Annika Norlund Shaswar is new docent in Language Teaching and Learning
Annika Norlund Shaswar is new docent in Langauge Teaching and Learning at the Department of Language Studies. In her research, she mainly focuses on adult second language learners of Swedish.
Text: Sandra Lundström
Annika Norlund Shaswar, Associate professor at the Department of Language Studies
– I am driven by exploring and developing teaching. What I do should matter and contribute to new knowledge that the organisation can benefit from, says Annika.
Annika has worked as a teacher in Swedish as a second language, including at sfi, Folkuniversitetet and Language Introduction in upper secondary education. In 2014, she defended her doctoral thesis at Umeå University in which she looked more closely at the use of writing in everyday life, and in sfi education.
– I was interested in investigating what connections there were between sfi students' reading and writing in everyday life, and within sfi studies.
Researches literacy and multilingualism
Shortly after the defense of her thesis, she landed a position as lecturer at the Department of Languge Studies. Here, she teaches Swedish as a second language on single subject courses and on the teacher education programme, but mainly, she researches literacy and multilingualism.
– Among other things, I have my own project which is financed by Umeå School of Education, and which deals with pronunciation teaching within sfi. The aim is to, together with sfi teachers, explore and develop teaching methods that work well for students with a short previous education.
Annika is also part of the research group Litum, which she has been with since it started, and for which she was the research leader in 2019–2021 together with Sofie Areljung (Department of Applied Educational Sciences). In the summer of 2022, the book Skrivdidaktik i grundskolan was published, which originated from Litum. Annika is one of the editors and wrote, together with Åsa Wedin (Dalarna University), a chapter on multilingual writing in mother tongue teaching.
– Literacy, which is the focus of Litum, is also one of the cores of my research. Litum is an environment that is good for networking and getting input. Most of the group members are within Umeå University, but we have affiliated members at other universities.
Trust important in practice-based research on teaching and learning
Practice-based research on teaching and learning is a field which has grown and developed in recent years. On 17 October, The Swedish Institute for Educational Research arranged a symposium for researchers who carry out projects financed by the institute. Annika participated to present ethical dilemmas that practice-based research on teaching and learning faces regarding adults with short previous education.
Especially in research involving adult second language learners with short previous schooling, we need to work very hard to create trust
– There are challenges in power structures regarding information and consent. What does it mean to participate in a study? Is it ok to film? What does it mean to give written consent to participate in a study? Especially in research involving adult second language learners with short previous schooling, we need to work very hard to create trust in us who lead the study, Annika concludes.