Translanguaging through an advocacy lens: The roles of multilingual classroom assistants in Sweden

Liv T. Dávila, Nihad Bunar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the intersection between teacher agency and national language policy in Sweden. We present data from qualitative research across multiple urban Swedish school districts that explores the experiences and perspectives of multilingual classroom assistants (MCAs) on their work and in relation to national and district-level policies. We interrogate what it means to uphold translanguaging stances in otherwise monolingual Swedish classrooms. Data showcase the complexity with which MCAs articulate their roles as advocates for their students in translanguaging spaces, and in relation to school, district, and national policies. This inquiry also uncovers the need to position the experiences of MCAs more centrally in educational policy to support alternative visions for inclusion of newly arrived migrant students in school. It concludes with insights regarding the multifaceted nature of teacher advocacy and its relevance to future scholarship on the education of newly arrived migrant children.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-126
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Linguistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • refugee students
  • multilingual assistance
  • translanguaging
  • advocacy


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