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Changing teaching practices in the English classroom

Conference contribution
Authors Leona Bunting
Published in Crossing Boundaries: Language learning and Teaching Inside and Outside the Classroom, conference programme for BAAL Language Learning and Teaching SIG, Lancaster University 30 June- 1 July 2016.
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Language en
Links wp.lancs.ac.uk/baal-sig-learn-teach...
Keywords Boundary crossing, Second language learning, Pre-teens, ICT
Subject categories Educational Sciences

Abstract

The conditions for learning English in Swedish schools are changing. Pre-teens’ encounters with English in media and ICT out of school raise questions about what environments and resources are important for language learning in school. We present a study aimed to investigate how teachers reason about their English classroom practices and pre-teens’ learning of English, especially considering the intersection of school and out-of-school practices. In the study, 13 teachers who teach 10-12-year-old students were interviewed. The students have learnt English in school since they were eight or nine. The analyses showed that the teachers use a variety of resources when teaching, many of which cross both locational and sociocultural boundaries as they are linked to the students’ activities involving English out of school comprising media and ICT. The teachers also use the students for learning purposes in that they utilize them as resources for everybody’s learning in the classroom. The main opinion among the teachers is that English is to be considered a second language rather than a foreign language, indicating that they believe in the students’ capacity for linguistic boundary crossing. Most of the teachers also see themselves as responsible for creating the ideal learning situation for the students, something which has an impact on their teaching. Although they take issues of boundary into consideration to varying degrees, there is a shift in pedagogical design from learning in school being organized solely by the teacher toward learning in school including more of the student’s own choice and responsibility.

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