Language skills : How teachers in Years 7-9 prioritize and teach language skills in their English lessons

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Abstract: This study aims to study how teachers of English, in years 7-9 focus on various language skills in their lessons. To do this it is necessary to answer several questions. The first question is what language skills are the most important, according to research and steering documents. The second question is what language skills the teachers see as the most important and whether these are the same skills that they focus their teaching on. The third question is what reason the teachers have to focus on certain language skills. The fourth question is what methods the teachers use to teach these language skills. These questions are answered through theories of English foreign language teaching, especially the communicative approach. Previous research shows that all skills are important for English language proficiency. However, the results from the interviews show that the teachers tend to focus on reading, writing and to a lesser extent listening. This is according to the teachers because it is the skills that the students are least proficient in. Furthermore, there are several methods presented that explain how certain language skills may be taught. The language skills studied are reading, writing, speaking and listening. The results have been reached through semi-structured qualitative interviews with teachers working at a single school. The teachers’ answers, together with the theoretical background, have given several results. A result that emerged in this study was that there is a dissonance between what language skills teachers consider the most important and what language skills they teach in their classrooms. 

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