Samtals- och skriftspråksorienterade lärarledda aktiviteter i förskoleklass

Aminoff, C.
. Institutionen för beteendevetenskap och lärande, Linköpings universitet.


The overall purpose of this dissertation is to contribute knowledge about pedagogical practices in Swedish preschool class (förskoleklassen). The dissertation focuses on activities controlled by adults aimed at conversation and literacy. The author seeks to answer the following two research questions: 1) What happens in the encounter between adults and children during the activities? and 2) What conditions are created for the children's conversations and literacy in the interaction between adults and children?


The analysis shows that the adults use different tools to promote the children's opportunities to participate in the conversation. For example, they ask open-ended questions, and depending on how much the child elaborates his/her answer, the adult limits the conversation or supports the child with follow-up questions. This means that the children are given almost the same amount of time to speak, regardless of whether they talk a lot or are more reticent. However, according to the author, this can also mean that the possibilities to engage in a deeper conversation are limited.

The conversation pattern in the classroom is characterised by the fact that the adult asks questions which the children answer, after which the adult joins the conversation again by evaluating the answer, following up with a new question or coming up with the answer. By using name cards or "go around the circle", the adult creates a taking-turns system, in which all children take part in the conversation. Through show of hands, the adult allows the children to decide for themselves whether they wish to participate in the conversation, even though the adult is still controlling who can speak. In this way, the children are being socialised towards a behaviour in which they are expected to put up their hand when they want to speak. However, sometimes the adults act against this in situations where the children take initiative to participate in the conversation. For example, when the adult initially does not let the child speak, but soon after allows the child to speak, or when the adult asks the children to put up their hands and subsequently asks a child to speak who did not put up his/her hand. According to the author, such conflicting actions from the adults make it difficult for the children to know how they are expected to behave.

As regards literacy, the observations show that adults and children work with the structure of language (the grammatical code) differently when the key aspect is focus on the sound of language. When working with words that have to be explained and put together, the children can expand their vocabulary. Integrating the sounds of language, letters and words takes place when the children have to write whole sentences. Many of the children participate with interest in the exercises, while others resist. This resistance may be due to the fact that they have already done the exercise in their preschool. As a result a child may suggest changing the exercise to make it more challenging, but the adult may not necessarily follow the suggestion, because other children in the preschool class would not be able to do the task.

Finally, the observations show that both adults and children read stories aloud. When the adults read, they sometimes stop reading to ask questions about the story, but they also sometimes go behind the actual story and link the content of the text to the children's own experiences. Through the adults' questions, the children can get an insight into strategies that help them understand the content of texts. When the children read, some of them use sound strategies, while others read in a more automated style. The texts the children read have different levels of complexity, which allows for adaptation to the individual's skills and needs. However, all the children usually do the same literacy tasks, and this prevents further individual adaptation.


The author conducted ethnographic field work, focusing on participant observations and preparation of field notes. The field work took place in three Swedish preschool classes with a total of seven employees (förskollärare, grundskollärare and fritidspedagoger) and 60-75 children (between 20-25 children in each class, with an almost equal distribution between boys and girls). In addition to the field notes, documents were collected and informal conversations were held, but these activities were only used as background and support for the field note analysis. The analysis includes the author's socio-cultural perspectives on learning, development, language and literacy.


Aminoff, C. (2017). Samtals- och skriftspråksorienterade lärarledda aktiviteter i förskoleklass. Licentiatavhandling. Institutionen för beteendevetenskap och lärande, Linköpings universitet.