Liss Kerstin Sylvén


Department of Education and Special
Visiting address
Västra Hamngatan 25
41117 Göteborg
Room number
A3 235
Postal address
Box 300
40530 Göteborg

About Liss Kerstin Sylvén

Research interests

As a linguist in English, I work primarily with issues related to language learning More specifically my research focuses firstly on content and language integrated learning (CLIL), where English is used as the language of instruction in non-language school subjects, and secondly on the prevalence and effects of so-called extramural exposure to English, i.e. English that children and young people come into contact with outside the school context.

I defended my dissertation on CLIL at the Department of English, University of Gothenburg. My thesis focused on effects of the use of English as the medium of instruction in some subjects, on students' English vocabulary. This has continued to be one of my main research interests. Among other things, I was the project leader for the research project CLISS - Content and Language Integration in Swedish Schools funded by the Swedish Research Council (see further: ). More recently, I have come to devote much of my time to researching possible learning effects of extramural exposure to English among young individuals. Although the purely linguistic aspects are still close to my heart, my research on learning English as a second or foreign language has been broadened to also include issues about motivation and learners' individual differences.

The University of Gothenburg has, on behalf of the Swedish Council for Higher Education, been responsible for the development of the English reading comprehension test, ELF, since it was introduced as part of the Swedish Scholastic Assessment Test in 1992. Since 2008, I am responsible for the work with and development of the ELF test.

Educational interests

I lecture on my research within the framework of teacher education and in postgraduate education. I am currently the main supervisor for four doctoral students, Jasmine Bylund, Elisabeth Ohlsson and Clara Palm, all admitted to the graduate school SEMLA (ärande-undervisning-och-bedömning- in Swedish-and-English ), and Jessica Nilsson, admitted to the graduate school CUL ( ).

Keywords CLIL; extramural English; second language learning; motivation; vocabulary learning; Swedish Scholastic Assessment Test.