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Opening for tensions in understanding: How students' mother tongue and personal experience can be used to stimulate reflection on complex phenomena
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, School Based Research, Sustainable Development and Science education.
2012 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The paper presents a new analysis of interview material from an earlier study of international Masters students’ language use and expression of understanding of complex phenomena in the area of environmental studies. The intentional-expressive dialogue format was used, and the question of preventing major flooding served as a starting point for the discussions. While the earlier study focused students’ responses to the different questions in the dialogue format, here micro-process analysis is used to investigate processes of change in the way the phenomenon was approached that took place in the course of the dialogues. The processes of change are related to how the students expressed their understanding of how flooding can be prevented in English, compared to how they would express it in their mother tongue. Three main categories were found: No change; Some change; No translation possible. Results suggest that when tensions and inconsistencies appeared in how the question was treated in the different languages, students were stimulated to reflect further and find expanded or alternative ways of understanding the phenomenon.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. 22- p.
Keyword [en]
conceptualisation, language, interdisciplinarity, multilingualism, higher education, sustainability studies, complex phenomena
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-22956OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-22956DiVA: diva2:683892
Conference
EARLI SIG 9 Phenomenography and Variation Theory Conference, 27-28 August 2012, Jönköping
Available from: 2014-01-07 Created: 2014-01-07 Last updated: 2016-11-08

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  • apa
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