Text and Language Practices in One-to-one Environments in a Swedish Primary School

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Abstract

Recent investments in schools in Sweden focus on increased availability of technology and ways to incorporate digital media in the classroom. Via the computer screen, students are involved in a new type of writing and communication culture that allows for new approaches in literacy instruction and learning (Lorentzen & Smidt, 2010). The purpose of the present study was to investigate how the availability and every day access to technology in a one-to-one laptop programme in primary school impact on text and language practices. The objective was to explore what text genres the students meet and what artefacts they use to facilitate their work, the modalities they engage in and if they work on their own or in collaboration. Also, what new demands are put on the instruction. The empirical results are based on classroom observations of a sample of lectures in two classes in year three and two classes in year five where the students had been using computers for about 2.5 years. In both year three and five the students expressed great enthusiasm for the work on computers. Narrative and expository strategies were prominent in the development of text and language competencies. New practices facilitating multimodal and digital expression occurred more on the students' own initiative. The activities in year three provided opportunities for both individual and collaborative work, whereas year five mainly did individual work. The assignments in both years were mostly designed to result in products of the same type and were published on their computers for a restricted audience. We interpret these practices as being mainly teacher-controlled and for the benefit of the teacher and fellow classmates. This stands in contrast to previous analyses on changes in literacy processes in laptop classes that report on more student autonomous and public uses (e.g., Warschauer, 2008).

Keywords: one-to-one classroom, primary school, text competencies, language practices, multimodal analysis.

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Sofkova Hashemi, Sylvana; Johansson Bunting, Leona. (2012). Text and Language Practices in One-to-one Environments in a Swedish Primary School. In Linda Bradley, Sylvie Thouësny (Eds), CALL: Using, Learning, Knowing, EUROCALL Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden, 22-25 August 2012, Proceedings (pp. 274-279). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2012.000066

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