PHUV9410 Profesjonsutøvelse og språkbarrierer Emneplan

Engelsk emnenavn
Professional Practice and Language Barriers
Ph.d.-studium i utdanningsvitenskap for lærerutdanning
5 stp.


Approved by the Doctoral Committee 28.03.2019. Minor changes approved 27.04.2020.

This PhD course is open for PhD candidates who are working on research projects in which linguistic diversity, language barriers and professional practice are topics of relevance.

The course will be offered in English.

The course will focus on research topics such as linguistic diversity and communication in institutional settings within education, health and the remainder of the public sector. The PhD candidates will become acquainted with a variety of empirical and theoretical approaches to linguistic diversity, interpreting and professional practice. Relevant topics include the importance of power, roles, rights, and duties. Students will especially be encouraged to reflect critically upon challenges related to language barriers and communication in their own research projects.



The candidate has in-depth knowledge of:

  • language as a tool in encounters between professional practitioners and their clients, with and without interpreters
  • communication challenges in situations with language barriers
  • relevant theories on dialogical and monological understandings of language, and on oral and written communication in encounters with language barriers
  • the relationship between language and power in situations with language barriers


The candidate:

  • can critically analyze their own material in terms of language, communication and interpreting
  • can identify and analyze how language barriers and interpreting affect communication and professional behavior

General competence

The candidate:

  • can use theories on language and communication to elucidate their own research material 
  • can select and apply appropriate methods for analyzing language barriers and communication challenges

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

Organized tuition is given in the form of lectures and workshops. The course consists of two parts. The first part is a two-days workshop at OsloMet with mandatory participation. In lectures and discussions, students will be introduced to relevant theories and methods. The last part is a one-day mandatory workshop at OsloMet. In addition, there will be online learning activities. Candidates are expected to participate in all learning activities, both online and on-site. Candidates are expected to give oral and written feedback on other students’ work.

Preparations for the course

Candidates are expected to read the syllabus and to prepare a presentation before the course to be able to participate in discussions and activities.

Arbeidskrav og obligatoriske aktiviteter

Coursework requirements

The coursework requirements are: Mandatory participation, an oral presentation, a paper draft and a written and oral feedback to a co-student’s paper.

  1. Mandatory participation: 80 % attendence at both workshops and learning activities online is required.
  2. The oral presentation is to be prepared before the course starts and presented at the first workshop. The oral presentation should be no longer than fifteen minutes. The topic of the presentation must relate to linguistic diversity, language barriers and/or interpreting in a way that is relevant to the students’ PhD projects. Following the presentation there will be a five to ten minutes’ discussion.
  3. The oral presentation will serve as foundation for a paper draft. The paper draft should be minimum 1000 and maximum 1500 words.
  4. Written and oral feedback: Each student will comment one co-student’s paper draft, both in writing (250 - 500 words) and orally (3 - 5 minutes).  

Vurdering og eksamen

The candidate will write an individual paper based on the presentation and the comments by the student and staff, of 3000 words (+/- 10%) plus reference list. The paper must be written in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish.

In case of failed exam/legal absence, the candidate may have a new exam under the same conditions when a new/postponed exam is arranged. If the paper is graded with "fail", the candidate must submit a revised version within a given time limit.


The grades are "pass" or "fail". The requirement for "pass" is that paper builds on the learning outcomes and on parts of the syllabus.


The paper will be assessed by the course coordinator and a member of the academic staff involved in the PhD-program. 


Target group

In societies characterized by linguistic diversity, language barriers are a commonplace experience for practitioners within most professions. Even in research projects on professional practice that are not directly oriented towards linguistic plurality in itself, the candidate may be compelled to address challenges related to communication across languages barriers, with or without the involvement of an interpreter. In order to handle complex language situations in an adequate way, it is often necessary for the researcher to account for linguistic diversity and the use of interpreters (or lack thereof), and in a broader perspective than we experience today.

The target groups are PhD candidates / students and scientific staff who want to learn about professional practice and language barriers and thereby expand their research tool kit. The course aims at PhD candidates admitted to the PhD Program in Educational Sciences for Teacher Education and other relevant programs. It is also open to staff members at OsloMet and other universities / colleges. The course is also open for candidates from other universities in Norway and abroad.

Admission requirements

The admission requirement is a five-year master’s degree (three years + two years) or equivalent qualifications in teacher education, other pedagogical education, educational science, development studies, or other education on equivalent level in subjects relevant for teacher education.

In case of a large number of applicants, PhD-students enrolled in the PhD programme in Educational Sciences for Teacher Education will be prioritized, then students in other PhD-programmes, then academic employees at the Faculty of Teacher Education and International Studies.

Applicants that are not enrolled on the PhD-programme at the Faculty of Education and International Studies at OsloMet must send a summary in English of maximum one A4 sheet with relevant information about their own project / area of interest, containing topic, methodology, theoretical approach, and why this course might be relevant for their project.