Research projects within the research environment Studies of Language Practices (STOLP)

Ongoing Projects

Testing approaches to reading. Construction of reading comprehension in disciplinary reading practices

The main purpose of this project is to provide tools to illuminate how different approaches to working with texts in various school subjects create different conditions for students’ disciplinary reading literacy and literacy development. A first aim is to develop a model for analysing reading practices with regard to how teaching is organised as well as how content is construed and encountered by the student. A secondary aim is to investigate how the model can be used to analyse specific practices.

Jenny W. FolkerydYvonne Hallesson and Åsa af Geijerstam, Uppsala university
Pia Visén, Linnéuniversity

Vetenskapsrådet / UVK 2018 - 2021

Function, content and form in interaction. Students´ text-making in early school years

The main purpose of this project is to further develop ways to study and understand students’ text-making in early school years. A first aim is to develop a model to be used for the analysis of content-based aspects of students’ writing and multimodal text-making. Analytical tools such as those used in genre analysis, narrative structures analysis, stylistics, multimodal analysis and curriculum studies (content in school subjects) will be used. Content-based aspects of concern are furthermore organized into central dimensions in order to identify students’ ways of expanding their repertoire of text-making in a way that has not previously been done. The analysis of content-based dimensions is also combined with an analysis of students’ ways of expanding the dimensions function and form. In this way, a more thorough description of students’ ways of expanding their repertoire of text-making and writing is created. A metalanguage is at the same time developed to embrace the interaction between function, content and form in text-making. A second aim of the project is to examine how such a metalanguage can be used by teachers in order to extend their way of looking at and assessing students? text-making and ways of expanding their repertoire of text-making.

Caroline LibergÅsa af GeijerstamJenny W FolkerydCaroline LibergAnna Nordlund, Elin Westlund

The Committee for Educational Science of the Swedish Research Council (3.1 MSeK)

Digital writing and revisions in school year 3

Pilot project 2017.

Charlotte Engblom, Uppsala universitet, Katharina Andersson, Högskolan i Gävle, Dan Åkerlund, Karlstads universitet 

Visualising Science in the Early School Years: Visual Content Formation in Young Students’ Multimodal Science Compositions

Thesis project 2014 – 2018

The purpose of the thesis is to explore how visual representations in multimodal text-image compositions, made by second grade students as part of their science education, form the science content – the subject matter – dealt with in the compositions. A sub purpose is to develop a metalinguistic framework supporting students’ image-making as a knowledge building resource in early science education. One of the subprojects examines aesthetic aspects of the content formation and how these relate to the norms of science. Another subproject studies how student’s content formation coincides with their teachers’ didactic choices in the teaching situation. The study employs social semiotic theory for analyses of students' multimodal text-image compositions.

Doctoral student: Elin Westlund, Uppsala university, Supervisors: Caroline Liberg and Charlotte Engblom, Uppsala university and Anders Björkvall, Örebro university.

Collaboration with teachers for development of a literacy program for pupils with an intellectual disability

Charlotte Engblom, Uppsala university, Nina Klang, Uppsala university

Vinnova 2017 – 2019

To read or not to read: A study of reading practices in compulsory school

The aim of the project is to develop new knowledge of existing reading practices in Swedish compulsory school. The first part of the project has a predominantly quantitative focus and seeks to find out the extent to which students read continuous prose texts – fictional as well as non-fictional – as part of their everyday school work. Through a web-based questionnaire the study aims to map how many pages of continuous prose – in what school subjects and in what languages – all students in years six and nine of a whole region (approx. 5400) actually read as part of their average school day. These results will be correlated with the students’ self-assessed motivation for their school-initiated reading activities in order to identify schools and classes where students read more and are more highly motivated, as well as those that show the opposite. In the second part of the project, which has a predominantly qualitative focus, a limited number of these extreme groups will be selected for a series of closer classroom studies of teachers as well as students through observations, interviews and questionnaires in order to find out what characterizes the reading practices of these schools and classes. The project will thus contribute with important knowledge of the relation between teacher instruction and student reading activity, thus highlighting the fundamental prerequisites for students’ reading and learning development in different school subjects.

Monika Vinterek, Tarja Alatalo and Mats Tegmark, Dalarna University College, Mikael Winberg, Umeå university, Caroline Liberg, Uppsala university

Swedish Research Council/UVK2017 – 2019

Meaning-making Choices and Functions of Discourses in Prose and Narratives

Thesis project 2016 – 2021

The purpose of the thesis is to study how content is construed and what social functions it serves through the textual choices made in narratives and prose written by students in school years K-3. The work is related to studies in mother tongue education, critical discourse analysis, systemic functional linguistics as well as systemic functional grammar.

Doctoral student: Oscar Björk, Supervisors: Jenny W. FolkerydÅsa af Geijerstam and Caroline Liberg, Uppsala university.

Projects in process

Critical thinking in national tests: Subject specific or general skills?

Participants: Thomas NygrenJohan Prytz, Jesper Haglund and Åsa af Geijerstam, Uppsala university

Talk in different disciplines in school

The aim of the project is to increase the knowledge of, and develop a meta language for, the importance of talk for children’s development of intra-disciplinary literacies in school (grades 1-6). Previous research show that subject specific language forms require specific competencies from students, and previous national and international research has predominantly focused on reading and writing in different disciplines, while research on the role of talk is yet limited. The main empirical material will be video recordings of classroom interaction, and analyses will be done with a combination of conversation analytic and discourse analytic procedures.

Participants: Niklas Norén

Finished projects

Some of the latest key projects.

Mining textual data for simplified reading

The main aim of the project is to support reading for ten to fifteen year old students. The means for this is to find appropriate texts that are individually suitable and adapted to each student’s reading abilities. The project integrates three different research areas: studies of reading ability, measures of readability and development of techniques and tools for simplified reading.  Research objectives include:

  • An understanding of how students reading motivations are affected by adapting texts to a student’s individual reading abilities. Tools for assessing students’ reading ability.
  • New and more comprehensive measures of readability.
  • A set of tools for text selection, automatic summarisation, and transformation to easy-to-read Swedish that are individually adapted to a student’s reading abilities.

Participants: Arne Jönsson, Erik Kanebrant and Johan Falkenjack, Linköpings university
Caroline LibergÅsa af Geijerstam and Jenny W. Folkeryd, Uppsala university
Sofie Johansson and Katarina Heimann Mühlenbock, Göteborgs university.

Financing: Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation 2014 – 2016.

Graduate school: The language of schooling in mathematical and science practices

Bergvall, I. (2016) Bokstavligt, bildligt och symboliskt i skolans matematik: – en studie om ämnesspråk i TIMSS, Diss., Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. Three articles are included in the thesis:

  • Bergvall, I., Wiksten Folkeryd, J. & Liberg, C. (2016). Linguistic features and their function in different mathematical content areas in TIMSS 2011, Nordic Studies in Mathematics Education, 21(2), 45­-68
  • Bergvall, I. (submitted) Meaning dimensions in mathematical subject language in different content areas in TIMSS and their relation to the results of high and low performing students.
  • Bergvall, I. & Prytz, J. (submitted) On the significance of symbols and images in school mathematics: a study of mathematical subject language in four content areas in TIMSS.

Dyrvold, A. (2016). Difficult to read or difficult to solve?: The role of natural language and other semiotic resources in mathematics tasks. Diss., Umeå University, Institutionen för matematik och matematisk statitstik. Four articles are included in the thesis:

  • Österholm, M., Bergqvist, E., & Dyrvold, A., (Manuscript in preparation) The study of difficult vocabulary in mathematics tasks: a framework and a literature review.
  • Dyrvold, A., Bergqvist, E., & Österholm, M. (2015). Uncommon vocabulary in mathematical tasks in relation to demand of reading ability and solution frequency. Nordic Studies in Mathematics Education, 20(1), 101-128.
  • Dyrvold, A. (2016). The role of semiotic resources when reading and solving mathematics tasks. Nordic Studies in Mathematics Education, 21(3), 51-72.
  • Dyrvold, A. (Submitted jan 2017). Different semiotic resources in mathematics tasks and relations between them – can sources of students’ difficulties be found there?

Persson, T. (2016). De naturvetenskapliga ämnesspråken: de naturvetenskapliga uppgifterna i och elevers resultat från TIMSS 2011 år 8. Diss., Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. Three articles are included in the thesis:

  • Persson, T., af Geijerstam, Å., Liberg, C. (2016). Features and functions of scientific language(s) in TIMSS 2011. Nordic Studies in Science Education, 12(2), 176‐196.
  • Persson, T. (2016). The language of science and readability: Correlations between linguistic features in TIMSS science items and the performance of different groups of Swedish 8th grade students. Nordic Journal of Literacy Research. 1(2), 1‐20. doi:10.17585/njlr.v2.186
  • Persson T. (manuscript). The Vocabulary of Swedish Grade Eight Science Items in TIMSS 2011.

Ribeck, J. (2015). Steg för steg. Naturvetenskapligt ämnesspråk som räknas. Diss., Gothenburg University. (monograph)

Ståhl, M. (2016). Kemiämnets normer och värden: Diskursanalytiska studier av nationella prov i kemi och tillhörande elevtexter. Diss., Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. Three articles/book chapters are included in the thesis:

  • Ståhl, M., & Hussenius, A. (2016). Chemistry inside an epistemological community box! - Discursive exclusions and inclusions in Swedish National tests in Chemistry. Culture Studies of Science Education, 1(11), 1-29.
  • Ståhl, M., & Folkeryd, J. (submitted and revison is ongoing). Exploring Scientific norms and students’ evaluative language use.
  • Ståhl, M. (under edition) Troubling norms and values in science teaching through students’ subject positions using feminist figurations. In A. Arvola Orlander, K. Otrel-Cass, & M. Sillasen (Eds.), Troubling the cultural, social and political aspects in science education. Cultural Studies of Science Education, special issue: Springer anthology.

Participants: Supervisors: Caroline Liberg, Jonas Almqvist, Jenny W. FolkerydÅsa af Geijerstam, Anita Hussenius and Johan Prytz, Uppsala university
Lars Borin, Sofie Johansson, Emma Sköldberg, Göteborg university
Ewa Bergqvist and Magnus Österholm, Umeå university
Doctoral students: Ida Bergvall, Tomas Persson and Marie Ståhl, Uppsala university
Judy Ribeck, Göteborg university
Anneli Dyrvold, Umeå university

Financing: Swedish Research Council/UVK 2010 – 2016.

The red thread

Funded by Educational means, Uppsala university 2013-2014.

Participants: Jenny W. FolkerydÅsa af Geijerstam and Elisabeth Berg, Uppsala university

Organizational patterns of interaction between children with severe speech and physical impairment and their everyday communication partners

Doctoral student: Maja Sigurd Pilesjö, Department of Language and Communication, University of Southern Denmark.
Supervisor: Gitte Rasmussen, University of Southern Denmark
Ass. supervisor: Niklas Norén, Uppsala university

Last modified: 2022-09-01