Gunlög Sundberg

Gunlög Sundberg


Visa sidan på svenska
Works at The Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism
Telephone 08-16 43 20
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 D
Room D 648
Postal address Inst. för svenska och flerspråkighet 106 91 Stockholm

About me

Assisting professor and researcher


During the spring semester 2020 I teach the following courses:

  • Assessing and testing second language competence, macro and micro perspectives, 7,5 hp, AN
  • Swedish as a Second Language with a Specialization in Language Use - Bachelor's Course 15 hp



Swedish as a second language; interactional sociolinguistics; conversation, interaction och ethnomethodology; workplace communication in a multilingual society; language policy; assessing and testing language competence; methodology.

Research projects

Transnational Professionals in Higher Education and in Research: sharing the Australian and Swedish experience of language assessment of an internationalized work force of regulated professions.

The project aims to share knowledge, experience and research on transnational academics in higher education in Australia and Sweden. Focus is on knowledge about academics in regulated professions, such as teachers, lawyers or doctors, who participate in supplementary higher education in order to work in a new country. The questions concern how a professional and sustainable academic education can develop models to utilize, support and assess linguistic resources and skills in these professions and how workplaces can be prepared. The result will provide a better understanding of how education and workplaces with great diversity can work with language development.

The project is funded by  STINT, The Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education

Swedish Learner Language corpus

I participate in the infrastructure project Swedish Learner Language (SweLL). The purpose of SweLL is to set up an infrastructure for text collection, digitization, normalization, and annotation of learner production, as well as to make available a linguistically annotated corpus of approx. 600 L2 learner texts. L2 corpora are available for many other languages, but for Swedish such a resource is lacking.

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond finances the project. It is led from Språkbanken at the University of Gothenburg. SweLL (RJ 2017-2019)

International network

NOS HS 2020-2022 Language at work: immigrants and Nordic workplaces



A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2018. Beáta Megyesi (et al.). Proceedings of the 7th Workshop on NLP for Computer Assisted Language Learning at SLTC 2018 (NLP4CALL 2018), 47-56

    This paper reports on the status of learner corpus anonymization for the ongoing research infrastructure project SweLL. The main project aim is to deliver and make available for research a well-annotated corpus of essays written by second language (L2) learners of Swedish. As the practice shows, annotation of learner texts is a sensitive process demanding a lot of compromises between ethical and legal demands on the one hand, and research and technical demands, on the other. Below, is a concise description of the current status of pseudonymization of language learner data to ensure anonymity of the learners, with numerous examples of the above-mentioned compromises.

  • Conference A Friend in Need?
    2016. Elena Volodina (et al.). SLTC 2016

    In this article, we describe the research and societal needs as well as ongoing efforts to shape Swedish as a Second Language (L2) infrastructure. Our aim is to develop an electronic research infrastructure that would stimulate empiric research into learners' language development by preparing data and developing language technology methods and algorithms that can successfully deal with deviations in the learner language.

  • 2016. Gunlög Sundberg. Flerspråkighet som resurs, 116-128

    I denna artikel diskuteras hur ett kommunikationsetnografiskt arbetssätt kan användas i språkutbildningen, för att närmare studera kommunikationen i olika situationer och därmed förbereda vuxna andraspråksbrukare för yrkeslivet i Sverige. Inledningsvis ges en bakgrund till etnografisk forskning och några exempel på studier från en svensk andraspråkskontext.

  • 2013. Gunlög Sundberg. Scandinavian Studies 85 (2), 205-232
  • 2013. Gunlög Sundberg. I det offentligas tjänst, 69-89
  • 2012. Claes Garlén, Gunlög Sundberg.
  • 2010. Gunlög Sundberg. Symposium 2009 , 292-302
  • 2009. Gunlög Sundberg. Nordand (2), 91-106

    Som samtalsdeltagare kan vi ställas inför kommunikativa dilemman som kan vara mer eller mindre uppenbara. Sådana dilemman kan ha att göra med motsägelsefulla krav i samtalet, såväl i den inre interaktionella organisationen av samtalet som i de yttre ramar som omger det.

    I samtal mellan personer med o(jäm)lika språkliga resurser, exempelvis i andraspråksamtal, kan dilemman vara knutna till förståelsen på både lokal och global nivå i det gemensamma meningsskapandet. I artikeln illustreras sådana kommunikativa dilemman med exempel från en studie av rekryteringssamtal med andraspråksbrukare. I studien analyseras frågor om starka och svaga egenskaper i samtal mellan fjorton arbetssökande och en rekryterare på ett bemanningsföretag.

    De kommunikativa dilemman som synliggörs i analysen - rekryterarens dilemma, den arbetssökandes dilemma och ett gemensamt dilemma - speglar även olika asymmetrier i de institutionella samtalen. Jag frågar mig på vilket sätt samtalsdeltagarna hanterar sina dilemman och om kommunikativa dilemman ställer speciella krav på lösningar eller kompromisser just i andraspråkssamtal

  • 2006. Gunlög Sundberg. Textvård, 102-110

    Allt fler skribenter i Sverige har lärt sig svenska i vuxen ålder. Deras texter kan många gånger innehålla grammatik- och ordvalsfel, samtidigt som de är informativa och välstrukturerade och fungerar mycket bra för sitt syfte. Hur ska man bedöma deras skrivförmåga? Det är en viktig fråga för lärare, arbetsledare och kamrater i skola och arbetsliv.

  • 2004. Gunlög Sundberg. The Immigrant and the Workplace, 18-26
  • 2004. Gunlög Sundberg (et al.).

    In many institutional settings in today’s globalized job market, people have to deal with different role asymmetries in the co-construction of meaning. In this study, institutional, cultural and linguistic asymmetries are focused on in interviews at an employment agency in Sweden. Interviews between a recruiter and fourteen female job candidates with an academic background from other countries were video taped. Three sequences on personality were analysed: What do you consider to be your strengths? What personal characteristics do you want to improve? and What has made an impact on you? The general aim of the study was to gain knowledge of the processes whereby self-presentations are co-constructed and how participants try to reach common understanding when they do not share common linguistic and cultural resources.

    Theoretically, the study has a dialogical framework. Discourse is seen as the place where society, culture, situation, individual and language meet and where meaning is constructed through social action. Within an interactional sociolinguistics framework, an holistic approach to methods combines ethnography of communication with ethnomethodology and conversation analysis.

    The results show that the meaning-making project in this institutional situation is institutionally framed, culturally hidden, socially constrained by face-work and interactionally embedded. The recruiter orients to the institutional frame by embedding reformulations of the candidates’ answers in her uptake, often an adjective, which is filled in on a form and later transferred to a data base. The recruiter also takes on the face-work of the communicative dilemmas that the questions exhibit, for example by using explanations when candidates admit to low self-confidence. It is also shown that for some candidates the hidden agenda of the situation is concealed and that their communicative styles clash with the recruiter’s expectations.

    The asymmetrical situation can for the candidates be seen as both a resource and a constraint. The linguistic asymmetry is not foregrounded. Instead, the negotiation of meaning concerns the institutional and cultural frame rather than linguistic meanings. On the other hand, the recruiter shows a tendency to normalize the candidates according to her own institutional and cultural knowledge. This dynamic interplay between heterogenization and homogenization tendencies is an important feature in the interviews.

Show all publications by Gunlög Sundberg at Stockholm University

Last updated: February 5, 2020

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