Self-perceived English Proficiency in Relation to Extramural Language Environment : A comparison between Swedish students of English living in the UK and in Sweden

University essay from Karlstads universitet/Avdelningen för utbildningsvetenskap

Abstract: Students today encounter a vast amount of English in their free time, outside the walls of school. They watch English films, play English computer games, and keep international contacts through the internet. This present study focuses on mapping the so called Extramural English activities of two groups of upper secondary high school students in order to find out how and if the overall English proficiency of those students can be derived from the English they encounter in their free time. One of the groups is living and studying at a Swedish school in the UK, while the other one is living and studying at a regular high school in the south of Sweden. Both groups participated in a survey where they were asked to answer questions about their free time habits, time spent on different English activities and how they feel that their confidence and overall proficiency in the subject has improved. The results of this study show that the students living in the UK engage in more English activities outside of school and that they claim overall better results and higher confidence in their English. This study contains proof that Extramural English is an important factor in achieving targetlike language proficiency.

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