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The influence of classmates on students' willingness to communicate in English: A study based on teacher and student views and experiences at a Swedish upper secondary school
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The syllabus for upper secondary school states that interaction and communication are important for students’ oral production skills development. Also, the contemporary view on learning is that people learn a language by using it. This study examines how students and a teacher experience the ways in which classmates influence each other’s willingness to speak English in the classroom, if they believe it affects their oral production skills development, and moreover whether they think that some sort of ability grouping could support oral production skills development. The study was carried out among a total of eight students and one teacher at an upper secondary school located in Southern Sweden, using a qualitative methodology based on personal interviews. Four English 6 students belong to the natural science program, and four English 7 Cambridge Advanced English students belong to various academic programs. The teacher teaches both courses. The results showed that classmates is the factor in the classroom which affects students’ willingness to speak English the most in their different language proficiency, personality, attitude, focus, willingness to communicate in English, and relationship with each other. The students experience that these differences between them often affect their WTC negatively and thereby their oral production skills development. They want to interact with other students who are at their level or slightly above them, who want to speak English, who share the communication space, and who take the lessons seriously. Therefore, the students and teacher have a positive attitude toward some form of ability grouping in all English courses.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 41 p.
Keyword [en]
Ability grouping, English language teaching, Upper secondary school, Willingness to communicate
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-50288OAI: diva2:909573
Subject / course
Educational program
Teacher Education Programme for Upper Secondary School, 300/330 credits
Available from: 2016-04-13 Created: 2016-03-07 Last updated: 2016-04-13Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

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