Ingela Holmström

Biträdande lektor

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Works at Department of Linguistics
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 C, plan 2-3
Room C 344
Postal address Institutionen för lingvistik 106 91 Stockholm

About me

PhD, assistant professor and lecturer in Sign Language and bilingualism. I am also section head for the Swedish Sign Language section.

Presentation in International Sign Language

International Sign

Click on this image for information in International Sign Language
Click on this image for information in International Sign Language


I teach and give lectures for different courses at the sections Sign Language and Multilingualism for the deaf and hard of hearing.


My overall research interests lie in communication and interaction between deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing people in different contexts, where they make use of different linguistic resources. I obtained my doctoral degree in Education in 2013 with my dissertation “Learning by hearing? Technological framings for participation”, which covers my main areas of interest described above. My dissertation included a socio-historical analysis of newspaper (journal?) articles from 1890 to 2010 that report about technologies, language and identity of deaf and hard-of-hearing people over the course of time. Moreover, I conducted two case studies about two children with Cochlear implants who are mainstreamed in hearing classrooms. Of particular interest in this study were the topics of participation, power and technology use, together with overarching questions about communication and interaction.

During 2015-2017 I worked on various research projects. One of them looked at communication and the use of the signing space in conversations between deaf-blind signers, which were taken from the Swedish Sign Language corpus. In another project, I carried out a survey about resources that the municipalities have for students with hearing loss, focusing particularly on the role of “hörselpedagoger” (a kind of pedagogue that is responsible for hard-of-hearing students). I also lead a project focusing upon teaching of Swedish Sign Language as L2 for students that will become interpreters.

Research interests

  • Communication and interaction
  • Participation
  • Swedish Sign Language
  • Swedish for deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Bilingualism and multilingualism
  • Communication between deaf-blind persons
  • Teaching issues


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2019. Hilde Haualand, Ingela Holmström. Deafness and Education International

    This article focuses on the similar approaches to, yet different contexts of legal recognition of sign languages in Sweden and Norway. We use examples from sign language documentation (both scientific and popular), legislation that mentions sign language, organization of implementation of sign language acquisition, and public discourse (as expressed by deaf associations’ periodicals from the 1970s until today), to discuss the status and ideologies of sign language, and how these have affected deaf education. The legal documents indicate that Norway has a stronger and more wide-reaching legislation, especially sign language acquisition rights, but the formal legal recognition of a sign language is not necessarily reflected in how people discuss the status of the sign language. Our analysis reveals that the countries’ sign languages have been subject to language shaming, defined as the enactment of linguistic subordination. The language shaming has not only been enacted by external actors, but has also come from within deaf communities. Our material indicates that language shaming has been more evident in the Norwegian Deaf community, while the Swedish Deaf community has been more active in using a “story of legislation” in the imagination and rhetoric about the Swedish deaf community and bilingual education. The similarities in legislation, but differences in deaf education, popular discourse and representation of the sign languages, reveal that looking at the level and scope of legal recognition of sign language in a country, only partially reflects the acceptance and status of sign language in general.

  • 2018. Ingela Holmström, Krister Schönström. Applied Linguistics Review 9 (1), 90-111

    In a few universities around the world courses are offered where the primary language of instruction is a national sign language. Many of these courses are given by bilingual/multilingual deaf lecturers, skilled in both national sign language(s) and spoken/written language(s). Research on such deaf-led practices in higher education are lacking, and this study will contribute to a greater understanding of these practices. Drawing on ethnographically created data from a higher education setting in Sweden, this case study examines the use of different languages and modalities by three deaf lecturers when teaching deaf and hearing (signing) students in theoretic subjects. The analysis is based on video-recordings of the deaf lecturers during classroom activities at a basic university level in which Swedish Sign Language (SSL) is used as the primary language. The results illustrate how these deaf lecturers creatively use diverse semiotic resources in several modes when teaching deaf and hearing (signing) students, which creates practices of translanguaging. This is illustrated by classroom activities in which the deaf lecturers use different language and modal varieties, including sign languages SSL and ASL as well as Swedish, and English, along with PowerPoint and whiteboard notes. The characteristics of these multimodal-multilingual resources and the usage of them will be closely presented in this article.

  • 2017. Ingela Holmström, Krister Schönström. Deafness and Education International 19 (1), 29-39

    Although once placed solely in deaf schools, a growing number of deaf students in Sweden are now enrolling in mainstream schools. In order to maintain a functional educational environment for these students, municipalities are required to provide a variety of supporting resources, e.g. technological equipment and specialized personnel. However, the functions of these resources and how these relate to deaf students’ learning is currently unknown. Thus, the present study examines public school resources, including the function of a profession called a hörselpedagog (HP, a kind of pedagogue that is responsible for hard-of-hearing students). In particular, the HPs’ perspectives on the functioning and learning of deaf students in public schools were examined. Data were collected via (i) two questionnaires: one quantitative (n = 290) and one qualitative (n = 26), and (ii) in-depth interviews (n = 9). These show that the resources provided to deaf children and their efficacy are highly varied across the country, which holds implications for the language situations and learning of deaf students.

  • 2016. Ingela Holmström. Ljud tar plats, 53-81
  • 2015. Ingela Holmström, Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta, Rickard Jonsson. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 25 (3), 256-284

    Different technologies are commonly used in mainstream classrooms to teach pupils who wear surgically implanted cochlear hearing aids. We focus on these technologies, their application, how pupils react to them, and how they affect mainstream classrooms in Sweden. Our findings indicate that language ideologies play out in specific ways in such technified environments. The hegemonic position wielded by adults with regard to the use of technology usage has specific implications for pupils with cochlear implants.

  • 2015. Krister Schönström, Ingela Holmström. LiSetten 26 (2), 20-23
Show all publications by Ingela Holmström at Stockholm University

Last updated: March 27, 2019

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