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Martina Norling

Position: Senior Lecturer School/office: School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences

Email: bWFydGluYS5ub3JsaW5nO29ydS5zZQ==

Phone: +46 19 303340

Room: F2257

Martina Norling
Research subject Research environments

About Martina Norling

Martina Norling is senior lecturer in education and preschool education at the School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. She has a PhD in didactics as well as a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and a master's degree in special education. Martina Norling mainly teaches subject didactics with a focus on languages in preschool and school.


Martina Norling's research interests are language, multilingualism, reading and writing development in the social language environment in preschool. Her research interests also concern outdoor pedagogy quality development, as well as transitions and collaboration in preschool, preschool class and compulsory school.

In an ongoing project, Martina Norling, in collaboration with the Nordic research group Nordic Early Literacy Education (NELL), is researching the perceptions, practices and reading and writing activities offered to children in preschool. The purpose of the project is to contribute knowledge about the way in which preschool staff design reading and writing environments in Nordic preschools.

Furthermore, she is involved in a participatory research project (PAR) between Örebro University and Örebro municipality, where the purpose of the research is to develop reading aloud activities and adopting an intercultural approach in preschool. The aim is also to develop a model for interaction with parents of multilingual children and parents with another mother tongue. The model aims to contribute knowledge about ways in which parental interaction, an intercultural approach, and reading aloud can support multilingual children's meaning-making and understanding of texts, their messages and content. The goal is for the model to be integrated into the systematic quality work of preschools.

In the research project Preschool as a child's language environment, which was part of Martina Norling's doctoral thesis (Preschool – a social language environment an arena for emergent literacy processes), she studied the social language environment in preschool. The concept of ‘social language environment’ can be described as a broader perspective on children's early language, reading and writing development, which takes place before the development of formal written language.

The results mainly show three overall dimensions of content for conditions in the preschool's social language environment: play strategies, emotional strategies, and communicative strategies. Furthermore, the results shows that preschool staff rarely have a clear goal when it comes to teaching about children's early reading and writing processes, indicating that preschool staff is in need of in-service training in early literacy in preschool.

In a project in collaboration with Västerås Municipality and Mälardalen Competence Center for Learning (MKL), and together with research colleagues at Mälardalen University, Martina Norling has examined preschool teachers’ and teachers' perspectives on multilingual children's language, writing and reading development. The purpose of this action research project was to develop knowledge about multilingualism and early literacy as well as develop didactic strategies in preschool, preschool class and primary school year one, to support and provide conditions for early literacy learning.  The results show mainly three themes that preschool teachers as well as preschool class and compulsory teachers in described as prerequisites for teaching: paying attention to different languages​​, teaching and providing conditions for development and specific support for multilingual children.  Links to the articles related to the project:

Teacher's Perspectives on Promoting Reading and Writing for Pupils With Various linguistic Backgrounds in Grade 1 of Primary School.

Swedish Preschool Teachers Perspectives on Multilingual Children's Emergent Literacy Development

En studie om hur förskollärare och lärare resonerar om undervisningens innehåll i relation till barns språk-, läs- och skrivutveckling i förskola och förskoleklass.

In cooperation with fifteen preschool teachers in another PAR project, Martina Norling has investigated and developed knowledge about the social language environment with a specific focus on multilingualism in preschool. The overall purpose of the project was to develop strategies and knowledge about the conditions for multilingual children's learning in a social language environment in preschool. The aim was also to pilot and develop The Social Language Environment - Domain (Norling, 2020), a tool for preschool teacher to analyse, with a didactic and critically constructive approach, as well as to make visible the conditions for children's language, multilingualism, reading and writing processes in preschool. The results show that long-term projects where preschool staff are given the conditions to be active in the competence development process can result in learning and experience obtained on a scientific basis. Links that are related to the project:

Video Recording as a Method for Swedish Preschool Teachers to Analyze Multilingual Strategies.


Martina Norling mainly teaches subject didactics with a focus on language, social language environment, multilingualism, reading and writing learning, outdoor pedagogy and that which generally concerns children's learning and development in preschool.

Collaborations and assignments

Martina Norling is part of the Nordic research group Nordic Early Literacy Education (NELL). The research group is planning for future projects such as data collection and article writing, as well as joint presentations at conferences. The common research area is "early childhood literacy". Survey data collected in Sweden, Norway, and Finland is currently being analyzed. The project is about writing and reading aloud in preschool.

She is also a member of the National Literacy Network and a member of the international research group, Multilingual Childhoods.

Martina Norling is the World Forum Representative of Sweden. The assignment involves acting as a contact between Sweden and the World Forum Foundation for information about children's conditions in society. 

Management assignments:

Martina Norling is the programme coordinator for the Early Years Education Programme at Örebro University.


Articles in journals |  Chapters in books |  Conference papers |  Conference proceedings (editor) |  Doctoral theses, monographs | 

Articles in journals

Chapters in books

Conference papers

Conference proceedings (editor)

Doctoral theses, monographs