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L2 profiles for Swedish

Full name: Development of lexical and grammatical competences in immigrant Swedish, RJ, 2018-2020


Sweden has a growing number of immigrants, the need for courses and coursebooks in Swedish as a second language (L2) is increasing, as is the demand for standardized tests and qualifications. This project intends to study the development of lexical and grammatical competences in L2 learners of Swedish.

General description

We performed several studies on Swedish learner language through two corpora: coursebook texts and learner essays, both marked up for proficiency levels according to the Common European Framework of References (CEFR). The corpora were processed by computational methods, after which the results were analysed by linguists, lexicographers, grammarians, teachers and language assessors - both linguistically, and based on theory of teaching, to find ways of identifying minimal or central (need-to-know) vocabulary and grammar scopes, as well as peripheral (good-to-know) grammar and vocabulary at each level of proficiency as a way to support teachers, test-makers, assessor and learners. The aim of this project was, thus, to provide an extensive description of what lexical and grammatical competence learners at each level possess, both receptively and productively, and explore the relation between the receptive and productive scopes, which we have delivered through an open explorative tool Swedish L2 profile.  The project resulted in both rich research output and in a number of practical digital tools: online sites for browsing and downloading lexical and grammatical inventories (Swedish L2 profile), and a set of algorithms and tools that can be re-used on other corpora for extraction of similar type of resources.



The project is financed by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond during years 2018-2020 through a grant P17-0716:1



Theses produced in the project

  • David Alfter (2021). Exploring natural language processing for single-word and multi-word lexical complexity from a second language learner perspective. PhD Thesis. Data Lingvistica 31, University of Gothenburg. [doi]
  • Kristoffer Holmquist (2021). Nominaliseringar i inlärarsvenska. en korpusanalys av affixanvändning i inlärares skriftliga produktion, kursböcker i svenska som andraspråk och modersmålstalares skrivna svenska. MA Thesis. University of Gothenburg. [doi]
  • Pantzar, Ella. (2021). "Samhället har nog förändrat men vi kan ju göra det samma" En korpusbaserad studie om användningen av modala satsadverbial hos andraspråksinlärare. MA Thesis. University of Helsinki. MA thesis prize 2021/2022 in Scandinavian languages, University of Helsinki  [doi]
  • Sylwia Szczepanek (2021) Användning av prepositioner hos andraspråkstalare av svenska: En korpusbaserad studie av andraspråkstalares skriftspråkliga utveckling med hänsyn till användning av prepositionerna i och på. BA Thesis. University of Gothenburg.



  • Ingves, Anna & Lindström Tiedemann, Therese. (2022). Prefixes as a potential learning resource: Assessing vocabulary size and vocabulary acquisition ability in L2 Swedish. AFinLa, Helsinki, Finland.
  • Ingves, Anna & Lindström Tiedemann, Therese (2022). Prefix i svenskan – en ordinlärningsresurs för inlärare av svenska som andraspråk. Svenskans beskrivning 38, Örebro, Sweden.
  • Lindström Tiedemann, Therese. (2022). Ortnamnsmorfologi i svenska som andraspråk. Svenskans beskrivning. Örebro, Sweden
  • Lindström Tiedemann, Therese. (2022). Swedish L2 Grammar Profile – exploring empirical data for teaching and research. CoCoLaC workshop, Helsinki, Finland
  • Holmquist, Kristoffer & Lindström Tiedemann, Therese. (2022). A corpus-based study of derivational morphology in written L2 Swedish. Poster presentation. LCR.
  • Elena Volodina, Therese Lindström Tiedemann and Yousuf Ali Mohammed (September 2022). Swedish L2 profile - a tool for exploring L2 data. Learner Corpus Research conference, Padua Italy. [abstract, pp.189-190]; [slides]
  • Therese Lindström Tiedemann and Elena Volodina (2022): Morfemfamiljer – en dörr till språklig förståelse. Grammatikfestivalen, Gothenburg, Sweden.
  • Therese Lindström Tiedemann (2022): Preteritum eller perfekt – tempus i svenska som andraspråk. Grammatikfestivalen, Gothenburg, Sweden.


  • Elena Volodiina, (December, 2021). Invited talk. CEFR-graded morpheme family for L2 Swedish. Workshop on Building CEFR-graded resources for foreign and second language learning.
  • Elena Volodina, Yousuf Ali Mohammed and Therese Lindstrom Tiedemann. (December, 2021). Graded Word Family resource for L2 Swedish. Presentation at the workshop on Building CEFR-graded resources for foreign and second language learning.
  • Therese Lindström Tiedemann, Yousuf Ali Mohammed and Elena Volodina. (December, 2021). Grammar profiling for empirical research and teaching. Abstract for the workshop on Building CEFR-graded resources for foreign and second language learning.
  • Elena Volodina (Autumn 2021, Department of Swedish, UGOT). L2 profiles and Swedish Word family resource.
  • Elena Volodina, David Alfter, Therese Lindström Tiedemann, Maisa Lauriala and Daniela Piipponen (September, 2021). Reliability of Automatic Linguistic Annotation: Native vs Non-native Texts. Preentation and a short abstract at Clarin-2021, pp 90-94. [pdf]
  • Lindström Tiedemann, T., Silen, B. & Lauriala, M. S., (10 juni 2021). Egennamnens morfologi - hur och varför?
  • Lindström Tiedemann, T., Alfter, D. & Volodina, E., (6 maj 2021). På pin kiv - att lära sig svenska flerordsuttryck.
  • Therese Lindström Tiedemann, Beatrice Silén, Stellan Petersson och Maisa Lauriala (January, 2021) Morfologisk profilering och svenska som andraspråk. Språkstrukturseminariet, University of Gothenburg (Sweden) [Slides]


  • Therese Lindström Tiedemann, Beatrice Silén, Stellan Petersson och Maisa Lauriala (December 2020) Morfologisk profilering och svenska som andraspråk. Scandinavian languages and Swedish translation Research seminar, University of Helsinki (Finland) [Slides]
  • David Alfter, Therese Lindstrom Tiedemann, Elena Volodina (November 2020). NLP4CALL. Organizer talk: Experts versus non-experts in crowdsourcing. Preliminary results.
  • Elena Volodina, David Alfter, Therese Lindstrom Tiedemann (November 2020). SLTC-2020: Expert judgments versus crowdsourcing in ordering multi-word expressions [Slides
  • David Alfter, Therese Lindström Tiedemann and Elena Volodina (October 2020). Poster presentation. LEGATO: A flexible lexicographic annotation tool. Nodalida-2020.


  • Elena Volodina, Therese Lindström Tiedemann (September, 2019) L2 profiles: Half-way report [slides]
  • David Alfter. (September, 2019) The LEGATO annotation tool. Presentation at Språkbanken's kick-off. Gothenburg, Sweden. [slides]
  • David Alfter. (March, 28, 2019). Idiomaticity and complexity - An L2-oriented perspective. A regular talk at Språkbanken-Text, Gothenburg, Sweden.
  • Therese Lindström Tiedemann. 2019. Konferenspresentation. Prepositionernas frekvens i L2 svenska – utvecklingen över CEFR-nivåer, Svenskans beskrivning 37, Åbo akademi, Åbo (Turku), Finland [Book of abstracts]
  • Elena Volodina (April,11, 2019). Crowdsourcing for language learning: looking for potential. A regular research seminar at Språkbanken-Text, Gothenburg, Sweden.
  • Elena Volodina (April, 3, 2019). Crowdsourcing for language learning: looking for potential. Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, guest talk. [pdf]
  • Jaka Čibej (March, 14, 2019). MWEs and crowdsourcing. Outline and results. Lisbon, Portugal, A talk at enet-Collect annual meeting, Work Group 1. [pdf]
  • Eeva-Liisa Nyqvist & Therese Lindström Tiedemann. 2019, 30 jan., Forskningsseminariet i nordiska språk, Åbo universitet. Hur behärskar finska språkbadselever passiv i åk 6 (12 år) och åk 9 (15 år)? [Abstract]


  • Elena Volodina (December, 6, 2018) Introduction to the pre-workshop MWE experiment [slides]
  • Jaka Čibej & David Alfter (December 6, 2018)Experiment set up and results of the MWE experiment [Slides Jaka] [Slides David]
  • Eeva-Liisa Nyqvist & Therese Lindström Tiedemann. 2018, 28 nov., Forskningsseminariet i nordiska språk och svensk översättning, Helsingfors universitet. Hur behärskar finska språkbadselever passiv i åk 6 (12 år) och åk 9 (15 år)?
  • Eeva-Liisa Nyqvist & Therese Lindström Tiedemann. 2018, May, 15. Hur behärskar finska språkbadselever passiv i åk 6 (12 år) och åk 9 (15 år)? Oslo, Gramino conference. [abstract] [slides]
  • Therese Lindström Tiedemann. (2018, May 3). Profiling L2 Swedish: need-to-know and good-to-know competences. Presentation at a work-in-progress seminar on first-language and second-language writing. In connection to Symposium on language learning and use. Uppsala, Sweden.
  • Therese Lindström Tiedemann. (2018, February). A linguist’s use of L2 corpora – The Swedish passive, a case study. SB-talk, University of Gothenburg [Slides]


Visions and plans


  • Lexical profile: sense-based SenSVALex, SenSweLLex
  • Resource preparation/curation: Transcription and anonymization of SweLL-pilot
  • MWE pilot experiment for level-linking using crowdsourcing (for L2 English)


  • Legato tool for lexicographic annotation
  • Lexicographic annotation (guidelines, assistant/lexicographer work)
  • Level-linking experiment (MWE-based)
  • Pilot on definiteness (as a preparation step for developing gram profiles)
  • Annotation quality check of SweLL-pilot & COCTAILL


  • Grammar profiles: receptive, productive
  • Focus areas for grammar profiles: definiteness, passive, prepositions, verb phrases, noun phrases, ...
  • Lexical profiles - finishing off annotation via Legato
  • Empirical analysis and evaluation of lexical profiles
  • Setting up user interface for lexical profile browsing
  • Linking to (target) levels


  • International workshop on CEFR grammatical profiles/criterial features (GR4L2)
  • User interface for Grammatical profiles browsing
  • User interface for Lexical profiles browsing
  • User interface for Morphologial profiles browsing (Word Family, Morpheme Family)



  • End-user evaluation
  • Grammar profile: passive, prepositions, clauses, etc
  • Integration of parsing algorithms into L2-specific searches in Korp/Strix
  • Complex network analysis of lexical profiles
  • International CEFRLex workshop
  • Integration of L2 profiles outcomes into Reference Level Descriptions (EU generic initiative)
  • Visualization of CA(F) model


Project duration

Project members


Research topics

  • språklig komplexitet
  • SLA
  • second language learning
  • CEFR profiles

Project type

  • Research project
  • Externally funded

Umbrella project