Bringing the outside to the inside : Incorporating pupil’s knowledge of extramural English in teaching English to young learners

University essay from Högskolan Dalarna/Pedagogiskt arbete

Abstract: In Sweden today, the English language is a part of our everyday lives. This means that from very young ages, children encounter the language in many different ways, media being one of the most common. This thesis aims to research if and how teachers in F-3 include this type of English in their teaching of English as a foreign language (EFL). In particular, the focus is to gain knowledge of how music/songs are being used in the classroom, and if the teachers incorporate the music that the pupils listen to in their spare time when working with music/songs. Their attitudes towards doing this is what this thesis is interested in. An empirical study was carried out with the use of interviews as data collecting method. A total of six lower primary school teachers (grades 1-3) spread out geographically in Sweden were interviewed. The results show that teachers report that they are aware of the many places where pupils encounter English, but only one of the teachers incorporate this in teaching EFL. However, the others do seem positive towards working with this and they mention many benefits in doing so. When it comes to music and songs, all teachers work with this in the subject, but once again five out of six do not include the songs that the pupils listen to, except when they in some cases pick something up in the moment. Again, even though some difficulties are mentioned, they seem positive towards this and they believe there is a possibility in including this in their teaching of EFL. However, as seen in the conclusion, time seems to be a big issue for doing so.

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