Dr Agneta Svalberg

Dr Agneta SvalbergSenior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics

BA Linguistics (Lund) PhD Linguistics (Sydney)

Senior Fellow HEA

Tel: +44 (0)116 229 7503
Email: amls2@le.ac.uk

Personal details


I lived in Greece and Mexico where I worked as a Foreign Language teacher of English. These experiences developed an interest in the workings of English grammar resulting in a PhD thesis on tense-modality-aspect in English and Modern Greek (University of Sydney, Australia). Following this, I lectured in Applied Linguistics at Universiti Brunei Darussalam where I developed an interest in non-standard use of grammar, and grammar teaching pedagogy.

I joined the University of Leicester in 2000 and teach on the MA TESOL and MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL programmes, both the campus-based and distance learning options. I also tutor and supervise PhD students.


I teach on the following modules for the courses listed below:

MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL (Campus-based):

  • ED7044 Grammar Awareness
  • ED7043 Second Language Learning
  • ED7000/7031 Research Methods for Dissertation/Professional Enquiry

MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL (Distance Learning):

  • I am module convenor for ED7503 Grammar Awareness

I supervise PhD students within her areas of interest, and teaches on the Doctoral Studies Research Methods programme.

In my teaching and supervision, I strive to develop learning opportunities, and the ability of the students to perceive and take advantage of those opportunities. In my teaching of grammar she uses a Language Awareness approach which encourages students' engagement with authentic language use in collaborative tasks.


Selected publications

  • Svalberg, A. M-L. (2016). The Eric Hawkins Lecture - Language Awareness research: where we are now. Special Issue. Language Awareness: Achievements & Challenges. Language Awareness. 25(1)
  • Svalberg, A. M-L. (2015). Understanding the Complex Processes in Developing Student Teachers' Knowledge About Grammar. In Kubanyiova, M. and Feryok, A. (eds) Special Issue on Language Teacher Cognition in Applied Linguistics Research: Revisiting the Territory, Redrawing the Boundaries, Reclaiming the Relevance. Modern Language Journal. 99(3), 529-545.
  • Finkbeiner, C. & Svalberg, A. M-L. (Eds.) (2015). Language Awarenes; Awareness Matters - Language, Culture, Literacy. London: Routledge.
  • Svalberg, A. M-L. and Askham, J. (2015). A dynamic perspective on student language teachers' different learning pathways in a collaborative context. In King, J. (Ed.)The dynamic interplay between context and the language learner. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.172-193.
  • Svalberg, A. M-L. & Askham, J. (2014). Student teachers' collaborative construction of Grammar Awareness: The case of a highly competent learner. Language Awareness, 23(1-2), 122-136.
  • Fulcher, G. & Svalberg, A. M-L. (2013). Limited Aspects of Reality: Frames of reference in language assessment. International Journal of English Studies, 13(2). Second language testing: Interfaces between Pedagogy and Assessment. pp.1-20.
  • Svalberg, A. M-L. (2013). Language Learning and Teaching: Teaching for Language Awareness. In Chapelle, C. A. (Ed.) The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics, Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Svalberg, A. M-L. (2012a). Language Awareness in language learning and teaching: A research agenda. Language Teaching, 45/3: 376-388.
  • Svalberg, A. M-L. (2012b). Peer Interaction, Cognitive Conflict and Anxiety on a Grammar Awareness Course for Language Teachers. Language Awareness, 21/1-2: 137-156.
  • Svalberg, A. M-L. (2009). Engagement with Language: Developing a Construct.  Language Awareness, 18(3-4), 242-258.
  • Svalberg, A. M-L. (2007). Language Awareness and Language Learning.  Language Teaching, 40(4), 287-308.

View a full list of publications.


My interest in the principles which underlie the theory and practice of Language Awareness informs my own teaching. I am currently exploring the use of factual and literary texts, and a cooperative approach, to raise English Foreign Language Teachers' awareness of grammar in context.

My main research interests focus on the use of grammar (e.g. non-standard), the teaching and learning of grammar and Language Awareness (http://www.lexically.net/ala/la_defined.htm ) My other interests include peer interaction, tense, aspect, modality in English and other languages and textual borrowing (plagiarism) and attitudes to knowledge.

I am a committee member and trustee of the Association for Language Awareness (ALA) - an international, multidisciplinary organization (http://www.languageawareness.org/mission.php) which promotes Language Awareness and holds international conferences every two years. (www.languageawareness.org)


My interest in the principles which underlie the theory and practice of Language Awareness informs my own teaching. I am currently exploring the use of factual and literary texts, and a cooperative approach, to raise English Foreign Language Teachers' awareness of grammar in context.

I would particularly welcome applicants interested in teachers' or learners' Language Awareness, including the learning/teaching of grammar, and Engagement With Language.

Issues being investigated by some of my recent and current supervisees include:

  • The use of cooperative learning to enhance oral skills (Meixao Lin)
  • Power relations in institutional texts in higher education (Raymond Sheehan)
  • Trained peer tutoring in a University Writing Centre (Maria Eleftheriou)

Other ongoing Doctoral thesis research projects by my students include classroom intervention studies on aspects of grammar teaching/learning/awareness raising.

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