The purpose of this graduate school is to offer PhD studies to nine language teacher educators in a four year research program. The theme is language education in a multilingual school context, specifically regarding Swedish and English.

Learning, teaching and assessment are defined as fundamental components of language education and they correspond to the three strands of the research program. They will be investigated in all school ages by examining aspects of oracy and literacy in relation to contextual, individual and linguistic factors.

The program will be coordinated by Stockholm University in collaboration with the universities of Gothenburg and Umeå. The program involves internationally renowned researchers as well as scholars from the participating Swedish universities, who together constitute an important network for language education studies from the perspective of multilingualism.

Swedish and English are core subjects in the Swedish curriculum and used on a daily basis outside school by most young people in Sweden today, hence constituting majority languages in the Swedish context. There is, however, a noticeable presence of other languages spoken by smaller groups of people and that are not similarly acknowledged in policy and practice. The program therefore takes an interest not only in Swedish as L1/L2 and English as L2/Ln/FL, but it also considers the presence of national minority languages and languages spoken by immigrated minority populations in Sweden.

Study plans

The PhD students are admitted to three different universities. They therefore follow different study plans.

PhD students

Nine PhD students are admitted to the research school SEMLA.


Supervisors of SEMLA are:

  • Camilla Bardel, Stockholm University
  • Joke Dewilde, University of Oslo
  • Gudrun Erickson, University of Gothenburg
  • Christina Hedman, Stockholm University
  • Carina Hermansson, Umeå University
  • Eva Lindgren, Umeå University​
  • John Löwenadler, University of Gothenburg
  • Hans Malmström, Chalmers University of Technology
  • Ann-Christin Randahl, University of Gothenburg
  • Liss Kerstin Sylvén, University of Gothenburg
  • Elisabeth Zetterholm, Linköping University


Within the research school SEMLA four compulsory courses are given:

  • Fall 2018: Compulsory course 1
  • Spring 2019: Compulsory course 2
  • Fall 2019:  Compulsory course 3
  • Spring 2020:  Compulsory course 4


The PhD students will defend their theses at the university where they are admitted. The defenses are planned for year 2022.

Advisory board

  • Piet van Avermaet, Ghent University
  • Janet Enever, University of Reading
  • Per Holmberg, University of Gothenburg
  • Nancy Hornberger, University of Pennsylvania
  • Ofra Inbar-Lourie, Tel Aviv University
  • David Little, Trinity College Dublin
  • Lourdes Ortega, Georgetown University
  • Simone Pfenninger, University of Salzburg
  • Åsa Wengelin, University of Gothenburg