Research Project: Learning to Read against the Grain: Critical Literacy and Critical Language Awareness in the First and Foreign

Project leader
Project Members
Julie Hansen
Mats Tegmark
Project Period
Project Status
The aim of this application is to develop a project on critical literacy and critical language awareness in the Swedish school system.
Sweden is known as a country with a high level of public education and a literacy rate that ranks among the highest in the world. The widespread competence in the English language is also something that is often mentioned in discussions of the knowledge level of European countries. But the question is: what kind of literacy are we talking about here? What type of reading and writing abilities do we require of our graduating high school students? These questions are especially relevant since a relatively small percentage of Swedish high-school graduates go on to pursue a post-secondary education, and since it is here, at university level, that the Swedish educational system (stressed in higher education legislation) really stresses the importance of being able to perform critical interpretations and judgements. But how well-prepared are our high-school graduates for this type of critical reading? The proposed study aims to investigate what type of literacy the Swedish educational system promotes and encourages in the form of national curricula and standardized tests for the school subjects Swedish and English. Lastly, the proposed study will relate the level of critical literacy in Sweden to that of some of the English speaking countries of the world where critical literacy has been on the educational agenda for the last two decades.
Research Profile
Intercultural Studies