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Target language use: An empirical study of the target language use in the Swedish 4-6 grade classroom
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Educational Work.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

A consistent use of the target language during English lessons is beneficial for pupils’ linguistic development, but also challenging for both teachers and pupils. The main purpose for pupils to learn English is to be able to use it in communication, which requires that they develop the ability to comprehend input, produce output and use language strategies. Several researchers claim that a consistent use of the target language is necessary in order to develop these abilities. Therefore, the aim of this study is to examine the target language use during English lessons in Swedish grades 4-6, and what pupils’ opinions regarding target language use are. The methods used to collect data consisted of a pupil questionnaire with 42 respondents and an observation of two teachers’ English lessons during a week’s time. The results from the observations show that the teachers use plenty of target language during lessons, but the first language as well to explain things that pupils might experience difficult to understand otherwise. The results from the questionnaire mainly show that the pupils seem to enjoy English and like to both speak and hear the target language during lessons. The main input comes from listening to a CD with dialogues and exercises in the textbook and the workbook, and from the teacher speaking. The results also show that a majority of the pupils use the target language in their spare time. A conclusion that can be drawn from this study is that the TL should be used to a large extent in order to support pupils’ linguistic development. However, teachers may sometimes need to use L1 in order to facilitate understanding of the things that many pupils find difficult, for example grammar. Suggestions for further research in this area include similar studies conducted on a larger scale.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Target language, L2 learners, upper elementary level, pupils’ opinions.
National Category
Pedagogical Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-21668OAI: diva2:935954


Available from: 2016-06-13 Created: 2016-06-13

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