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ERIC Number: EJ905533
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 33
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 64
ISSN: ISSN-0039-8322
"I Learn More at School": A Critical Perspective on Workplace-Related Second Language Learning In and Out of School
Sandwall, Karin
TESOL Quarterly: A Journal for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages and of Standard English as a Second Dialect, v44 n3 p542-574 Sep 2010
This article presents a case study of a student involved in language learning at a work placement, as part of the basic Swedish language programme for adult immigrants, Svenska for invandrare (Sfi), in Gothenburg, Sweden. In accordance with the predominant economic agenda, this system is assumed to accelerate labour market entrance as well as language acquisition for the newcomer. The article describes some macrolevel aspects important for the outcome of the work placement and discusses some tensions in the system, before exploring an ecological framework and the concept of "affordances" as a tool for analysing the agents' situated interactions at the work placement. The analysis shows that affordances offered by the environment at the work placement were explored as meaning-making material and as action potentials but not as learning opportunities, because the student's activities were limited to tasks and she had insufficient support for evaluating her work placement interactions. The article suggests some basic ecological principles for the reframing of the Sfi programme, built on affordance-focusing tasks that enable students to learn from discourse practices that they come across at workplaces and other out-of-classroom contexts. (Contains 3 tables and 6 footnotes.)
Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. 1925 Ballenger Avenue Suite 550, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 888-547-3369; Tel: 703-836-0774; Fax: 703-836-7864; Fax: 703-836-6447; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden