Extramural English or School? : A Quantitative Study of What Factors Influence Swedish Senior High School Students’ Variety of English

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för pedagogik, didaktik och utbildningsstudier

Abstract:

This essay focuses on studying senior high school students’ usage of and attitudes towards American and British English. It also investigates what influences for the students’ use of English and attitudes towards the two varieties can be found in school and outside of school, and how that affects the students’ own variety of English. The study has been carried out using a questionnaire as method and the results have been analyzed through theoretical perspectives. The results show that American English is the favored variety of the two, both in usage, attitudes and influences outside of school. However, a majority of the students states that they use a mixed variety consisting of both American English and British English. The results show that this is also the most commonly variety actually used by the students. A mixed variety is what a large part of the students express is being taught in school as well. This shows that the teaching of English in Swedish schools today follow the directions in the policy documents set up by the National Agency of Education stating that communicative skills are desirable. A mixed variety is accepted and there are no restrictions concerning variety used.

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