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A pedagogical waste of time or a vital necessity: A qualitative study investigating teacher attitudes toward explicit grammar instruction in L2 learners
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2020 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The topic of explicit grammar instruction has been and still is debated within the SLA (second language acquisition) discourse community in terms of efficacy and place within second language education (Ellis, 2014, Norris & Ortega, 2000). A vast amount of international research has been conducted and has found positive evidence for explicit grammar instruction in L2 classrooms; however, on a national level, while available for the subject of Swedish, the amount of established research about explicit grammar instruction in English classrooms is scarce. Moreover, SNAE’s (Swedish National Agency of Education) official documents for English do not explicitly mention the theme of grammar. This study primarily aims to fill this research gap by conducting qualitative research in the form of semi-structured interviews with practicing English high school teachers in Sweden to investigate their attitudes toward explicit grammar instruction for L2 learners of English. The interviews were recorded, transcribed and qualitatively analysed and further discussed in this paper. The attitudes of the participating teachers are then discussed from a broader perspective and in relation to previous research. The general findings were divided into four categories: firstly, every participating teacher believed that explicit grammar instruction is a necessity for the L2 learner for various pedagogical and language developmental reasons. Secondly, the absence of explicitly stated comments regarding grammar teaching in the official curriculum and syllabi was considered an issue. Thirdly, the participants all emphasized that explicit grammar instruction needs to be conducted in relation to practical work done by the learner in order to maximize efficacy; grammar instruction for its own sake was considered redundant. Lastly, the participants brought up the metalinguistic aspects of language learning in relation to grammar instruction. The absence of direct mentioning of grammar in the curriculums and syllabi can be, in part, due to the focus on the communicative aspect of English, strongly enforced by SNAE in the official educational documents. This degree project provides suggestions for future research and strongly advocates for more established short- and long-term research within the field of study for future improvements to teaching English as well as to the design of language course curricula and syllabi in general.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. , p. 37
Keywords [en]
Explicit grammar instruction, form-versus-form, form-versus-forms, high school education, qualitative study, SLA, Swedish national agency, ESL/EFL
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-178261OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-178261DiVA, id: diva2:1387665
Available from: 2020-02-09 Created: 2020-01-22 Last updated: 2020-02-09Bibliographically approved

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General Language Studies and Linguistics

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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