Staff and student attitudes to reading in English at the Department of Business Administration, SU

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Engelska institutionen

Abstract: This essay is based on a case study that discusses students’ attitudes and beliefs about parallel language i.e. studying in two languages instead of only one. The study has been carried through by performing interviews with five students on two occasions as well as one interview with one of the educators at the department of Business Administration. It was found that students are positive towards parallel language even though it requires more time for reading and risk of losing out on content. A couple of the reasons that the students are positive about are that they expect (i) increased language proficiency and (ii) further work opportunities as a result of reading course literature in English. However, according to the educator there is little chance that reading course literature in English will affect employability. The department’s main goal is to find good textbooks. It was also revealed that even though students intend to read their textbooks they use different strategies and sometimes try to evade texts entirely. The participants were also asked to participate in a small vocabulary test with the aim of finding out if the students had acquired some of the vocabulary in their textbooks. The results showed that the students who used dictionaries extensively got the highest score, whereas those who believed that they already were proficient enough in English and did not need dictionaries that much showed very poor results.

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