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  • 1.
    Andersson, Emelie
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Teachers' Attitudes Affect Students: A Study of Swedish Primary School Teachers' Attitudes towards CLIL2019Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Teachers play an important role in teaching English as a second language. Since many studies of students’ attitudes towards leaning English already exist this study aims to compensate the lack of studies examining teachers’ attitudes towards methods of teaching English as a foreign language. The main focus of the study is on Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL). The definition and effects of CLIL are presented and discussed as well as pedagogical implications about teaching English as a foreign language. Via an online survey questionnaire, this study examines the attitude towards CLIL of ninety-seven teachers in the Swedish primary school’s preschool class to grade three. Findings of this study implicate that teachers in general have a positive attitude towards a content integrated approach to teaching English as a foreign language. Finally, suggestions for future research are presented.

  • 2.
    Bianchi, Giovanni
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    ICT as a tool and a resource in teaching English: A study of teachers’ motivations and attitudes towards using ICT in the English classroom2019Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 240 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This study examines what motivates language teachers in primary school to use ICT and what attitudes they have towards ICT. Six teachers working in four different Swedish primary schools between the first and third grade were interviewed. The teachers actively used some kind of ICT resource during their English lessons. The study showed that external factors such as requirements from the school and local school authorities motivate teachers to work more actively with ICT. These external motivators can influence the teacher’s perception and use of ICT in both positive and negative ways. When it comes to internal factors that affect the teachers’ motivation to use ICT in English, the most important factor is whether they consider ICT tools to be a positive addition to their teaching and whether a good balance between digital and traditional tools can be achieved to accommodate every student’s need.

  • 3.
    Binder, Ella
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    World Englishes in Lower Secondary School Textbooks: A comparative study between a Polish and a Swedish Textbook2018Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study has been to find out whether the authors of English textbooks in two EU countries, Poland and Sweden, view diversity and promote World Englishes in the same way or whether there are any differences. The attempt has been made to analyse reading texts in the two textbooks for teaching English as a foreign language, a Polish and a Swedish one, in order to see what different Englishes have been promoted there, and to which extent they are represented in both textbooks. For the purpose of this analysis, Marko Modiano´s descriptive model of World Englishes has been used. The study has shown that the Polish textbook focuses mostly on British and American English, and to a great degree on European countries where English is taught as a foreign language. On the other hand, the Swedish textbook promotes both British and American English, as well as major and local varieties of English, but does not mention European countries, except Great Britain obviously, almost at all. World Englishes are present both in the Polish and in the Swedish textbook but the textbook authors take slightly different approaches in promoting them. 

  • 4.
    Cananau, Iulian
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Between Womanhood and Citizenship: A Conceptual-Historicist Approach to Antebellum Women's Literature of Protest2018Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigates the tension between the antebellum ideas of “womanhood” and “citizenship” as represented in three classic texts of women’s literature of protest: the “Declaration of Sentiments” of the Seneca Falls Convention, Margaret Fuller’s Woman in the Nineteenth Century, and Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. After a brief discussion of what is meant by “literature of protest” and the reasons why these texts belong to this category, I proceed to read them and their historical context following a method inspired by Reinhart Koselleck’s history of concepts (Begriffsgeschichte); I approach “womanhood” and “citizenship” as concepts whose semantic fields can and should be analyzed in their diachronic and synchronic dimensions. Here, however, I will focus on the latter, in an attempt to account for conflicts as well as commonalities between them.

  • 5.
    Cananau, Iulian
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Conceptualizing "Americanness"2012Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In sharp contrast with “Englishness”, which is an important category of scholarship on national identity in Britain, the notion of “Americanness” has suffered from chronic lack of conceptualization. Treated as if its meaning were self-evident, “Americanness” now features only sporadically and marginally in studies of US culture, where it is used as a synonym for “American identity” semantically subsumed to concepts such as “ideology”, “exceptionalism”, “whiteness”, and “masculinity”, depending on the author’s thesis and scholarly interests. No dedicated study of Americanness has been produced, at least nothing of the kind Englishness has engendered. Perhaps it is time we put it on the map of literary and American studies in a new, scholarly rigorous and dispassionate way.

    Within the methodological framework of conceptual history, I propose that “Americanness” might be viewed as a concept with a broad, albeit historically specific, semantic field. Today for example, “Americanness” grasps several historical objects and theoretical notions, serving as their common designator; among these, U.S. national identity, political culture, conflicts and negotiations along the lines of race, gender, ethnicity, class, and sexual preference, a national corpus of law, a higher education system, a system of government as well as an economic and financial system, world hegemony, popular culture, literary canon, and several varieties of English. Here, however, in order to investigate the conceptual quality of the term, I will focus on the diachronic dimension of “Americanness” and address the problem of its frequent confusion with the older notion of “Americanism”.

  • 6.
    Cananau, Iulian
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Constituting Americanness: A History of the Concept and Its Representations in Antebellum American Literature2015Book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This book is based on my PhD dissertation, entitled Representations of the Concept of “Americanness” in the Canon of Antebellum American Literature. It is a work in cultural history and literary theory that suggests a fresh and potentially fruitful approach to the old notion of Americanness, an idea that lay at the foundation of American studies in mid-twentieth century, only to be exposed as “ideological fiction” by the New Americanists. Surprisingly, neither its advocates nor its critics have made the scholarly effort necessary to theorize or conceptualize Americanness. 

    The subtitle indicates what is distinctive about this project: this is a study of the concept of Americanness. Thus, following Reinhart Koselleck’s history of concepts (Begriffsgeschichte), I propose that “Americanness” is not an ordinary word, but a concept with a broad, albeit historically specific, semantic field. Thus, in the three decades before the Civil War, the semantic field of “Americanness” was constituted at the intersection of several concepts, in different stages of their respective histories; among these, nation, representation, individualism, sympathy, race, and womanhood. By tracing the representations of these concepts in literary texts of the antebellum era, paying attention to their overlapping with the rhetoric of national identification, I uncover some of the meaning of “Americanness” in that period. 

    As far as literary history writing is concerned, Begriffsgeschichte has a double potential: first, to explain the source of confusion between historically different semantic loads of the same concept and, second, to check the critic’s tendency to relativize concepts and therefore make the past a little too familiar. The concept-focused close reading of literary works of the past involves a reformulation of the text/context binary so as to account for contingencies without diminishing the importance of exegesis (a crippling tendency in contemporary literary studies); ultimately, this work aims to reconsider the relationship between history and literature.

    To lay out the meaning of “Americanness” I analyze a wide range of antebellum texts by Emerson, Melville, Thoreau, Douglass, Whitman, Stowe, Jacobs, Hawthorne, Poe, and Fuller, against the background of critical reception and recent scholarship. Thus, to college students and faculty, this book offers a period study of major American writers of the antebellum era.

  • 7.
    Cananau, Iulian
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Democracy and the Teaching of English at the University of GävleManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study is to investigate these practices, notions, and attitudes as they inform (and are carried out in) the teaching of English as an academic subject at the University of Gävle. The research questions are: 1) What are the conceptions of democracy in education among the English faculty at the University of Gävle? 2) Which norms, structures and practices are considered to foster democracy in higher education and which norms, structures and practices are considered real or potential challenges to democracy in higher education? 3) How does democracy fare in the teaching practice, i.e. in objectives, content, assessment, as well as in the implementation and course/lesson design? 4) What specific advantages does the teaching of English have for democratic education? 5) How well are the teachers acquainted with official documents that outline the University of Gävle’s policy on promoting and maintaining democracy in this institution? To answer these questions, semi-structured interviews have been conducted with four of the six teachers who made up the English faculty at the University of Gävle in the spring semester of 2017. The respondents’ answers and their subsequent analysis constitute the core of this qualitative research.

  • 8.
    Cananau, Iulian
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    English-Language Literature Teaching and Democratic (Higher) Education2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Out of the values, norms, and practices that constitute the semantic field of democracy, this study hones in and reflects on those that are relevant for the goals and principles of higher education in the national context. Furthermore, the scope of this study is narrowed down to the teaching of English-language literature in Swedish institutions of higher education. Given the relatively high degree of autonomy that the teaching of literature has within the academic subject of English and the wide diversity of lecturers’ and professors’ research interests and backgrounds, it is important to account for the educators’ notions of, and attitudes toward, democratic education and democratic values as well as for the ways in which those values are reflected in their teaching practice. The main questions are: 1) Which norms, structures and practices are considered to foster democracy in higher education and which norms, structures and practices are considered real or potential challenges to democracy in higher education? 2) What specific advantages does the teaching of English-language literature have for democratic education? 3) How do the democratic values fare in the teaching practice (in objectives, content, assessment, as well as in the implementation and course/lesson design)? Empirical evidence will be gathered through semi-structured interviews with English-language literature faculty from several Swedish universities. Some partial results of this investigation, which is part of an on-going project, will be presented at the conference.

  • 9.
    Cananau, Iulian
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    On the Path to Citizenship: A Conceptual Historicist Reading of Antebellum Women's Protest Literature2019In: Orbis Litterarum, ISSN 0105-7510, E-ISSN 1600-0730Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This essay introduces a new approach to the history of pro‐ test literature, and to literary history writing in general. My case studies investigate three antebellum American works by women that express discontent with women’s condition: the “Declaration of Sentiments” of the Seneca Falls Convention (1848), Margaret Fuller’s Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845), and Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (published in 1861, but written probably between 1852 and 1857). Drawing on Reinhart Koselleck’s theory and practice of conceptual history, the essay includes an analysis of the semantic field of citizenship in these works with an aim to explore the textual politics of their protest within the con‐ ceptual and ideological context of antebellum America.

  • 10.
    Cananau, Iulian
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    "Partialist" and "Universalist": Figurations of U.S. Exceptionalism in Antebellum Writing2018Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, I investigate the tension between particularism and universalism at the core of antebellum American exceptionalism. “Particularism” is herein understood as a broader term encompassing “nationalism”, “jingoism”, “sectarianism”, as well as “individualism” and “self-interest”.  As for “universalism”, it is conceived neither in theological terms as the doctrine that all people will be eventually saved, nor as a kind of foreign policy, but as virtually synonymous to “universality”, or the condition and quality of being universal. Taking my cues from one of Emerson’s famous paradoxes, namely that “every man is a partialist… and… every man is a universalist also” (in the essay “Nominalist and Realist”), I proceed to identify and compare representations of particularism and universalism in antebellum writings on U.S. national identity by Emerson, Fuller, Simms, Douglass, and Delany.

  • 11.
    Cananau, Iulian
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Poe and the New Order of Free Enterprise Capitalism: An Illustration of the Uses of Reinhart Koselleck’s Begriffsgeschichte for Literary Studies2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In her influential review of the “new formalist” movement, Marjorie Levinson grounds her discussion on the polemic of resurgent formalist views and theories with materialist approaches to literary history and interpretation represented by the well-established, institutionalized, school of new historicism. The most frequent problem invoked by representatives of the formalist “countercurrent” in literary studies today is the tendency of reducing literary texts to “a simple-minded mimesis” of their cultural and historical contexts, which has come to replace “the dynamic formalism that characterized early new historicism”. By recourse to Reinhart Koselleck’s notion of historical structure (which he discusses in connection with the practice of conceptual history), I propose an analysis of Poe’s narrative response to and representation of the new order of free enterprise capitalism, a period of huge transformations in antebellum America, brought forth by the rapid transition from an agrarian society to a market economy dominated by industrial capitalism. With this new historicist exercise informed by Koselleck’s philosophy of history, I hope to get a closer look at the elusive mechanisms of the dialectical relation between work and world, literature and history - a central issue for many of those writing against the new historicist “current”.

  • 12.
    Cananau, Iulian
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Putting Context to New Use in Literary Studies: A Conceptual-Historicist Interpretation of Poe's 'Man of the Crowd'2017In: Partial Answers, ISSN 1565-3668, E-ISSN 1936-9247, Vol. 15, no 2, p. 241-261Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Poe’s adherence to a strict aesthetic formalism used to be problematic for studies of the relationship between his work and its American context; the methodology of New Historicism has helped to surmount this problem but sometimes with excessive emphasis on socio-historical contexts. This essay examines critical practices at work in the interpretation of Poe’s canonical piece “The Man of the Crowd” in light of the recent debates in literary studies around the problem of context and contextualization in general and the “hegemony” of new historicism in particular. It then suggests an alternative method of reading literary texts and their contexts — one based on Reinhart Koselleck’s history of concepts. It offers an analysis of “The Man of the Crowd” as an illustration of this method.

  • 13.
    Cananau, Iulian
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Searching for a point d'appui: Constructions of National Identity in Antebellum American Literature2015Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In the decades before the Civil War, American society witnessed the intensification of political and social tensions over issues such as slavery, Irish immigration, laborers’ rights, and women’s rights; the major economic transformations and the drive toward the new order of free enterprise capitalism (especially in the North); the expansionist policies materialized as Indian removal or military aggression against a neighboring country. Such disruptive forces were taking a heavy toll on the national fabric. At least this is what some American literati feared; through all the tumult and vitality of antebellum America, they discerned a sort of moral groundlessness. The America(s) they imagined seem to point to this ethical dimension as their common denominator. Thoreau is one of those antebellum writers who peeped into the American conscience and tried to find a “point d’appui”, a new ethical foundation for the national project that was underway. This paper investigates his and others’ literary re-constructions of America.

  • 14.
    Cananau, Iulian
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    The Conversational Framework, Democratic Education, and Pedagogic Design in the American Literature Survey: A Case Study2016Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This presentation attempts to probe the applicability of Diana Laurillard’s “conversational” model of collaborative learning to the teaching of the American Literature Survey at the University of Gävle. For the purpose of exemplification, I have selected a unit on race and gender representations in late nineteenth-century fiction, with a focus on Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, respectively. Given that the vast majority of students who take up this course are enrolled in the teacher training program, an important research question is how this pedagogic framework might contribute to developing and consolidating democratic values and practices in their future roles as high school teachers of English in Sweden. This aim converges with the curricular objective that civic values and attitudes should underpin the teaching of all subjects in the Swedish school system. The study is part of a project entitled “Democratic Vistas in the Classroom: Teaching American Literature in Swedish Higher Education”.

  • 15.
    Cananau, Iulian
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Toward a comparatist horizon in conceptual history2019In: History of European Ideas, ISSN 0191-6599, E-ISSN 1873-541X, Vol. 45, no 1, p. 117-120Article, book review (Refereed)
  • 16.
    Cananau, Iulian
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Toward a Methodology of Intuitive Critical Thinking in Literature Teaching2018Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Literature has a special relation with truth. It often purports to reveal that there are many ways of conceiving truth, that indeed there is no absolute truth. Yet there are, in literature, notions of truth like the truth of the slave narratives and all of the so-called protest literature that resist relativization. In a sense, much of our work and expertise as literary scholars is to distinguish between claims to truth and to advance one claim against others through persuasive and valid arguments. To do that, we employ an ability to think critically that we have developed and trained as part of our professional identity. So embedded is this ability in the practice of literary studies that it might be considered exemplary for what theorists of critical thinking tentatively call “a way of being” and “a habit of the mind”. After a brief discussion of a few conceptualizations of truth in literature and literary studies, I present the notion of “intuitive critical thinking” and its possibilities for teaching literature in higher education, with a focus on the syllabi of some of my literature courses at the University of Gävle.

  • 17.
    Cananau, Iulian
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Sims, Caroline
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science, Curriculum studies.
    Teaching Literature, Implementing Multicultural Education2017In: Kunskap, motstånd, möjlighet: Humanistisk forskning i dag / [ed] Ulrika Serrander & Peder Thalén, Halmstad: Molin & Sorgenfrei, 2017, 1, p. 297-316Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 18.
    Drion, Elisabeth
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, Swedish.
    Marston, Pamela
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Action research in Swedish LSP practice: Can we do it? Can we get FUNDED for it?2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Action research is an internationally established method of inquiry, primarily within education.  It is not a research method that is widely practiced within Sweden, although given its specific focus, that of a disciplined inquiry undertaken by an instructor with the intent that this research will inform and possibly change her/his teaching practices in the future, this poster will explore the possibilities of using this method within LSP.

    This poster will outline the three basic types of action research ( individual, collaborative, and institutional) and will briefly note the benefits and drawbacks of each type from a Swedish university organizational perspective.  This poster will also present several direct examples/ eventual case studies of action research areas/ types of inquiries within two disciplines, English studies and Swedish studies, at Högskolan i Gävle.

    New research methods are adapted in direct relation to their possibility of being funded, and this poster will also address this.  Several of the major funding agencies in Sweden, including VR, RJ, SI, and STINT, will be examined here in terms of the possibilities of acquiring support for action research within the context of their respective guidelines.  The poster will present various potential inroads and research cluster constellations as possible options.

  • 19.
    Edsman, Martina
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    A Choice in Reading: A Study of Student Motivation for Studying English Literature in Upper Secondary Schools in Sweden2019Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This essay aims to examine the attitudes and motivation toward literary studies in English in upper secondary school students as well as to determine which tools practicing teachers can apply to increase their students’ language learning motivation within literature teaching in the Swedish curriculum. The questions that this study set out to answer was: How do students rate their ability to succeed in different tasks relating to English literary education? How can teachers in Sweden design their lessons in English literature to motivate their students? Which are some of the best ways to teach literature to students from a motivational standpoint? The primary theories used in this study are; self-efficacy theory and theories regarding intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. This study used a qualitative method to examine the students’ attitudes towards reading English literature in schools. The research tool used is a questionnaire with both general questions regarding literature in addition to questions about how the students would rate their chance to succeed with a task relating to literary studies. This study found that one of the primary methods that teachers should apply when teaching literature to EFL students was giving the students a choice in reading material as well as using age-appropriate material. Using shorter texts such as short stories and extracts from novels was also a method that the students’ preferred. This study showed that using standardized testing is the least preferred examination method to use when assessing the students. On the other hand, the preferred examination methods were writing book reports, essays or using group discussions or answering study questions. Furthermore, it is important for the teacher to know the group and plan accordingly and listen to the students and give them a choice in what they read and how to assess them at the end of the literary module to give the students a greater chance of success.

  • 20.
    Edsman, Martina
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    The Immortal Life and Immoral Values of Dorian Gray: A Study of Immortality and Immoral Behavior in The Picture of Dorian Gray2018Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This essay aims to examine how immortality and immoral behavior are represented in The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. The claim in this essay is that an immortal life is not a desirable life and that it traps you in a paradoxical existence that cannot be desirable. The method used in this essay is close reading of the narrative focusing on the protagonist Dorian Gray examined through two theories, ‘The Makropulos case’ and the subsequent analysis regarding contingent and categorical desires introduced by Bernard Williams as well as a theory focusing on endless frustration by Aaron Smuts that evolved through critiquing Williams’ theory on contingent and categorical desires. By analyzing Dorian Gray’s behavior and comparing his choices to the theories presented by Williams and Smuts the results are unanimous and support the claim that an immortal life is undesirable. Dorian Gray ended up confined to a life without meaning as he left everything that held meaning to him behind in his pursuit of pleasure and youth.

  • 21.
    Eklund, Manne
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Does Politics Trump Gender?: A Study of Linguistic Features Among American Voters During the 2016 Presidential Election2017Student paper other, 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    In this essay, the usage of several linguistic features of 13 members of a televised political discussion are studied. The members of the discussion were private citizens, and not political experts. This particular discussion was filmed during the 2016 American presidential election, just before the second national debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The studied linguistic features are: hedges, tag-questions, interaction and humor. By categorizing the members in three categories; age, gender and politics, this essay is able to investigate the results of the televised discussion by each category, and compare them to each other. The central question of the essay is if gender is a bigger divide regarding these linguistic features, than political views. The result shows that while gender still is the biggest divide regarding hedges, there are some specific elements where politics seems to trump gender.   

  • 22.
    Eklund, Manne
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Understanding English 5: A Study of the Central Content and Knowledge Requirements for the Course of English 52017Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This study regards the central content and knowledge requirements for the subject of English 5 in the Swedish upper secondary school system. The study is based on an analytical reading of the documents and is complemented by a questionnaire that was answered by upper secondary school teachers. The aim of the study was to investigate what parts of the documents lack clarity, from a new teacher’s perspective. The study finds a few examples of terms that are likely to confuse new teachers when grading students. Furthermore, questions were raised regarding the course in general, such as how to give the students confidence to speak English, when to use Swedish in the classroom and which English speech communities and cultures teachers should focus on. The questionnaire provided answers that could be helpful to newly graduated English teachers who are preparing to work in the Swedish upper secondary school system.

  • 23.
    Gustrén, Cia
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Getting out of Strange Spaces: A Reconstructive Reading of Paul Auster’s Oracle Night2019Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    As the title of this essay suggests, Paul Auster’s 2003 novel Oracle Night is studied with regard to what is here considered to be a search for a way out of estrangement. This search, as narrated from the point of view of the protagonist, is followed by a certain recognition of the limits of human existence – which may be essentially meaningless but is nevertheless portrayed as an intentional state of being, not least through the act of writing as a means of subjectification. Thus, the novel is read with a special focus on the thematic representation of writing and human subjectivity. These overarching themes may be approached with reference to two different philosophies or theoretical positions – postmodernism and existentialism. The purpose of the essay is to study the extent to which Oracle Night may be understood in terms of an existentialist (reconstructive) critique of, or challenge to, a postmodernist (deconstructive) perspective. In order to follow this line of inquiry, the analytic method rests on narrative thematics. This kind of narratological study answers the question what Auster’s novel is about and in what ways the theoretical perspectives in question are expressed in the novel. Thematic motifs are examined within the frame of a six-step model of narrative units. These units are based on Carsten Springer’s (2001) elaboration on the theme of identity crisis in Auster’s fiction and made it possible to put different motifs into a context and convey the point of view of the text in a systematic way.   

  • 24.
    Hadin, Joacim
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Learning by Gaming: Investigating the Influence of Playing Video Games on Vocabulary Level among Swedish ESL Learners2019Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The video game industry is one of the fastest growing markets in the world today. The fact that playing video games has become such a popular recreational activity among youths and adolescents has created a need for research investigating the effects of video game playing. Because of the role of the English language as a global lingua franca, most video games are released in English. Since most video games are released in English, many believe that the utilization of video games can help learners of English to improve their knowledge of how to utilize the English language. The aim of this study is to investigate whether video game playing does positively influence the English receptive vocabulary level of ESL learners. In addition, the present study also investigated the influence of other factors, such as the utilization of online communication tools, the average time spent playing video games, and the type of video games played, on English receptive vocabulary level. The study was conducted using quantitative research methods. Since the aim of the study was to investigate the relation between two separate aspects, the study had to utilize two separate elicitation methods for the data collection: one questionnaire (that was supposed to determine each informant’s video game habits) and one vocabulary test (that was supposed to get an approximation of each informant’s receptive vocabulary level). When the data had been collected, the tests were corrected, and the participants were categorized according to the previously mentioned variables. The mean scores of the categories were later examined and compared to each other. Differences between groups that were of high importance were further examined, with a t-test, to determine whether the difference was statistically significant or not. The results of the study show that the vocabulary level difference between ESL learners that do play video games and ESL learner that do not play video game is insignificant. The results further show that the utilization of online communication tools while playing video games positively influences vocabulary level, as the mean score difference on the vocabulary test between OCT users and OCT non-users was revealed to be significant by the t-test. The analysed data thus show that the influence of the utilization of online communication tools on English receptive vocabulary level are more significant that the influence of playing video games.

  • 25.
    Hallström, Linnea
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Representations of motherhood in Erdrich’s Love Medicine and Morisson’s Beloved2017Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis is a comparative analysis of the African American author Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved and the Native American writer Louise Erdrich’s novel Love Medicine. The focus of this essay will be the theme motherhood. A feminist theoretical and critical approach are used throughout the thesis and focus is laid upon the third wave of feminism which: “borrows from post-structural and contemporary gender and race theories (…) to expand on marginalized populations’ experiences.” (Purdue OWL). In the novel Love Medicine the characters Marie and Lulu are examined. Both characters are strong independent women and through them the author challenges the Western-European image of motherhood, family and female characteristics. In the novel Beloved, the characters Sethe and Baby Suggs are studied with two focus points. The first is the impact that motherhood can have on the development of the self and how Morrison shows this through the character Sethe. The second focus point is the effects that come from slavery and mainly the effects that can come from the denial of motherhood. These novels manage to challenge the western norm of motherhood through different aspects and in different ways.

  • 26.
    Hansson, Michelle Folashade
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Signifying in Toni Morrison’s Beloved2019Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This essay discusses how language, culture and spirituality are intertwined and used as a defensive mechanism as well as an identity marker, with strong emphasis on Toni Morrison’s Beloved. Language is not just a means of communication, but an interweaving of cultural nuances and a means of establishing identity, demanding autonomy and defying powerlessness. Language is a tool that is embedded in the culture and traditions as well as the experiences of the user of that language. In Morrison’s Beloved, language is not just words used for the purpose of communication, but as a link between that which is real and that which is not; as a representation of a culture that celebrates the importance of remembering – linking the present with the past in a continuum that is particular to the culture, tradition and beliefs of the users. It also symbolises a means of defiance to powerlessness, by defecting from the norm. In Morrison’s Beloved, language as vernacular or “Black Man’s Talk” is characterised by puns, taunts, double-meanings and innuendos that are particular to the Black Race as a way of rejecting the status quo, of defying the white man’s language; of saying “Ah kin signify all Ah please, …., so long as Ah know what Ah’m talkin’ about” (Gates 212).

  • 27.
    Heaps, Johanna
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Puns and Language Play in the L2 Classroom: Pragmatic Tests on Swedish High School Learners of English2018Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    ABSTRACT: Puns are short humorous texts that play on structural ambiguity in order to create incongruous scripts. The perception of their humour requires considerable pragmatic manipulation, which may present problems for L2 learners, which is why many scholars agree that they are best reserved for more advanced students. Using a combination of Quantitative and Qualitative analysis of data yielded from a survey containing puns and referential jokes, this study confirms that humour through puns is largely inaccessible to Swedish High School learners of English, with ambiguity being the main obstacle across the test groups. However, since language play has been proven to be facilitative to language learning, and since students themselves express a wish to be able to participate in humorous interaction, learners may well benefit from working with puns and language play in the classroom in order to gain greater linguistic abilities and well-rounded communicative competence.

  • 28.
    Illerhag, Erik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Life or Death: Biopower and Racism in Huxley´s Brave New World2018Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Aldous Huxley´s Brave New World describes how a totalitarian power has taken control over both body and mind of the whole population. A hierarchical caste system, where a person´s role in society is predetermined long before birth, maintains stability together with brain-washing methods and propaganda. Huxley expressed his fears of what might happen if science was used for the wrong purposes, and wrote his futuristic novel Brave New World in the beginning of the 1930s, inspired by the turbulent world around him. It was a time preoccupied with race and classification of populations, which ended in the disastrous Holocaust. Huxley´s novel is equally important today when eugenics is on the comeback and democracy is challenged by nationalist and populist movements. This essay will consist of a close reading of Brave New World, analyzed from the perspective of the theories of French philosopher Foucault. He launched his concept of biopower in the 1970s, where he linked a negative use of controlling citizens with state racism. The focus of this essay will be to explore how biopower and racism are used by the totalitarian state in the novel to maintain control of the population. The argument will be made that racism, internal division and exclusion are vital tools to achieve that purpose.

  • 29.
    Inch, James
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Communism and the betrayal of the revolution: a Marxist critique of the post-revolutionary manipulation of the proletariat in Animal Farm2016Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    George Orwell wrote Animal Farm to warn of the dangers of a totalitarian regime in the practical application of communist ideology. His novella reflects his experience of, and response to, momentous events occurring in Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. It is a acknowledgement of the extent to which totalitarian leaders rely on the manipulation of thoughts and actions in order to maintain power across the class boundaries. In this essay, Orwell’s political and personal standpoints are examined and the book is analysed from a Marxist and socialist perspective. Whereas Animal Farm was written to reflect the terrible experience of Orwell and many of his contemporaries, its message is in many ways limited by his efforts to adhere to a parody of the events in Soviet Russia. Attention is given to the role of propaganda and Squealer, the chief propagandist in Animal Farm. Although Squealer does not wield power overtly in the way that Napoleon does, he is pivotal in the maintenance of a cowed population. Further, and more importantly from the point of view of the Marxist criticism of Orwell's novella, the Author is found wanting in his depiction of the working classes and his ability to champion those upon whom he in actual fact looked down.

  • 30.
    Isvind, Elin
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Diversity is Magical: Teaching representation through fantasy literature in the intercultural classroom.2017Student paper other, 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The world today is globalized like never before and with countries becoming more multicultural it is important to strive towards an intercultural society. This essay aims to answer the question “In what ways can one teach representation in the intercultural classroom through fantasy literature?”. That is, to illustrate and exemplify how one can use fantasy literature in the English classroom to give students intercultural knowledge through discussions on representation and intersectionality. The discussions in the essay are based in the democratic values stated in the Swedish course curriculum for upper secondary school (Gy11) in relation to the theoretical background. With examples from the book Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor, the essay breaches both difficult and sensitive subjects that can be discussed to make certain issues less alien for the reader. Cultural diversity is magical and it is important that students get the right tools to form deep relationships across cultural borders, and the fantasy genre is a great tool to use in the classroom to lessen these bridges between different cultures since the genre creates an arena for intercultural meetings where ‘the other’ is in focus, which reduces the alienating aspect of different cultures and identities.

  • 31.
    Jensen Strandberg, Emelie
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Using Students’ Interests and Experiences in English Teaching: A Study of Teachers’ Approaches and Attitudes to the Choice of Content in English Language Learning2019Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This study examines teachers’ approaches and attitudes towards their choice of content in English language teaching and learning. The study identifies if, and in what amount, teachers use students’ interests and experiences in English language learning. To examine this, interviews with teachers, material and lesson plan analysis and ethnographic observations focused on the teachers’ actions were conducted. The results reveal that some teachers attempt to use students’ interests and experiences when planning English lessons, but in diverse amounts. Because of the time constraints of the English subject in Swedish primary school, the aspect of using students’ interests and experiences is often set aside.

  • 32.
    Juhlin, Johanna
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Teaching Poetry in Upper Secondary School Courses: A Study in Lesson Design2018Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This study attempts to show benefits with different methods when teaching poetry in Upper Secondary courses, with the aim of proving that by using a certain design of the lesson, it is possible to engage the students in English poetry. A secondary aim was to incorporate and implement the theories on sociocultural learning by Vygotsky into the method used in the study. Finally, the study aimed to question the definitions of what constitutes a poem and the ideas of canonized versus non-canonized material within literature. The method chosen for this study was a mixed methods design, and the study applied a deductive approach where a hypothesis based on previous research and ideas within the field was tested. The design of the study was to perform a focus group interview, followed by observations of four lessons with students at Upper Secondary level, and finally a questionnaire for the students. The results from the study were mainly positive and the questionnaire showed that most of the students appreciated the first part the most, although a few students enjoyed both parts. The combined results showed that the design has an impact when it comes to engagement, and it changed a few of the students views on poetry. The main finding in the study was that students prefer less complex poetry that does not belong to the canon, since most of the students marked the first part as the best one. The results showed therefore that the design has an impact when it comes to engagement.   

  • 33.
    Kaatari, Henrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    On the syntactic status of I'm sure2018In: Corpora, ISSN 1749-5032, E-ISSN 1755-1676, Vol. 13, no 1, p. 1-25Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study tests whether the syntactic status of the subject-adjective combination I'm/I am sure is similar to the subject-verb combination I think (i.e., whether it exhibits the same signs of grammaticalisation along two different parameters). More specifically, the study is concerned with the ability of I'm/I am sure to (i) occur in clause-medial and clause-final position, and with (ii) its preference for that-omission, by comparing the behaviour of I'm/I am sure with the results reported for I think in previous studies. The results show that I'm/I am sure behaves in a similar way to I think both in terms of its ability to occur in clause-medial and clause-final position, and in terms of its preference for that-omission. However, SURE is both much less frequent than THINK in general, and is also proportionally less dominant among the class of adjectival predicates followed by that-clauses than THINK is among verbal predicates. This makes it difficult to argue that they have developed independently through the same frequency correlation. Instead, I argue that SURE and THINK are part of the same grammaticalised constructional schema, and that the frequency of THINK could be seen to have an impact on the grammatical status of the parallel construction with SURE.

  • 34.
    Kaatari, Henrik
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Larsson, Tove
    Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgien.
    Using the BNC and the Spoken BNC2014 to study the syntactic development of I think and I’m sure2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The grammaticalization of I think has received considerable attention in recent years (Thompson & Mulac, 1991; Kaltenböck, 2011; Van Bogaert, 2011). However, far less attention has been paid to the related epistemic marker I’m sure, despite the fact that this construction has been shown to exhibit similar behavior (Kaatari, forthcoming). The present study aims to investigate the degree to which I’m sure is on the same grammaticalization trajectory as I think, as explained below.

    Following Traugott & Heine (1991), we view grammaticalization as both a diachronic and a synchronic phenomenon to be studied “at a synchronically segmented moment in time” (Traugott & Heine, 1991:1). In addition to a propensity for that-omission in clause-initial position, one of the main arguments put forth to support the claim that I think is grammaticalized is that it has developed an ability to occur in clause-medial (1) and clause-final position (2), that is outside its canonical clause-initial position (3) (Thompson & Mulac, 1991). Contrary to Hooper’s (1975) claim, a recent empirical study on I’m sure has indicated increased flexibility in this respect, as exemplified below (Kaatari, forthcoming).

    (1)  He is, I think/I’m sure, an interesting person.

    (2)  He is an interesting person, I think/I’m sure.

    (3)  I think/I’m sure (that) he is an interesting person.

    Nonetheless, the question remains whether the development of the two constructions can be accounted for in the same way, despite the fact that these constructions have different frequency entrenchment and that the predicates belong to two different word classes.

    The aim of the present study is to investigate whether I’m sure follows the same grammaticalization trajectory as I think. The research questions are as follows (see Lehmann, 1985:303, for a discussion of the methodological parameters of grammaticalization used):

    • What is the frequency distribution across the clausal positions (syntagmatic variability)?
    • To what extent is the complementizer that omitted (paradigmatic variability)?
    • Are there any differences across time such that the development of I’m sure could be considered to mirror that of I think?

    The study uses comparable subsets from the spoken component of the BNC (Burnard, 2007; Lee, 2001) and the newly compiled Spoken BNC2014 (Love et al., 2017). The results show that I think and I’m sure exhibit remarkable similarity, especially in the most recent data, not only in terms of their proportional distribution across clausal position, but also in terms of their propensity for that-omission. Even though the time span covered is relatively short, a clear increase of that-omission can be noted for I’m sure, for which the frequency increased from 93 to 98 percent, thus mirroring the frequencies for I think (99 percent) very closely. In order to reconcile the fact that I think and I’m sure thus exhibit similar behavior, despite differences in frequency entrenchment, we argue that both constructions are part of the same constructional grammaticalization schema in which the frequency of I think seems to reinforce the grammaticalization of both I think and I’m sure.

  • 35.
    Kaatari, Henrik
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Larsson, Tove
    Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium; Uppsala universitet.
    Using the BNC and the Spoken BNC2014 to Study the Syntactic Development of I Think and I’m Sure2019In: English Studies: A Journal of English Language, ISSN 0013-838X, E-ISSN 1744-4217, Vol. 100, no 6, p. 710-727Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigates whether I’m sure seems to be on the same grammaticalisation trajectory as I think. It does so by tracking the frequency of these two constructions over time to explore (i) their distribution across clausal positions (syntagmatic variability) and (ii) the extent to which the complementiser that is omitted (paradigmatic variability). The study uses spoken data from the BNC and the newly compiled Spoken BNC2014. The results show that the two constructions exhibit remarkable similarity, not only in terms of their proportional distribution across clausal positions, but also in terms of their propensity for that-omission. For example, both constructions show adverb-like behaviour with regard to clausal positions. Furthermore, even though the time span covered is relatively short, a clear increase in that-omission was noted for I’m sure, mirroring the frequencies for I think very closely. It thus seems that I’m sure is on the same path as I think, despite differences in frequency entrenchment

  • 36.
    Källström, Dan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Learning from Matthew Arnold’s Thought on Moral Education and Literature2017Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
  • 37.
    Larsson, Tove
    et al.
    Université catholique de Louvain; Uppsala Universitet.
    Kaatari, Henrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Extraposition in learner and expert writing: Exploring (in)formality and the impact of register2019In: International Journal of Learner Corpus Research, ISSN 2215-1478, E-ISSN 2215-1486, Vol. 5, no 1, p. 33-62Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Subject extraposition (e.g. it is important to remember) is generally regarded to be a formal construction that learners, whose writing is often said to be overly informal, have been found to struggle with. This study investigates to what extent register and text type can be used to explore learners’ reportedly “informal” use of this construction. Learner writing is compared to expert writing from several different registers and to native-speaker student writing. The results show that there are important differences across both registers and text types. Furthermore, while the learners’ use is most like that of the experts’ academic writing, certain similarities to the non-academic registers were also noted. The results moreover suggest that earlier claims about the informal status of learner writing seem mainly to have been influenced by the text types included in the corpora previously investigated.

  • 38.
    Larsson, Tove
    et al.
    Université catholique de Louvain; Uppsala Universitet.
    Kaatari, Henrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Syntactic complexity across registers: Investigating (in)formality in student writing2019In: LANGUAGE IN TIME TIME IN LANGUAGE - ICAME40: Book of abstracts, 2019, no 1Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    While syntactic complexity is often used to measure linguistic development in second-language (L2) writing (e.g. Housen & Simoens, 2016), it has also been found to be correlated with formality, as formal, academic texts tend to be characterized by elaborate and diverse language (e.g. Biber, 2016). This paper aims to investigate the relative importance of measures of syntactic complexity across registers in expert production and in non-native-speaker (NNS) and native-speaker (NS) student writing to test previous claims of (in)formality, as outlined below.

    Student writers, in particular learners, are often descried as being overly informal in their writing (e.g. Altenberg & Tapper, 1998). However, such claims tend to be based primarily on over/underuse of a limited number of features, and few studies have sought to investigate formality in a more systematic manner. Based on the assumption that registers can be used as reference points on a scale from informal to formal (Larsson & Kaatari, 2019), the present study bridges this gap in the literature by mapping out the distribution of 14 complexity measures (e.g. phrasal sophistication, subordination and sentence complexity; see, e.g., Lu, 2017) across five registers (academic prose, popular science, news, fiction and conversation) and in NNS and NS student data. The following research questions are investigated:

    • What is the relative importance of these complexity measures for predicting formality, and in what ways are these measures correlated?
    • How do these measures pattern across registers?
    • Which of the experts’ registers is the student writers’ use closest to, and what can this tell us about (in)formality in the student texts?

    The study uses data from one expert corpus, BNC-15, two learner corpora, ALEC and VESPA, and one NS student corpora, BAWE. The study uses inferential and explorative statistics, such as Random Forests. The results show that the degree of phrasal sophistication is more important than measures such as amount of subordination for predicting register. While the student texts bear some resemblance to the expert academic writing (e.g. both groups score high on complex nominals per T-unit), they also exhibit features that are associated with the non-academic registers (e.g. shorter clause length), which might offer some support for the claim that student writers tend to be somewhat informal in their writing. The results will hopefully contribute to nuancing the perceived informal-formal dichotomy, thereby benefitting both L2 instruction and theory.

    References

    Altenberg, Bengt & Marie Tapper. 1998. The use of adverbial connectors in advanced Swedish learners’ written English. In Sylviane Granger (ed.), Learner English on computer, 80–93. London: Longman.

    Biber, Doug. 2016. Using MD analysis to explore cross-linguistic universals of register-variation. In Marie-Aude Lefer & Svetlana Vogeleer (eds.), Genre and register-related discourse features in contrast, 7–34. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

    Housen, Alex & Hannelore Simoens. 2016. Cognitive perspectives on difficulty and complexity in L2 acquisition. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 38. 163–175.

    Larsson, Tove & Henrik Kaatari. 2019. Extraposition in learner and expert writing: Exploring (in)formality and the impact of register. International Journal of Learner Corpus Research 5(1). 33–62.

    Lu, Xiaofei. 2017. Automated measurement of syntactic complexity in corpus-based L2 writing research and implications for writing assessment. Language Testing 34(4). 493–511.

  • 39.
    Larsson, Tove
    et al.
    UCLouvain.
    Kaatari, Henrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Syntactic complexity in L2 writing: Testing different measures across levels of formality2019In: EUROCALL Conference 2019 “CALL and Complexity”: Book of abstracts / [ed] Serge Bibauw, Louvain-la-Neuve: European Association of Computer Assisted Language Learning , 2019, p. 60-Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 40.
    Lindström, Cecilia
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Prejudice Within Native American Communities: - a literary study of the prejudice expressed in Love Medicine and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian2017Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The Native American characters in Love Medicine and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian experience prejudice from other Native Americans and suffer from internalized norms and values. This study examines whether or not the prejudice the fictional characters in Love Medicine and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indianexperience and express as Native Americans unite them as a community or not. It also investigateshow they view white society andif the Native American characters have prejudice against the members of their own tribal community. The analysis is partially based on postcolonial theory and focuses on terms such as internalisation, acculturation and prejudice. The thesis found that the communitiesare united on the premises that they conform to the Native American norms but any deviation from these norms has the potential to divide them.

  • 41.
    Lingemyr, Jesper
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    English Varieties in Swedish Upper Secondary School: An analysis of Listening Exercises in Swedish National Tests2017Student paper other, 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this project was to find out what varieties of English that Swedish upper secondary school students are exposed to in the classroom and to what extent they are exposed to different varieties. This was conducted by looking at preparation exercises for the listening part of the Swedish National Tests. These exercises are created by Göteborgs Universitet and are available online for everyone and show how the real national test will be done. By listening and analyzing every speaker’s variety they were sorted into British, American, Mid-Atlantic, Australian or New Zealand varieties. A total of 91 speakers were analyzed and the results showed that Students are exposed to mostly British English with half of the speakers using a British variety. One fourth of the speakers used American English while the rest were divided into Mid-Atlantic, Australian or New Zealand varieties.

  • 42.
    Marston, Pamela
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    "Troubling Wilderness": the GYE and wildlands fire2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The complications and loose boundaries of what nature “is” has been an area of inquiry and mediation for some time within eco-criticism and the interdisciplinary approaches of environmental humanities. One of the groundbreaking texts in this area is William Cronon’s essay, titled “The Trouble with Wilderness”, which appeared in the New York Times Magazine in 1995, reaching a much larger and broader audience than its subsequent volume publication. This memorandum paper proposes to examine various conceptions of wilderness and various pre-conceptions of what constitutes “interference”, beginning with the precepts contained in the above essay, and then tracing these in three specific text collections: discussions on wildfire policy from the Yellowstone National Park fires in 1988 and the continuing discussions at the time of this writing, as wildfires burn across the blurred landscape denominations of three Western states (Montana, Wyoming, and Oregon); media coverage and decision-making documents concerning the establishment of one of the most recent NATURA 2000 sites in Sweden, Ojnareskogen on Gotland; and a primary creative text, written by a fire ranger and one of the most established poets in America, Gary Snyder, the first poem from his first published collection, and three critical approaches/overlayers to it, which, taken together, trouble the idea of untouched nature, of wilderness. 

  • 43.
    Modiano, Marko
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    English in a Post-Brexit European Union2017In: World Englishes, ISSN 0883-2919, E-ISSN 1467-971X, Vol. 36, no 3, p. 313-327Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article speculates about the possible effects of the Brexit process on the status andfunctions of English in the European Union (EU). One issue here is whether Brexit will result in theweakening of the status of English within the Union, or whether this process will, ironically, strengthen thepower of English as the principal working language of the EU, as well as the primary L2 among Europeans.One possibility here is that the exit of Britain from the Union will clear the sociolinguistic space for theemergence of an authentic European English, used by members of the EU as a ‘second language’ or (even)a quasi-Outer Circle English, serving the needs of the European Union as the common link language foradministration and cooperation between member states.

  • 44.
    Modiano, Marko
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Responses to comments2017In: World Englishes, ISSN 0883-2919, E-ISSN 1467-971X, Vol. 36, no 3, p. 363-366Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The article focuses on the development of a framework for the teaching and learning of English and acknowledges the status of English as European and global lingua franca. It mentions the effectiveness of historical shifts in the English language teaching (ELT) procedures. It also states the role of diversity and cross-cultural communicative competence in Europeanization of the English language.

  • 45.
    Modiano, Marko
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    The Industrialization of the Mind: Paul Morel's Struggle for Rhyme and Reason in a World Gone Mad2017In: Kunskap Motstånd Möjlighet: Humanistisk forskning i dag / [ed] Ulrika Serrander & Peder Thalén, Halmstad: Molin & Sorgenfrei, 2017, 1, p. 236-255Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 46.
    Norman, Johanna
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Student’s Self-perceived English Accent and Its Impact on Their Communicative Competence and Speaking Confidence: An Empirical Study Among Students Taking English 6 in Upper-Secondary School2017Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The English language plays an important role as a lingua franca in Sweden as well as in many countries across the European Union (EU). The ability to communicate well in English is highly valued and as a response to this, communicative competence has had an increasingly major part in the English language education and curriculums all over Europe, including the Swedish curriculum for English language education. (Rindal & Piercy, 2013; Swedish National Agency for Education, 1995; Tornberg, 2015). With communication as a primary goal of the Swedish curriculum for English, the importance of acquiring an inner-circle accent, an accent spoken by native speakers of English, has had to take a step back, without thoroughly studying the effect it has on the communicative competence and speaking confidence of the students.

    The aim of this study is to investigate, with an empirical approach, if student’s self-perceived English accent impacts positively or negatively on their speaking confidence and communicative competence. The study was conducted using an empirical and descriptive approach, with a quantitative data analysis. The investigation was conducted in an upper-secondary school, using a web-based survey with 80 respondents from the second and third grade. The students took English 6, a course the students must pass to be eligible for further academic studies. The school and the respondents were chosen using a convenience sample.

    The results were analysed, and the data was shown using figures to explain the results further. The results of the study concluded that students seem to think that having a native-like accent is overvalued and that communication is to favour over their perceived English accent. It is somewhat conclusive that most of the students value communication over perceived accent, and many of them say that they do not care how they sound as long as what they say is conveyed.

  • 47.
    Paulsson, Kristin
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Ben's Lead Role in Willy Loman's Suicidal Mind: Exploring Death of a Salesman via Freud2016Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    As is evident from the title of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman (1949), the protagonist of the play, the salesman Willy Loman, will die. This essay will investigate what role Ben, Willy’s deceased brother, plays in Willy’s suicide. The thesis is that Willy needs Ben’s support in order to commit suicide and therefore needs to bring Ben’s values, at the possible expense of his wife Linda’s, into his superego. Ben is, to Willy, a true example of the American Dream, as he was a very successful businessman. Willy’s ego (or rational mind) seems to realize that his superego (or conscience) needs to replace the humane values of Linda with the economic values of Ben, in order to justify his motivation of an “economically beneficial” suicide. When Willy arrives at his final conclusion of how his favorite son Biff would financially benefit from his “accidental” suicide and thereby being able to attain Willy’s version of the American Dream, the evidence brought forth may suggest that Willy, at that point, allows Ben full access into his mind.

           Willy’s mind will be investigated via Freud’s triple model of the psyche; the id, the ego and the superego.

  • 48.
    Pårs, Joakim
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    The Great Okonkwo´s Demise: A Feminist and Postcolonial Literary Analysis of the Concept of Emasculation in Things Fall Apart2019Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    As the title suggests, this essay is a feminist and postcolonial literary analysis of the main character Okonkwo´s downfall and demise in acclaimed author Chinua Achebe´s 1958 novel, Things Fall Apart. A recurrent theme within the narrative is the concept of gender differences and gender roles, in the strict traditional and patriarchal system which serves as the setting of the narrative. Okonkwo, who is a traditional and proud Igbo man, has an aversion toward what is considered to be weak and feminine. Okonkwo is therefore struck with depression when he finds himself in a weak and helpless position, as well as emasculated emotional state of mind. Furthermore, Okonkwo becomes a victim to colonialism in the latter part of the narrative, which consequently adds to his already helpless and emasculated state of mind. The purpose with this essay is therefore to investigate if feelings of emasculation are the cause for Okonkwo´s final decision to end his own life. Based upon the analysis included in this essay, one of the conclusions that could be drawn was that the helplessness and feelings of emasculation Okonkwo experiences within the narrative are too much for him to cope with and therefore cause his downfall and demise.          

  • 49.
    Strand, Malin
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Aspects of Motherhood in the Poetry of Marilyn Hacker2018Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This essay will make a close reading of a selection of poems written by the poet and essayist Marilyn Hacker which explores the relationship between motherhood and lesbianism. The poetry is analyzed from a lesbian feminist view that uncovers how lesbianism can be used to politicize the construct of motherhood. The four poems that will be read contain passages where the poet relates to her experiences of motherhood with a lesbian sensibility. The analysis accounts for the political subject positions that lesbians can take account of in their writing. The study has found that in the poems, lesbianism becomes a creative force that can deconstruct the patriarchal hegemony of motherhood.

  • 50.
    Strand, Malin
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
    Discourses on Lgbtq Topics in the English Language Teaching in Upper Secondary Education in Sweden2018Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This essay looks at the discourses on lgbtq topics in English language teaching aimed at upper secondary schools in Sweden. The purpose is to find out how the discourses are created by analyzing a set of textbooks as well as interviewing teachers. The method employed in this study is critical discourse analysis supported by queer theoretical perspectives. Together these frameworks help to show how the social relationships that affect lgbtq people are affecting the educational setting in English. The study finds that a separate set of discourses appear to affect textbooks and teachers. The textbooks in this study appear to be affected by discourses that favor non-lgbtq people while the teachers in this study appear to be affected by discourses that favor lgbtq people.

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