Ylva Sandberg


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Telephone 08-120 767 79
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 E
Room E 979
Postal address Institutionen för språkdidaktik 106 91 Stockholm


My licentiate thesis Bilingial subject-specific literacies? Teachers' and learners' views and experiences of two school languages in biology, civics, history and mathematics: Case studies from the Swedish upper secondary school investigates teacher and student cognitions about bilingual education.

Key words: Teacher and learner cognition, CLIL, subject-specific literacies.

Research interests

Teacher and learner cognition, Literacy development, Multilingualism in education.


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2018. Ylva Sandberg. Content and Language Integration in Swedish Schools (CLISS)
  • 2017. Ylva Sandberg. A journey through the content and language integrated learning landscape, 29-44

    The study aims to describe and interpret student perspectives on CLIL programmes in the Swedish upper secondary school. The participants consisted of 15 CLIL students at three different schools who were interviewed in the early 2010s during their first or second year of studies. The interviews were conducted with small groups of 3–5 students using an interview guide. The analysis proceeded through several steps and resulted in a common core of results—similar across the three schools—as well as particular viewpoints of students. Both of these types of results will be discussed in the article. Considering the CLIL students’ choice to study part of their curriculum in English already as a positive bias towards English, the results and their interpretation might still provide insights into some aspects of learner cognition, and bring in a student perspective on motivations, practices and reflections with regard to studying in a CLIL study programme environment.


  • 2015. Ylva Sandberg. Current issues in second/foreign language teaching and teacher development, 212-227

    This chapter focuses on teachers’ interaction challenges in the Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) classroom, an area which has not been extensively researched. Six content teachers from three subject areas, mathematics, biology and civics, were interviewed about their experiences of teaching their subject through a foreign/second language. The study was two-pronged, first of all taking interest in dilemmas perceived by the teachers, and, secondly, focusing on practices and strategies developed by the teachers to meet perceived challenges. Informed by second language acquisition, CLIL, and teacher cognition research, an interview guide was created, and interviews were undertaken over a two-year period. The material was coded and analysed in several stages by means of qualitative content analysis. In the analysis, two themes related to teachers’ experiences of CLIL classroom interaction dilemmas emerged: linguistic unpredictability and socio-affective barrier. In the analysis of the strategies that the teachers developed to meet the challenges, two themes emerged: translanguaging and genre. The findings resonate with results from studies of similar kind. The results of the analyses of the interviews, and how these results could inform CLIL teacher education, are presented and discussed in the final sections of the chapter.

  • 2018. Ylva Sandberg (et al.).

    This licentiate thesis investigates teachers’ and students’ cognitions of bilingual subject-specific literacies. The thesis builds on three different studies, referred to as case studies, conducted in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) study programmes in the Swedish upper secondary school. Participants’ views and experiences of two languages of schooling, English and Swedish, were elicited in interviews, and analysed thematically. To gain understanding of the three studies in combination, a further analytical framework was developed and tested. In this analysis, participants’ descriptions, explanations and reflections on teaching and learning curriculum content bilingually emerged as three-dimensional discourses.

    In the first study, new and experienced teachers’ challenges and strategies were in focus. The biology and civics teachers, who were new teachers, and new to CLIL, found teaching through the second language of schooling, English, time-consuming and demanding. They expressed concern about limited communication and learning in the classroom. The mathematics teachers, who had long teaching experience, and of teaching in the CLIL programme, had developed strategies to meet perceived challenges, for example, they had designed parts of lessons in a monolingual mode, and parts of lessons in a bilingual mode.

    The second study explored intermediate CLIL teachers’ rationales for language choice in teaching. The biology and history teachers found that access to English, as afforded through the CLIL framework, coincided well with the new syllabi for their school subjects. For instance, the history teachers could use web-based study materials in English in class, and found teaching and learning more authentic than in the mainstream, Swedish-speaking, study programmes. The biology teachers mentioned that access to English terminology facilitated the teaching and learning of complex subject-specific content areas. It functioned as a potential source to enhance students’ understanding.

    The third study documented students ́cognitionsof CLIL. The views of upper secondary students studying curriculum content through English were overall positive. However, results showed that their experiences of CLIL varied with school subject. Whereas studying mathematics through English was reported to be conducive to learning and understanding, learning civics through English only, or trying to listen to lectures in civics, where teachers would change languages seemingly without a rationale, were perceived as less conducive to learning.

Show all publications by Ylva Sandberg at Stockholm University

Last updated: November 1, 2018

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