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Author(s): Inger Lindberg

Journal: Utbildning & Demokrati : Tidsskrift för Didaktik och Utbildningspolitik
ISSN 1102-6472

Volume: 18;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 9;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: language policy | multilingualism | language dominance | language teaching

ABSTRACT
In the new multilingual Sweden. In this article, global as well as local aspects of language dominance are considered in a discussion of the role of language for social equity, integration, democracy in today’s Sweden. In this respect, the dual role of Swedish – as a minority language globally and majority language locally – is considered, in particular for the implementation of Swedish language policy. On 1 July 2009, a new Language Act entered into force based on current language policy which includes objectives to ensure everyone’s access to the Swedish language and to safeguard the position of Swedish as the main language in Sweden. The Language Act is a result of increasing impact of English and wide-spread multilingualism in the Swedish society in the early 21st century. The need for initiatives to preserve linguistic diversity and promote multilingualism is addressed in a provision contained in the Language Act, in which the right for everyone who has a mother tongue other than Swedish is to be given the opportunity to develop and use their mother tongue is secured. The present article takes a critical look at some of the questions raised by the Language Act with special relevance for issues of education, democracyand integration in postmodern, multilingual Sweden.