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Young learners’ perceptions of and attitudes towards learning English during their first year of English L2 education: A comparative study conducted in rural and urban areas in Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study investigates perceptions of and attitudes towards English second language [L2] acquisition among primary school pupils in rural and urban areas in Sweden. Sixteen children facing their first year of English L2 education took part in the study and all participants had been settled in the target area for more than 5 years. Data was collected through individual interviews with the children (Patton, 2002) and a parental questionnaire that was constructed for their respective parents. The interview questions were designed to elicit children’s perceptions of English L2 education and to allow expression of their attitudes towards learning the language.  The questionnaire was constructed to attain information about each child’s linguistic background and language exposure, and to identify patterns of external factors which could be traced in each child’s personal perception and attitude. The interviews provided information that confirmed a slight difference between the urban and rural children; the urban participants had a higher ability to picture a future English speaking self and showed evidence of a more positive attitude towards the importance of acquiring English. These results did not correspond with results from the questionnaire. However, parents’ level of education in correlation with their own views of the importance of English proficiency revealed a potential link with differing results found between the children. Overall, the majority of participants expressed awareness of the establishment of English as a lingua franca and emphasised its usefulness in Swedish society. Nevertheless, due to the nature of the study and working with children of a young age the results must be treated with caution.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 37 p.
Keyword [en]
Language motivation, L2, attitudes, perceptions, Sweden, urban, rural, young learners, structural equation model
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-126230OAI: diva2:897975
Available from: 2016-02-15 Created: 2016-01-26 Last updated: 2016-02-15Bibliographically approved

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Johansson, Karin
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Department of English
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