An international comparative study on English writing proficiency in two secondary school settings
Abstract: In an increasingly globalized world with English as a lingua franca, European countries are competing in their efforts for their populations to speak English. The main goal of this study was to compare the English writing proficiency of one class in the Basque Country and one in Sweden at the end of their compulsory education. Both classes took an essay test in which verb use, conjunction use, spelling and text length were measured. The Swedish students outperformed their Basque counterparts in almost every measured area, which was suggested to be due to a combination of teacher-related factors (methodology, command of the language, use of the language and learning environment) and external factors (language typology, language input and student motivation). The teaching skills and command of English of Basque teachers should be improved as well as audiovisual tools and communicative approach introduced in order to compensate for the lack of language input and language use possibilities.
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