I am a teacher of French and a researcher in the field of second language acquisition at the Centre for Languages and Literature at Lund University.
I mainly teach French grammar and written composition.
In my research, I study the second language acquisition of French with special focus on morphology and syntax. In my Ph.D thesis (Ågren, 2008) I described how Swedish learners acquire the silent plural morhology of written French. I discussed the developmental sequence of this morhology and investigated the underlying factors that influence the morphological development in this domain.
I am currently part of a research project (STUF) where we investigate the acquisition and development of French when the language is acquired at a very early age, with an age of onset from three to six years. We compare the development of French grammar in these young learners to that of simultaneous bilinguals (Swedish/French) and to monolingual French children
About the research
In my research, I study the second/foreign language acquisition of French in Swedish learners. I am mainly interested in the development of the morphosyntax in spoken and written French and the underlying factors that influence the linguistic development in this domain.
In my Ph.D thesis I investigated the development of silent plural morhology in written L2 French of Swedish high school learners. My results showed that the development of written morphology is gradual (and fast) and that it follows a certain developmental pattern, just as the spoken language development. I also investigated how different linguistic factors (regularity, saliency, frequency, etc) and psycholinguistic factors (processing) contribute to the developmental pattern observed in the written L2 data.
A a post-doc researcher, I worked in a project where we studied the language development of French in very young Swedish second language learners. We followed Swedish children that entered a French school at the age of three to six years and we studied their morphosyntactic development over time. The linguistic development in the L2 children was compared to that of simultaneous bilinguals (French/Swedish) and monolingual French children at the same school. We also investigated in what domains the language development of these children differed and/or ressembled that of adult second language learners of French, as known from previous research.
When it comes to morphosyntax, spoken and written French are clearly distinct from one another and they are often considered as two distinct linguistic systems. When French is learnt as a second language, these two modes of language are acquired in parallel from the first day of exposure to the target language. In a second post-doc project, I investigated the simultaneous development of spoken and written French in adult L2 learners and analyzed how the two modes interact and affect each other during the language acquisition process.
In my current work, I participate in several research groups related to the L2 acquisition of French. In an international project investigating the L2 acquisition of French verb morphology, we compare the acquisition process in learner groups with different first languages (Finnish, Swedish, Dutch, German, Italian and Japanese). Furthermore, in cooperation with professor Jonas Granfeldt, I am conducting research relating language acquisition and language teaching. We have recently published some work on the use of the computer program Direkt Profil for evaluation purposes in the L2 French classroom. Finally, I'm one of six researchers in the TAL project (Learning, Teaching and Assessment of Second Foreign languages in the Swedish school context), funded by the Swedish Research Council (2016-2018). In this reseach project we examine interactions between learning, teaching and assessment of second foreign languages (SFL) in order to gain a better understanding of conditions and learning outcomes in foreign languages other than English in the Swedish school context. The focus is on Spanish, French and German in the 9th grade of secondary school and on an essential but under-researched aspect of SFL competence, namely oral language proficiency (OLP).
- Ågren, M. (2008). À la recherche de la morphologie silencieuse : sur le développement du pluriel en francais L2 écrit. Études Romanes de Lund, 84. Lund University. Dissertation.
- Ågren, M. (2005). Développement de la morphologie du nombre en français langue étrangère à l'écrit: Étude transversale. Lunds universitet. Licentiate thesis.
- Granfeldt, J. & Ågren, M. (submitted). Une évaluation formative de FLE fondée sur les itinéraires d'acquisition est-elle possible?. Le Français dans le monde.
- Granfeldt, J. & Ågren, M. (2017). Une évaluation formative de FLE basée sur les itinéraires d'acquisition est-elle possible? : La perspective des enseignants. Le Francais dans le Monde. Recherches et Applications, 61.
- Ågren, M. (2016). Apprendre l'orthographe profonde du français langue étrangère. Revue Francaise de Linguistique Appliquee, 21, 95-108. Editions "De Werelt": Amsterdam.
- Ågren, M. (2014). Production et compréhension de la morphologie verbale en FLE : Les difficultés de l'accord sujet-verbe en nombre. Cahiers AFLS, 19, 1-22. Association for French Language Studies.
- Ågren, M., Granfeldt, J. & Thomas, A. (2014). Combined effects of age of onset and input on the development of different grammatical structures: A study of simultaneous and successive acquisition of French. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 4, 461-492. John Benjamins Publishing Company.
- Granfeldt, J. & Ågren, M. (2014). De l'acquisition des langues a l'évaluation en FLE – Direkt Profil en application. Mélanges Crapel, 35. Université de Neuchâtel.
- Granfeldt, J. & Ågren, M. (2014). SLA developmental stages and teachers’ assessment of written French: Exploring Direkt Profil as a diagnostic assessment tool. Language Testing, 31, 285-305. SAGE Publications Inc..
- Ågren, M. (2013). The impact of spoken French on the acquisition of written French in child L2 learners. Journal of Language Teaching and Learning, 3, 1-19.
- Ågren, M. & van de Weijer, J. (2013). Input frequency and the acquisition of subject-verb agreement in numner in spoken and written French. Journal of French Language Studies, 23, 311-333. Cambridge University Press.
- Ågren, M. & van de Weijer, J. (2013). Number problems in monolingual and bilingual French-speaking children: A production/comprehension divide?. Language, Interaction and Acquisition, 4, 25-50. John Benjamins Publishing Company.
- Ågren, M. (2011). The impact of spoken French on the acquisition of written French in child learners. [unknown]. Historielärarnas förening.
- Ågren, M. & Hedbor, C. (2006). Acquisition et mise en oeuvre de la morphologie flexionnelle en francais langue étrangère. Rééducation Orthophonique, 159-189. Syndicat national des rééducateurs en orthophonie.
Book chapters (7)
- Ågren, M. (2015). La liaison préverbale comme accord sujet-verbe en nombre en FLE. In Maria, P. & Eva, H. (Eds.) L'acquisition de constructions verbales en langue étrangère (pp. 159-174), XCIX. Mémoires de la Société Néophilologique de Helsinki.
- Granfeldt, J. & Ågren, M. (2013). Stages of Processability and Levels of Proficiency in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The Case of L3 French. In Flyman-Mattsson, A. & Norrby, C. (Eds.) Language Acquisition and Use in Multilingual Contexts. Theory and Practice (pp. 28-38), Travaux de l'Institut de linguistique de Lund 52. Lund University.
- Ågren, M., Granfeldt, J. & Schlyter, S. (2012). The Growth of Complexity and Accuracy in L2 French: Past observations and recent applications of developmental stages. In Housen, A., Kuiken, F. & Wedder, I. (Eds.) Dimensions of L2 Performance and Proficiency Investigating Complexity, Accuracy and Fluency in SLA (pp. 95-120). John Benjamins Publishing Company.
- Ågren, M. (2009). Morphological development in Swedish learners of French: Discussing the processability perspective. In Kessler, J. & Keating, D. (Eds.) Research in Second Language Acquisition: Empirical Evidence across Languages (pp. 121-151). Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
- Ågren, M. (2009). The Advanced L2 Writer of French: A Study of Number Agreement in Swedish Learners. In Labeau, E. & Myles, F. (Eds.) The Advanced Learner Variety: The Case of French (pp. 149-172), Volume 12. Peter Lang Publishing Group.
- Granfeldt, J. & Ågren, M. (2008). Grammatisk profilanalys och lärarbedömning: en korrelationsstudie. In Granfeldt, J., Håkansson, G., Källkvist, M. & Schlyter, S. (Eds.) Språkinlärning, språkdidaktik och teknologi. Rapport från ASLA:s höstsymposium, Lund, 8-9 november 2007 (pp. 79-100). Association suédoise de linguistique appliquée (ASLA).
- Schlyter, S., Granfeldt, J. & Ågren, M. (2007). Stades de développement en francais - perspectives historiques et futures. In Van Daele, S., Housen, A., Kuiken, F., Pierrard, M. & Vedder, I. (Eds.) Complexity, Fluency and Accuracy in Second Language Use, Learning and Teaching (pp. 193-205). KVAB (Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van Belgie voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten).
Conference contributions (6)
- Granfeldt, J., Ågren, M. & Sayehli, S. (2017). Second foreign languages in the Swedish school context - The views of school leaders.
- Ågren, M. (2010). La fréquence dans l'input et l'acquisition de l'accord en nombre en francais L2.
- Ågren, M. (2010). Plural morphology in written child L2 French : like child L1 or adult L2?.
- Schlyter, S., Granfeldt, J. & Ågren, M. (2007). Stades de développement en français - perspectives historiques et futures.
- Ågren, M. (2006). Acquisition de la morphologie silencieuse en français langue étrangère à l'écrit: le cas de l'accord en nombre.
- Granfeldt, J., Nugues, P., Persson, E., Thulin, J., Ågren, M. & Schlyter, S. (2006). CEFLE and Direkt Profil: a new computer learner corpus in French L2 and a system for grammatical profiling. In Nugues, P., Ågren, M., Thulin, J., Persson, E. & Schlyter, S. (Eds.) Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (pp. 565-570). ELRA.
Articles in specialist publications and popular press (1)
- Granfeldt, J., Bardel, C., Erickson, G., Sayehli, S., Ågren, M. & Österberg, R. (2016). Muntlig språkfärdighet i främmande språk – en studie av samspelet mellan lärande, undervisning och bedömning i svensk skolkontext : presentation av det nya forskningsprojektet TAL. LMS - Lingua, 1-1. Lärarna i moderna språk.