Language Policy

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 333–358

Mother Tongue Plus Two European Languages in Sweden: Unrealistic Educational Goal?


DOI: 10.1007/s10993-007-9055-6

Cite this article as:
Cabau-Lampa, B. Lang Policy (2007) 6: 333. doi:10.1007/s10993-007-9055-6


For several years now, there has been much debate concerning the status and importance of the various languages in use in Sweden, both in society and in the field of education. In 2000 a ``new'' linguistic situation developed when in addition to English, which holds an overwhelming position and has been taught compulsorily since 1962, five minority languages were also recognised. In December 2005 the Swedish parliament introduced a new language policy asserting Swedish as the main - but not de jure language of the country. However in the educational arena, the situation of second foreign language teaching is often described as ``catastrophic''. The main purpose of this article is to broaden the scope of research about language policy in Sweden to include issues related to foreign language education. While this study includes the needs factor at national and individual levels, it also illustrates the assertion that ``language policy is about choice'' (Spolsky, 2004: 217)


English foreign language educational policy language education language policy second foreign languages Swedish 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Government and International StudiesHong Kong Baptist UniversityKowloon TongHong Kong

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