Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2212-8433
  • E-ISSN: 2212-8441
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This article presents findings from a Grade 7 religion lesson with 12–13 year-old multilingual Finnish-Swedish students in Finland. Here, focus is on the development of academic language and disciplinary literacy in multilingual environments, as they are crucial to students’ success and an area in need of both attention and support. A total of 117 minutes of six video-recorded group discussions, collected in a classroom study in a Swedish-medium school in Finland, were analyzed. The aim was to explore how students used everyday language and academic language to co-construct meaning of academic text and to investigate resources that were used by multilingual students and teachers to facilitate access to content for students instructed through Swedish. Our findings focus mainly on discussions in one group of four students as they were answering text questions. This group bridged academic and everyday language by creating linguistic chains that linked the two and used multiple resources, such as previous knowledge, the textbook, asking the teacher, and using Finnish in order to ensure each participant’s full understanding of the subject.


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