University of Gothenburg

Multilingualism and Swedish as a second language

The area of multilingualism and Swedish as a second language represents a broad field, and includes a range of different specialisations, for example in areas such as the learning of second languages, the didactics of second languages, language use in multilingual environments, language ideologies, and language policy.

Research currently includes projects concerning multilingualism from sociolinguistic, psycholinguistic and structural perspectives, as well as education-focused projects concerning literacy, teaching aids, and the learning and evaluation of words and grammar. One important and topical question in this area concerns how newly arrived and other immigrants adopt the Swedish language, as well as how their language skills are portrayed in the media and society in general, such as in debates regarding Swedish as a second language, native-language tuition, etc.

Part of the department’s work with Swedish as a second language is connected to, and is financed by, Skolverket (the Swedish National Agency for Education) and other external funding for assignments, education and research at a municipal, national or international level. One example of such assignments and projects includes development initiatives within educational environments that are increasingly characterised by multilingualism and diversity. This aspect has been developed within the framework of the Institute for Swedish as a Second Language (ISA), which was launched at the department in 1997 with the help of ear-marked government funding, and has conducted research and development projects ever since.