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Susan SayehliUniversitetslektor

Om mig

My research interest is psycholinguistics. I find it especially intriguing to understand how the mind learns, stores, accesses and uses the bits and pieces that are in sum what we call language. To me it gets even more fascinating when several different languages are involved. Therefore my research focus is on second language acquisition. I am particularly interested in how the different languages a person knows affect each other and what leads to learning. My focus is usually but no exclusively on morpho-syntactic phenomena. I am using a broad spectrum of methods in my research, ranging from the collection of spontaneous production data, communication tasks, elicited imitations to the recording of reaction times and event-related potentials (ERP).

Forskning

Pågående projekt:

  • Att lära sig fokusera: Hur stockholmska och skånska barn producerar och uppfattar kontrastiv intonation.
  • Learning, Teaching and Assessment of Second Foreign Languages - an Alignment Study on Oral Language Proficiency in the Swedish School Context (TAL)

Avslutade projekt:

  • Swedish word order processing in second language learners and native speakers: A psycholinguistic and neurocognitive approach (SWOP2)
  • Precursors of Sign Use in Intersubjectivity and Imitation (PSUII)

Övrigt:

Jag skriver och redigerar korta populärvetenskapliga texter om aktuell forskning om flerspråkighet inom ramen för Skolverkets forskningsbevakning. Läs mer här: flerspråkighet

Publikationer

I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas

  • Trends in the study of Modern languages in Swedish lower secondary school (2000 – 2018) and the impact of grade point average enhancement credits

    2021. Jonas Granfeldt, Susan Sayehli, Malin Ågren. Education Inquiry 12 (2), 127-146

    Artikel

    This paper investigates trends in the study of Modern languages or second foreign languages (SFLs) in Swedish lower secondary school between 2000 and 2018. Over the last decades, SFLs, i.e. French, German and Spanish, have been the target of several policy measures as a response to a declining interest. However, few reports on their impact have been published. We report the proportion of pupils studying an SFL at the national level and across demographic municipality groups and analyse a possible impact of one policy measure, grade point average enhancement credits (GPAEC, meritpoäng) for SFLs. We found an increase in the proportion of pupils studying an SFL, but mainly in urban areas. Moreover, we found important differences between SFLs. Spanish is the most widely studied SFL in all municipality groups. French is most popular in urban areas while German is more chosen in rural areas. If the increase of the number of pupils studying and SFL can be ascribed to GPAEC remains still to be seen, but if so, the GPAEC mainly had an impact on highly urban areas where the proportion of pupils studying an SFL was the highest already before introducing this policy measure.

    Läs mer om Trends in the study of Modern languages in Swedish lower secondary school (2000 – 2018) and the impact of grade point average enhancement credits
  • Language background affects online word order processing in a second language but not offline

    2019. Annika Andersson, Susan Sayehli, Marianne Gullberg. Bilingualism 22 (4), 802-825

    Artikel

    This study examines possible crosslinguistic influence on basic word order processing in a second language (L2). Targeting Swedish V2 word order we investigate adult German learners (+V2 in the L1) and English learners (-V2 in the L1) of Swedish who are matched for proficiency. We report results from two offline behavioural tasks (written production, metalinguistic judgements), and online processing as measured by event-related potentials (ERPs). All groups showed sensitivity to word order violations behaviourally and neurocognitively. Behaviourally, the learners differed from the native speakers only on judgements. Crucially, they did not differ from each other. Neurocognitively, all groups showed a similar increased centro-parietal P600 ERP-effect, but German learners (+V2) displayed more nativelike anterior ERP-effects than English learners (-V2). The results suggest crosslinguistic influence in that the presence of a similar word order in the L1 can facilitate online processing in an L2 - even if no offline behavioural effects are discerned.

    Läs mer om Language background affects online word order processing in a second language but not offline
  • The context of second foreign languages in Swedish secondary schools

    2019. Jonas Granfeldt, Susan Sayehli, Malin Ågren. Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies 13 (1), 27-48

    Artikel

    This article reports the results of a survey focusing on the educational context of second foreign languages (SFL) to which 147 Swedish secondary school leaders responded. The study aims to provide a picture of how SFLs like German, French and Spanish are organised in a representative selection of Swedish schools across the country. The results of the survey show that there are major differences between languages when it comes to the language offer and the number of pupils and teachers in the respective languages. Moreover, there are also important differences between schools, some of which can be related to educational, socio-economic and regional aspects of the responding schools. A general conclusion of the survey is that conditions for SFLs currently vary across languages and across the country. One of the main challenges for the future seems to be to maintain a varying offer of languages in a majority of schools.

    Läs mer om The context of second foreign languages in Swedish secondary schools

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