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Vägar mot ett svenskt ordförråd: Nyanlända ungdomars ordförrådsutveckling på språkintroduktionsprogrammet

Publicerad:8 maj

Anna Ingves vill med sin avhandling bidra till kunskap om ordförrådsutvecklingen på andraspråket hos nyanlända elever på språkintroduktionsprogrammet och utröna vilka faktorer på språk-, individ- och organisationsnivå som kan påverka den.


Anna Ingves


Professor Natalia Ganuza, Uppsala universitet Professor Ute Bohnacker, Uppsala universitet


Professor Christina Lindqvist, Göteborgs universitet

Disputerat vid

Uppsala universitet



Abstract in English

This thesis explores receptive vocabulary development in L2 Swedish among newly arrived students in the Swedish Language Introduction Programme. Using a dynamic, usage-based approach to language learning the thesis emphasizes the influence of language input and various learner related factors on learning outcomes, viewing vocabulary as a dynamically changing system.

Two main studies were conducted: a cross-sectional study involving 258 participants and a longitudinal study with 84 participants over 8 months. Additionally, a reference group of 54 L1 and L2 Swedish Upper Secondary students was included. The newly arrived students varied in school background, literacy skills, L1 and previous L2 languages, socioeconomic status, length of residence in Sweden, and study duration in the programme. Their receptive vocabulary was tested using two frequency-based measures, developed specifically for the study and targeting the 5000 most common Swedish words according to a frequency list. Multilevel analysis was used to analyse the relationships between vocabulary knowledge and learner characteristics, learner-internal and learner-external factors, including interaction effects for Swedish proficiency and school background.

The results show considerable variability among learners regarding receptive vocabulary breadth and acquisition rates. However, individual frequency profiles vary, with learners of varying proficiency and school backgrounds showing distinct vocabulary acquisition patterns across frequency bands. Significant differences in vocabulary size and growth were found among beginner, intermediate and advanced learners, as well as between advanced learners and the reference group, not only in size but also in composition. Vocabulary size was affected by pre-existing literacy skills, socioeconomic status, academic aspirations and exposure to a broader range of subjects taught in Swedish. However, the impact of different factors varied by proficiency level and school background.

The thesis offers insights into the complex system of L2 vocabulary learning, especially in relation to dynamic learner groups. It highlights the significance of a language programme aware of both learner differences and similarities, supporting vocabulary development for learners with different backgrounds to bridge the gap between anticipated and actual learning outcomes.

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