation analysis and socio-cultural theory of learning, in particular the concept of communities of practice, form the basis of the theoretical framework.

The findings in study I highlight that language alternations are repeatedly used in the workshop as a meta-language to play around with language, which relates to emerging communicative strategies that also produces – and helps contest – local language norms. Study III suggests that teasing in students’ peer relations are not only disruptive, off-task behavior, thereby rendering them important only from a classroom management perspective. Teasing, this study proposes, should rather be seen as an organizing principle by which the students are able to position themselves in relation to an institutionally established language ideology. Study II focuses on how participants invoke and renegotiate conventional forms of masculinity tied to the ability of handling tools. Such micro-processes illuminate how gender is a constantly shifting social category that is done, redone and possibly undone. The findings suggest that new forms of auto mechanic student identities are formed that challenge current dominant discourses about what a mechanic should be.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2016. , 97 p.
Series
Uppsala Studies in Education, ISSN 0347-1314 ; 139
Keyword [en]
Classroom Discourse, English Medium Instruction, Ethnomethodology, Identity Work, Linguistic Ethnography, Social Interaction, Vocational Education
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-286859ISBN: 978-91-554-9591-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-286859DiVA: diva2:922098
Public defence
2016-06-09, Bertil Hammer, 24:K104, von Kraemers Allé 1A, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-05-20 Created: 2016-04-21 Last updated: 2016-06-15
List of papers
1. Language Alternation and Language Norm in Vocational Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Language Alternation and Language Norm in Vocational Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)
2015 (English)In: Language learning journal, ISSN 0957-1736, E-ISSN 1753-2167Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present article deals with language choice as communicative strategies in the language learning environment of an English-medium content and language integrated learning (CLIL) workshop at an auto mechanics class in a Swedish upper secondary school. The article presents the organisation and functions of language alternations which are learner-initiated and teacher-impelled (Üstünel & Seedhouse, 2005). The data is drawn from ethnography combined with audio and video recordings of learners in a beginner’s level workshop and in an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom. A close analysis of languages chosen locally is combined with ethnographic knowledge of the broader social context of the alternations, and in both theory and method the article combines the research fields of sociolinguistics and ethnography.

The study demonstrates that language alternation in vocational CLIL classrooms is orderly, it is related to the evolution of communicative strategies, and it is in accordance with and reproduces local language norms. Thus, English-medium education does not by definition mean that English is the only language employed. On the contrary, students play around with language and use different strategies, including the use of another language, to make themselves understood.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2015
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-253103 (URN)10.1080/09571736.2015.1053279 (DOI)
Available from: 2015-05-20 Created: 2015-05-20 Last updated: 2017-12-04
2. ‘Last year we used to call it a Man’s Hammer’: (un)Doing masculinity in everyday use of working tools within vocational education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>‘Last year we used to call it a Man’s Hammer’: (un)Doing masculinity in everyday use of working tools within vocational education
2015 (English)In: International Journal for Masculinity Studies, Vol. 10, no 1, 20-38 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study focuses on how masculinity is oriented to in everyday interactions where both female and male students are learning how to use working tools in an auto mechanics environment in an upper secondary school in Sweden. Data are drawn from video-ethnographic work during two years in a beginner’s level workshop within a Vehicle engineering program. The study contributes to research on masculinity and technology. An ethnomethodological approach is taken in order to explore how gender is oriented to in everyday auto mechanic practices. It is demonstrated how the handling of auto mechanic devices in the beginning of term becomes associated with conventionalized understandings of what it means to be a man. However, when students start to work together in mixed gender teams any social actions that link auto mechanics with masculinity is downplayed or playfully challenged. We argue that the shifting enactments of gendered forms in everyday auto mechanic work suggest certain openness for future changes in the gendered relations of vocational practices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2015
Keyword
Vocational Education, Masculinity, Auto Mechanics, Ethnomethodology, Doing Gender
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-237879 (URN)
Available from: 2014-12-07 Created: 2014-12-07 Last updated: 2016-06-15
3. Making Fun of Language Use: Teasing practices and hybrid language forms in auto mechanic student peer interactions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Making Fun of Language Use: Teasing practices and hybrid language forms in auto mechanic student peer interactions
2017 (English)In: Linguistics and Education, ISSN 0898-5898, E-ISSN 1873-1864, Vol. 37, 22-31 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study focuses on how auto mechanics students in an upper secondary school in Sweden use teasing in everyday peer interactions to comment on one another’s language use. Data are drawn from video-ethnographicwork during two years in a Vehicle engineering program taught in and through a foreign language, English. The analyses concern how and in what ways normative expectations on language can be seen to play a role in building an English-speaking classroom community. A linguistic ethnographic approach is taken in order to explore how students’ teasing activities are organized to invoke broader language ideologies. It is found that students’ deploy teasing as a way of co-constructing shifts between different second language registers, linked to classroom language ideologies. It is here argued that engaging in teasing and other joking activities should be seen as conditional for identity construction and peergroup participation at the English medium instruction Vehicle programme.

Keyword
Auto Mechanics, Teasing, CLIL, Vocational Education, Community of Practice
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-286560 (URN)10.1016/j.linged.2016.11.003 (DOI)000394633000003 ()
Available from: 2016-04-21 Created: 2016-04-21 Last updated: 2017-04-25Bibliographically approved

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