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Learning and Using English: The Views of Learners at the End of Compulsory Education

  • Hafdís IngvarsdóttirEmail author
  • Ásrún Jóhannsdóttir
Chapter
Part of the Educational Linguistics book series (EDUL, volume 34)

Abstract

This study was carried out amongst students in grade ten at the end of their primary education (lower secondary school). The study set out to investigate students’ views and use of English in and outside of school including their present and anticipated future use of English. Data was collected in schools throughout Iceland with 703 students participating. The findings support emerging evidence of Icelandic students’ extensive receptive use of English outside the classroom, even from an early age in some instances. A gap was identified between learners’ use of English in school and their use of English outside the classroom calling into question the relevance of the prevalent teaching pedagogy in grade ten. Traditional foreign language teaching methods seem still to be prevalent and the extramural English students are exposed to seems to for the most part to be ignored in the classroom. The results highlight the need for a more pragmatic instructional approach, taking into account the learners’ interests in English, their present and future use and need for English proficiency. The study indicates that important aspects promoted in the National Curriculum Guide have not found their way into the classroom. These include an emphasis on learner autonomy, e.g. learners’ metacognitive awareness and learner’s skills in monitoring and assessing their own proficiency.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hafdís Ingvarsdóttir
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ásrún Jóhannsdóttir
    • 2
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of IcelandReykjavíkIceland
  2. 2.School of HumanitiesUniversity of IcelandReykjavíkIceland

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