Reference : Language policies in STEM subjects: Inclusion, exclusion and abjection
Scientific journals : Article
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Education & instruction
Educational Sciences
Language policies in STEM subjects: Inclusion, exclusion and abjection
Andersen, Katja Natalie mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Education and Social Work (DESW) >]
Bagger, Anette []
Discourse and Communication for Sustainable Education
85 - 98
[en] STEM ; inclusive learning ; language policies ; primary education ; pre-primary education
[en] Language policies are of increasing importance in STEM teaching and learning in school systems, considering the increasing number of pupils who speak other family languages than the teaching language. The latest PISA results as well as national testings (cf. LUCET & SCRIPT, 2021) have shown that pupils with family languages others than the school language tend to underperform in the STEM subjects. The combination of language policies, the global testing industry and the role of STEM subjects in school systems have been shown to undermine the inclusion of all pupils, especially in regards to language backgrounds. There are signs of systematic exclusion being the result of this. In this chapter we will display the language policies in two national contexts, the Swedish and the Luxembourgish ones, and specifically display issues of in(ex)clusion in relation to multilingualism in STEM teaching. The research question that guides this comparative and problematising endeavor is: What kinds of language policies appear in the STEM subjects and what processes of inclusion, exclusion and abjection does this enhance? The methodology builds on Popkewtiz’s (2013; 2014) approach on politics of schooling. Hence, policy texts are understood as inscription devices that attribute terms, possibilities and characteristics to different kinds of people (Hacking, 1999) and therefore produce norms that function to include social groups while others are absent by omission (Popkewitz, 2013; Valero, 2017). This chapter will unravel such in(ex)clusion processes and abjections by advocating discourse analysis aiming to examine laws and regulations on language use in STEM subjects in Sweden and Luxembourg for indications regarding the discourse on in(ex)clusion. Our results show, first, that different language and multilingualism policies become visible in the STEM documents which exist in the two national contexts. Secondly, this chapter discusses what impacts these policies have on matters of inclusion, exclusion or abjection in STEM teaching contexts at primary schools.
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students

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