Att lära av och med varandra. En etnografisk studie av musik i förskolan i en flerspråkig miljö. Ph.d.-afhandling.

Ehrlin, A.
Örebro universitet.


The purpose of this study is to examine how music can contribute to stimulating children’s language development in three Swedish daycare facilities with a large percentage of multilingual children.


The study shows that offering musical activities in daycare enhances children’s ability to participate in communication. When there is music, children communicate through sound and movement. At first, the children hum and imitate the sounds, and later they use language more correctly. Music offers the children a playful mode of access to language development, in that they are challenged when they have to learn how to say words that are difficult to pronounce. The language test shows that the children who attend a daycare facility with a music profile improve their language development at more rapidly than the children in the control facility. However, the language test results are not significant. Moreover, the study also shows that daycare managers play a crucial role with regard to giving priority to music as a didactic tool for language stimulation. The managers at the two music facilities make sure that all pedagogical staff participate in courses and acquire music skills that can be used in teaching activities.


The study is based on three Swedish daycare facilities, two of which have a music profile. The third daycare facility does not have a music profile and serves as a basis for comparison. The study is based on Lev S. Yygotskij’s concept of “the zone of proximal development” as well as Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger’s theory of “legitimate peripheral participation”. The data material is primarily based on field work in the shape of interviews and observations in the daycare facilities. On the basis of structured observation forms, the children’s level of participation in language-stimulating activities was measured. Furthermore, a test of the children’s language development covering a period of two years (2008-2010) is included. A total of 25 children were language tested across the three daycare facilities.


Ehrlin, A. (2012). Att lära av och med varandra. En etnografisk studie av musik i förskolan i en flerspråkig miljö. Ph.d.-afhandling. Örebro universitet.

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