Ideology in Swedish ELT

A Case Study of a Multilingual Secondary School Classroom


  • Eva Zetterberg Pettersson School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences Örebro University


biliteracy, culture, ESL, EFL, ideology, language use, multilingualism, secondary school, Sweden, teaching materials, teaching practice, multiculturalism, teachers' perspectives


Grounded in scholarship on multilingualism, this multimodal case study aims to identify factors related to ideologies of language and culture in an English language classroom in a public lower secondary school in Sweden for an enhanced understanding of learning conditions for multilingual students. Using a triangulation of methods, participant observation, materials analysis, and interviews, the study examines teaching practice, materiality, language use and teachers’ perspectives on multilingualism and their own teaching practices in the multilingual classroom. The study finds a predominance of factors rooted ideologies of monolingualism and monoculturalism. Teaching practice was marked by the traditional approach to teaching English with a focus on Britain/the U.K. as a homogenous monocultural and monolingual nation and a Swedishness norm dominated teaching practice and classroom interaction: extensive usage of the Swedish language, examples of teaching strategies related to a contrastive Swedish-English grammar approach and a study of target language culture from a national Swedish perspective. An application of Nancy Hornberger’s model of the continua of biliteracy to the data identifies teaching practice in the classroom as close to the privileged ends. The analysis of interviews suggests that the traditional approach was normalized and that teachers had limited awareness of pedagogical strategies for the inclusion of multilingual students.



2023-10-12 — Updated on 2023-12-21


How to Cite

Zetterberg Pettersson, E. (2023). Ideology in Swedish ELT: A Case Study of a Multilingual Secondary School Classroom . Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies, 17(3), 1–22. (Original work published October 12, 2023)