Tricks of the trade or situated literacy – disciplinary reading literacy practices in vocational education


  • Pia Visén Stockholm University, Sweden


In upper secondary school vocational education in Sweden practices of reading is an integrated part of teaching in vocational subjects. This study aims to gain a deeper understanding of vocational reading literacy practices, and how reading literacy practices are recontextualised into upper secondary school contexts. Three subsequent research questions specify the study: What kinds of texts are used? How is reading done and talked about? What purposes for reading (why) emerge? Theoretically, the study draws from New Literacy Studies (Barton, 2007). Nine vocational teachers were interviewed regarding reading in childcare, technical, culinary, and industrial vocations. The informants were also observed when teaching in four student groups in three upper secondary schools. Analyses were made of text categories, genres (Rose & Martin, 2012), reading literacy events, text movability (Hallesson & Visén, 2018; Liberg et al., 2012), and reading types (cf. Rosenblatt, 1995).
The results reveal a wide range of text categories, from general to specialised texts, specific practice-oriented reading events, reading types that differ depending on vocational context. A conclusion is that disciplinary reading practices in vocational contexts are complex and require critical readers. Therefore, further knowledge of reading in vocational education might contribute to the teaching of disciplinary reading literacy in upper secondary vocational education.

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How to Cite

Visén, P. (2021). Tricks of the trade or situated literacy – disciplinary reading literacy practices in vocational education. Nordic Journal of Literacy Research, 7(1).



Original Research Articles


reading, disciplinary literacy, vocational education, upper secondary school