Perspectives on written L1 in Swedish CLIL education
Keywords:CLIL, upper secondary education, text linguistic variables, academic writing, L1
This article presents a longitudinal investigation of texts written by students in upper secondary schools in Sweden. The texts are collected at three different schools implementing Content and Language Integrated Learning, CLIL, where school subjects are taught in a second or foreign language, L2, in this case English. CLIL research with an L1 focus in the Swedish context is rare. The present study explores and compares vocabulary use in texts written in L1 Swedish by students attending schools where English is used as the medium of instruction to various degrees, thereby representing diverse CLIL models. One school uses English in practically all subjects except in language arts (subject area of Swedish and optional German/French/Spanish). The other two schools use L2 English in some lessons but not all, thus representing other CLIL models. The data comprises 306 pieces of texts that were analysed using quantitative and corpus linguistic methods to examine the vocabulary use including linguistic variables connected to academic writing. The texts were written at four different occasions during a period of three years, Results indicate that the L1 vocabulary use concerning specific word variables show no substantial diversifications between the three CLIL schools despite the dissimilar exposure to L2 English and L1 use. The impact of L2 on students’ L1 is sometimes raised as an apprehension against CLIL education in Sweden. The results regarding productive written academic vocabulary of the present study indicate that there are no grounds for such concerns.