An Empirical Study on Teachers’ Choice of Extensive Literature in the Swedish Upper Secondary EFL Classroom

University essay from Högskolan Dalarna/Engelska

Abstract: The importance of extensive literature reading in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) context has been given increasing attention in recent research. Literature reading is also a required part of the national syllabi of the (EFL) courses offered to both adolescents and adults at Upper Secondary level in Sweden. This thesis aims to investigate the teachers’ process of making literature choices for extensive reading in upper secondary EFL courses in Sweden. Eight teachers of three different student groups took part in the study, representing adolescent university preparatory programs and vocational programs, as well as programs for adult students. Questionnaires were used and the data was analyzed for patterns revealing three main factors affecting teachers’ literature choice: language proficiency, reading experience and contextual factors. These three factors were fitted into the theoretical framework of psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic reading models, with the addition of a perspective of motivational research. The results of this survey underline the importance of extensive reading, according to teachers, and that motivation for literature choice can be primarily related to factors associated with psycholinguistic reading models. The survey also points to the need for further investigating of teachers’ own experiences of literature reading, searching for deeper motivational factors which influence teaching choices. Another future field of research is the choice of reading activities assigned together with the chosen literature, which probably also influence teachers’ choices in the Swedish EFL classroom.

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