Dr Agneta Svalberg

Associate Professor Applied Linguistics (Joint) Programme Director MA Applied Linguistics & TESOL (Joint) PGR Tutor

School/Department: Education, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 229 7503



I lived in Mexico and then Greece for a few years working as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language. Through these teaching experiences I developed an interest in the workings of English grammar which resulted 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 researched non-standard uses of grammar and explored approaches to grammar teaching pedagogy. In 2000 I joined the University of Leicester where I teach on the MA TESOL and MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL programmes both the campus-based and distance learning modes of delivery. I am joint programme leader of the MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL (DL). I also tutor and supervise PhD students.


My teaching is informed by my interest in the principles which underlie the theory and practice of Language Awareness. In my research I have explored the use of a consciousness raising approach to raise English Foreign Language Teachers' awareness of grammar in context and more generally to facilitate learners’ Engagement With Language. I and my colleague Dr Jim Askham have engaged in research investigating the viability and effectiveness of teachers (in a range of foreign languages) designing and implementing their own consciousness raising grammar tasks coupled with opportunities for communicative interaction. Leicester Learning Institute provided the funding. More recently with co-researchers in Norway and Austria I have explored differences between the teaching of EFL and teaching other non-language subjects. I am a committee member and treasurer of the Association for Language Awareness - an international multidisciplinary organization which promotes Language Awareness and holds international conferences every two years.


Haukås, A…., Mercer, S. & Svalberg, A. M-L. (2021). School Teachers Perceptions of Similarities and Differences Between Teaching English and a Non-Language Subject. TESOL Quarterly.  

Svalberg, A. M-L. & Askham, J. (2020). Teacher and learner perceptions of adult foreign language learners engagement with consciousness raising tasks in four languages. Language Awareness, 29(3-4). DOI: 10.1080/09658416.2020.1785483  

Svalberg, A. M-L. (2021) Engagement With Language in Relation to Form-Focused Versus Meaning-Focused Teaching and Learning. Chapter 3. In Hiver, P., Al-Hoorie, A. H. & Mercer, S. (Eds.) Student Engagement in the Language Classroom. Multilingual Matters. pp.38-55. 

Svalberg, A. M. L. (2018) Mapping tense form and meaning for L2 learning - from theory to practice. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching. DOI: 

Svalberg, A. M. L. (2017) Researching language engagement; current trends and future directions. Language Awareness. 27(1-2) pp.21-39. 

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. 

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. (2012a). Peer Interaction, Cognitive Conflict and Anxiety on a Grammar Awareness Course for Language Teachers. In Finkbeiner, C. & Svalberg, A. M-L. (Eds.) Awareness Matters - Language, Culture, Literacy. (pp.137-156).  London: Routledge. 

Svalberg, A. M. L. (2012b). Language Awareness in language learning and teaching: A research agenda. Language Teaching, 45(3), 376-388. 

Svalberg, A. M. L. (2009). Engagement with Language: Interrogating a Construct.  Language Awareness, 18(3-4), 242-258. 


I supervise students doing research on language learners' task engagement and engagement with language. Other topics include Consciousness Raising and its learning effects academic writing and issues in English grammar (e.g. tense aspect modality).


I teach on the MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL and MA TESOL programmes and I supervise a number of PhD students. At MA level I teach Grammar Awareness and parts of the Second Language Learning course.

Press and media

English Grammar; learner engagement with language


BA Linguistics Lund University PhD Linguistics University of Sydney Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy
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