University of Gothenburg

Learning and Assessment of Languages (LBS)

Within the research environment Learning and Assessment of Languages, there is a tradition of research related to language learning assessment as regards learners’ learning and competencies in foreign languages.

The background to this research is, among other things, a long experience of teacher education and a practical as well as theoretical knowledge of testing and assessing foreign languages on both a national and an international level, ranging from primary up to tertiary level. As a consequence, large amounts of data have continuously been collected.

Research into various types of language learning is also conducted within the research environment, in particular in the form of Content and Language Integrated Learning, CLIL, and extramural English, EE.

In addition, research is carried out in the areas of teacher cognition and the English reading comprehension part of the Swedish Scholastic Assessment Test, SweSAT.

Our research can primarily be characterized as practice-oriented. It is very much linked to the teaching profession, focusing on one of the teachers’ most important duties, namely to assess the knowledge of students with the aim of promoting learning as well as equity. The research team is characterized by its breadth, both in terms of aims and use of instruments and in its choice of research methods. The team also has a vast national and international network of contacts and is participating in several international research projects.

Education initiatives

Internal and external activities in relation to the assessment of language are an important part of our environment, that is, education and cooperation with the society outside the academy. Several of the researchers are involved in teacher education, both internally and at other universities and university colleges.

Assessment is an integral part of this training. There is a long tradition of cooperation between researchers at various units of the GU Department of Education and other departments and institutions of higher education. Furthermore, materials from the various projects serve as points of departure for academic theses—at undergraduate and postgraduate levels—both within and outside Göteborg University.


A significant amount of commissioned education in the field of learning and assessment is carried out, both in general and in regard to foreign languages. This entails cooperation with municipal, regional, and national efforts, the latter initiated both by various universities and by national school authorities. The following summary of projects provides an overview of the breadth of the research environment (for further information, please contact the respective project directors).

Research foci

Examples of central issues in the research areas represented within our environment are how learning, assessment and grading are related and how these relationships can be mapped. The relation between learning and motivation is also of great interest to us, as is learners’ and teachers’ views on learning, tests and assessment. In addition, characteristics of assessment tools and procedures of various kinds, focusing, among other things, on different types of bias, as well as numerous ways of learning and teaching are investigated.

An important theoretical point of departure for the research conducted within our environment is an expanded view and definition of validity. The possible interpretations and consequences, on an individual and educational as well as on a structural level, are vital to take into account.

Learning and assessment are multifaceted terms, including a wide spectrum of approaches and methods, from more well-established and traditional to explanatory and alternative. As a consequence, the methodological field within our research team is vast. Both quantitative studies at the macro level with advanced multivariate analyses, qualitative studies based on interviews and questionnaires, and detailed linguistic analyses of individual learners’ texts are represented.



Associate Professors

Assistant Professors

PhD Students