My research centers on social interaction, particularly institutional talk such as higher education seminars, multilingual classrooms, organizational meetings, performance appraisal interviews, second language speaking tests, and news interviews.
Through the ethnomethodological lens of Conversation Analysis (CA), I am interested in how social institutions shape, restrict, and promote particular interactional conduct, and how social phenomena such as affect or norms are socially organized in talk and action. I work with audio and video-recordings of social interaction and examine closely the sequencing of talk.
Current research projects
Non-apologies: The reception of public apologies in mediated interaction in the era of #MeToo
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, Reg. no P19-0213:1 [2020-2022]
In this new project, Peter Wikström and I identify and analyze discursive practices of rejecting public apologies in the wake of the #MeToo movement, in both journalistic mediated interaction and informal social media interaction. Such practices are analyzed in terms of how the discourse participants practice ‘folk linguistics’, negotiating notions of what constitutes a ‘real’ apology. Further, the practices are analyzed as a way of doing ‘everyday’ political participation in the social media context.
Multilingual spaces? Language practices in English classrooms
The Swedish Research Council, Reg. no. 2016-03469 [2017-2020]
"Multilingual Spaces" is a collaboration between Lund University and Karlstad University, and encompasses Marie Källkvist, Henrik Gyllstad, Pia Sundqvist, and Erica Sandlund. The project focuses on language practices in multilingual English classroom spaces in Swedish secondary schools. The project takes a multi-method approach, including a web-based survey, ethnographic observation, video ethnography, and conversation analysis. We also conduct a quasi-experimental study in six different year 9 classes, where we test vocabulary learning in three different teaching conditions. The project aims to contribute to language teacher education, language learning and teaching research, and to classroom studies in multilingual settings in multilingual schools. MLS project website
Studies in Workplace Interaction and Professional Learning Environments
Uppsala University (2018-2019)
During 2018-2019, I'm working 20% at the Department of Education, Uppsala University, conducting research on workplaces, learning, and interaction (with Helen Melander Bowden).
Making sense of holistic assessment (2017-)
In an ongoing study (with Pia Sundqvist and Liliann Byman-Frisén, Karlstad University), we are interested in how English teachers make sense of assessment rubrics for the National Test of English, Part A (Speaking). The project aims to yield knowledge on how teachers, in their daily practice, construct their interpretations of national assessment criteria in their own assessment work. The project was initially funded by the Center for Language and Literature in Education (CSL) and is currently part of Byman Frisén's ongoing PhD dissertation work.
Nordic research network on PAIs (2016- )
In a research collaboration between conversation analysts in Sweden, Denmark, and Finland, we study complaints in performance appraisal interviews across a corpus of data collected in all three countries. The research group currently consists of Birte Asmuß, Erica Sandlund, Esa Lehtinen, Johanna Ruusuvuori, Piia Mikkola and Helen Melander Bowden.
Selected past research projects
Testing Talk (2013-2016)
Swedish Research Council [Reg. no. 2012-4129]
The project "Testing Talk: Interactional organization and assessment practice in paired L2 oral proficiency tests" was funded by the Swedish Research Council from 2013 to 2016. In collaboration with Pia Sundqvist and Lina Nyroos, second language speaking tests recorded during the national test of English for ninth graders were studied. Using a mixed method approach including conversation analysis, web surveys, and teacher interviews, we focus on interaction in the oral proficiency part of the national test of English in Sweden. The project aimed to provide a comprehensive description and analysis of how learner interaction in paired OP tests is introduced, conducted, and assessed. Project website: www.kau.se/testing-talk
Equity in Assessment - EquA (2016-2018)
The project is funded by the Center for Language and Literature in Education (2016) and the research group ROSE (2017-) focusing on the effects of different types of rater training on equity in the assessment of complex language skills in Swedish and English. The project was a combination of research and professional development for teachers. For more information, visit https://www.kau.se/csl/forskning/forskningsprojekt/ovriga-projekt/likvardig-bedomning
Strategic career grant
Karlstad University, 2012-2014
2012-2014, I held an individual research career development grant from Karlstad University, where my main foci were performance appraisal interviews as institutional interaction on the one hand, and conversation analysis in applied gender studies on the other.
KaU, the EU Regional Development Fund, and Region Varmland [id 147243, 2008-2011]
The EqualGrowth (JämVäxt) project was an interdisciplinary project on gender and sustainable development co-funded by Karlstad University. As one part of the project, myself and my colleagues studied performance appraisal interviews (Sw. medarbetarsamtal) in three organizations (e.g. Jakobsen et al, 2010; Sandlund et al, 2011; Jansson et al, 2012; Gonas, Lindgren & Sandlund, 2012; Gonas & Sandlund, 2013, Nyroos & Sandlund, 2014), with a particular interest in institutional norms in talk and action.
Feeling by Doing – doctoral dissertation
In my doctoral dissertation (Sandlund, 2004), I examined the social organization of emotions in institutional talk. Focusing on displays of affect as well as orientations to affectivity, I demonstrate how emotions are systematically fitted into the sequential structure of talk, and how orientations to affectivity contribute to transforming and redirecting interactional trajectories.
Over the years I have taught various courses in English Linguistics, and supervised a number of student papers in English. I have also taught courses at the Department of Psychology, and participated in the teaching of courses for PhD students at Linkoping University and Karlstad University. I teach MA/PhD courses on Language and Gender, Conversation Analysis, Second Language Acquisition, Linguistic Data, and a PhD course for the international and interdisciplinary research school in gender studies, InterGender (2014,with Don Kulick and Ann-Carita Evaldsson).
I supervise PhD dissertations, for example:
Wikström, P. (2017). I tweet like I talk: Aspects of speech and writing on Twitter. Karlstad University Studies, 2017:44.
Nyroos, L. (2012). The Social Organization of Institutional Norms Interactional Management of Knowledge, Entitlement and Stance [Diss.]. Skrifter utgivna vid institutionen för nordiska språk vid Uppsala universitet, 87.
Most of my research projects have an applied or interventionist approach, where research findings are communicated to research participants and practicioners (language teachers, managers, organizations) through interactive workshops. To learn more, visit the project websites at:
Associate Professor (2014)
Ph. D., English Linguistics, Karlstad University (2004)
MA, English Linguistics (minor: Psychology), Karlstad University (1999)
2006- Senior lecturer, Department of English, Karlstad University
2018-2019 Senior lecturer, Uppsala University, Department of Education
2010-2015 Affiliated researcher, Center for Gender Studies, Karlstad University
Visit our project website for activities, publications, and links!
Contracted monographs (forthcoming)
Sandlund, E. & Sundqvist, P. (forthcoming). Muntlig färdighet i engelska. Lund: Studentlitteratur.
Sundqvist, P. & Sandlund, E. (forthcoming). Testing Talk. Ways to assess second language oral proficiency. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
Sandlund, E., & Sundqvist, P. (2021). Rating and reflecting: Displaying rater identities in collegial L2 English oral assessment. In M. R. Salaberry & A. R. Burch (Eds.), Assessing speaking in context – Expanding the construct and its applications. Multilingual Matters.
Nilsberth, M. & Sandlund, E. (2021). On the interactional challenges of revealing summative assessments: Collaborative scoring talk among teachers and students in Swedish national tests. Linguistics and Education, 61(2).
Sandlund, E. & Greer, T. (2020). How do raters understand rubrics for assessing L2 interactional engagement? A comparative study of CA- and non-CA-formulated performance descriptors. Papers in Language Testing and Assessment, 9 (1), 128-163.
Sundqvist, P., Sandlund, E., Skar, G. B., & Tengberg, M. (2020). Effects of rater training on the assessment of L2 English oral proficiency. Nordic Journal of Modern Language Methodology, 8 (1), 3-29.
Sandlund, E., & Sundqvist, P. (2019). Doing versus assessing interaction competence. In R. Salaberry & S. Kunitz (Eds.), Teaching and testing L2 interactional competence: Bridging theory and practice (pp. 357-396). Oxon and New York, NY: Routledge.
Sundqvist, P., Sandlund, E., Källkvist, M., Fredholm, K., & Dahlberg, M. (2019). Ömsesidighet i framtidens praktiknära språkklassrumsforskning: ASLA-symposiets panelsamtal med forskare, lärare och elever. In Ljung Egeland, B., Roberts, T., Sandlund, E, & Sundqvist, P. (2019). Klassrumsforskning och språk(ande): Rapport från ASLA-symposiet i Karlstad, 12-13 april, 2018. [Classroom research and language/languaging: Report from the ASLA symposium in Karlstad, 12-13 April, 2018.] ASLA:s skriftserie 27. Karlstad: Karlstad University Press.
Melander Bowden, H. & Sandlund, E. (2019). Knowledge talk in performance appraisal interviews. Learning, Culture, and Social Interaction, 21, 278-292.
Sundqvist, P., Wikström, P., Sandlund, E., & Nyroos, L. (2018). The teacher as examiner of L2 oral tests: A challenge to standardization. Language Testing, 35(2), 217-238. doi:10.1177/0265532217690782
Nyroos, L., Sandlund, E., & Sundqvist, P. (2017). Code-switched repair initiation: The case of Swedish eller in L2 English test interaction. Journal of Pragmatics, 120, 1-16. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2017.08.008
Sandlund, E., & Sundqvist, P. (2016). Equity in L2 English oral assessment: Criterion-based facts or works of fiction? Nordic Journal of English Studies, 15(2), 113–131. PDF
Sandlund, E., Sundqvist, P. & Nyroos, L. (2016). Research-based professional development workshops: Focus on oral test interaction and assessment. Nordic Journal of Modern Language Methodology, 4 (1), 24-48. PDF
Sandlund, E., Sundqvist, P. & Nyroos, L. (2016). Testing L2 talk: A review of empirical studies on second language oral proficiency testing. Language and Linguistics Compass, 10(1), 14-29. PDF
Sundqvist, P., Sandlund, E. & Nyroos, L. (2015). Speaking about Speaking: English Teachers' Practices and Views regarding Part A of the English National Test. LMS Lingua, 3, 16-23.
Sundqvist, P., Sandlund, E. & Nyroos, L. (2014). National speaking tests in English - does group size matter? LMS Lingua, 3, 29-31.
Sandlund, E. (2014). Prescribing conduct: Enactments of talk or thought in advice-giving sequences. Discourse Studies, 16 (5), 645-666.
Sandlund, E. (2014). Book review: Födandets sociala utformning. Språkliga och kroppsliga praktiker i förlossningsrummet. (Author: Näslund, Shirley). Tidskrift för Genusvetenskap, 1-2, 124-130.
Nyroos, L. & Sandlund, E. (2014). From paper to practice: Asking and responding to a standardized question item in performance appraisal interviews. Pragmatics & Society, 5 (2), 165-190.
Sundqvist, P., Sandlund, E., Nyroos, L. & Wikström, P. (2013). Genomförande och bedömning av muntliga nationella prov i engelska: en pilotstudie. KAPET, 9(1), 24-45. PDF
Sandlund, E. & Sundqvist, P. (2013). Provuppgiftshantering som social praktik - en jämförelse mellan interaktionsanalys och bedömardata för muntligt prov i engelska. I C. Rosén, P. Simfors & A-K Sundberg (Eds). Språk i undervisning. Rapport från ASLA:s vårsymposium, Linköping 11-12 maj, 2012. Papers from the ASLA symposium, Linköping University, May 11-12, (pp. 125-138). Linköping/Växjö: ASLA, Svenska föreningen för språkvetenskap.
Gonäs, L. & Sandlund, E. (2013). Capturing change: Approaching gender relations in working life. Editorial introduction. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 34 (3), 471-482. Online access: http://eid.sagepub.com/content/34/3.toc
Sandlund, E. & Sundqvist, P. (2013). Diverging task orientations in L2 oral proficiency tests - a conversation analytic approach to participant understandings of pre-set discussion tasks. Nordic Journal of Modern Language Methodology, 2(1), 1-21. PDF
Sandlund, E. & Sundqvist, P. (2013). Att tala under test och testa tal – prov i
muntlig språkfärdighet är en komplex historia. LMS Lingua, 2, 21-25. PDF
Sandlund, E. & Sundqvist, P. (2012). ”But what can we learn from history” – om konsten att diskutera ”rätt” under det muntliga nationella provet i engelska. Kapet – Karlstads universitets Pedagogiska Tidskrift, 8 (1), 45-66. PDF
Lindgren, G. & Sandlund, E. (2012). Jämställd hållbar tillväxt - från ord till handling. Arbetsmarknad & Arbetsliv, 2, 2012.
Jansson, U., Sandlund, E., Olin-Scheller, C. & Jakobsen, L. (2012). Diskursiv och könad normering kring stress i ett föränderligt arbetsliv. Arbetsmarknad & Arbetsliv, 2, 2012. PDF
Sandlund, E. & Sundqvist, P. (2012). ”It was hard. Let’s skip it!” Funderingar kring bedömning av muntlig färdighet i språk”. LMS Lingua, 1, 2012. PDF
Sandlund, E., Olin-Scheller, C., Nyroos, L., Jakobsen, L. & Nahnfeldt, C. (2011). The performance appraisal interview – an arena for the reinforcement of norms for ideal employeeship. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, 1 (2),59-75. Online access: http://www.nordicwl.com/?p=619
Sandlund, E. & Sundqvist, P. (2011). Managing Task-Related Trouble in L2 Oral Proficiency Tests: Contrasting Interaction Data and Rater Assessment. Novitas-ROYAL - Research on Youth and Language, 5 (1), 91-120. Open Access PDF: http://www.novitasroyal.org/archives/vol-5-issue-1
Jakobsen, L., Nahnfeldt, C., Nyroos, L., Olin-Scheller, C. & Sandlund, E. (2010). Medarbetarsamtal som arena för att befästa normer kring medarbetarskap. Arbetsmarknad & Arbetsliv, 16 (3), 39-54.PDF
Sandlund, E. (2005). On Words and their Interactional Power: How to Accomplish Social Goals with ’Mock’ States-of-Being. I S. Granath, J. Miliander & E. Wennö (Eds.). The Power of Words. Studies in honour of Moira Linnarud. Karlstad: Karlstad University Press.
Sandlund, E. (2004). Feeling by Doing: The Social Organization of Everyday Emotions in Academic Talk-in-Interaction. Doktorsavhandling. Karlstad University Studies, 2004:36.
Sandlund, E.S. (2004). Embarrassment as an Interactional Accomplishment. In B. Starrin (Ed). Emotionssociologiska uppsatser. Papers från forskarutbildningskurs i emotionernas sociologi. Karlstad University Studies, 2004:1, 123-140.
Johansson-Hidén, B., Friman, Y. & Sandlund, E. (2003). Personal- och politikergruppers perspektiv på räddningstjänstens strategiska utveckling. Karlstad University Studies, 2003:37.
Linnarud, M. & E. Sandlund (2003). Language and Learning. Introduction to M. Linnarud & E. Sandlund (Eds). Språk och Lärande. Conference Proceedings from ASLA 2002. Edsbruk: Akademitryck, 9-21.
Sandlund, E.S. (2003). Doing feedback - Some features of managing critical response in academic seminars. In M. Linnarud & E. Sandlund (Eds). Språk och Lärande. Conference Proceedings from ASLA 2002. Edsbruk: Akademitryck, 297-311.
Johansson-Hidén, B., Sandlund, E. & Friman, Y. (2002). En grupp brandmäns interaktion om prioriteringar i räddningsaktioner. Karlstad University Studies, 2002:2.
Sandlund, E.S..; Linnarud, M.; & Norlander, T. (2001): Effects of Stress versus Flotation-REST Relaxation on Creativity and Literacy Skills in Advanced English as a Second Language (ESL) Composition. International Journal of Language and Communication, 15, 95-113.
Sandlund, E & Norlander, T. (2000): The Effects of Tai Chi Chuan Relaxation and Exercise on Stress Responses and Well being - an Overview of Research. International Journal of Stress Management, 7, 139-149.