CHALLENGES IN ACADEMIC WRITING FOR SECOND LANGUAGE STUDENTS. Focusing students with Somali background

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för språk och litteraturer

Sammanfattning: The aim of this thesis is to investigate and describe what specific challenges second language students in general and students with Somali background in particular, face in Higher Education in Sweden. The aim is also to argue for what type of support that would benefit this group of students most.The investigation and description of the challenges are founded, partly on theories on how language and culture, and language and knowledge formation are linked and intertwined, partly on theories on second language acquisition. In addition, there is a short description of the educational level within the Somali community in Sweden in comparison with the level of education for other groups, and a short description of Somali in comparison with Swedish.To reach the aim, 17 texts written by students at the University of Gothenburg were analysed. The texts written by students with Somali background were in focus, while the texts written by students with Swedish background were used for comparison. The texts were analysed on three different levels, global levels, local levels and regarding referencing, against the background of the theories on language and culture, language and knowledge formation and second language acquisition.The results show that the students with Somali background benefit from the same type of support that benefit students with Swedish background. However, the results indicate that it is especially important for the success of students with Somali background that the academic discourse and the demands of the academic writing are made explicit, which is underlined by the finding that these students do not seem to benefit from previous experiences in Higher Education. In addition, the results show that the type of support that benefits these students most is language support regarding vocabulary and grammar.

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