Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Extramural exposure leads to more varied use of English by 16-year-olds

22.02.2011
Pupils who devote much of their spare time to activities involving exposure to English, such as computer games and films, are thought to vary their use of language more in their written work than pupils with less extramural exposure to English, reveals a licentiate thesis, focusing on educational science, from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Eva Olsson analysed a total of 74 texts produced by 37 16-year-old pupils at a municipal secondary school in southwest Sweden. Two different texts were collected from each pupil: a letter and a newspaper article. The pupils also answered questions about their exposure to English in their spare time and kept a diary of this exposure for a week.

“The results show that pupils with extensive exposure to English in their free time feel particularly confident in contexts involving everyday language, which is not surprising,” says Olsson, author of the licentiate thesis. “In their letters, pupils with extensive exposure to English generally used longer sentences and a more varied vocabulary than those with less extramural exposure to English.”

More unusual words

Pupils who are exposed to the English language through computer games and films, for example, also made greater use of more unusual words in the news articles than their peers with little exposure. It is therefore believed that they are more capable of adapting their vocabulary to the type of text in question. The text analyses also show that pupils with extensive exposure demonstrated greater use of nuance in their language. They appear to master more linguistic tools and also to vary these tools depending on the type of text.

“If you view a pupil’s linguistic register as a palette, those pupils with extensive exposure to English in their spare time appear to have a richer palette with more different shades,” says Olsson. “Their texts can therefore be perceived as richer and more varied. However, it’s also important to stress that pupils with limited extramural exposure to the language can still become very good at English, as other factors play a role, including the ability to write in Swedish. But those pupils who have plenty of exposure to English in their spare time are thought to benefit hugely when producing written work at school.”

All of the pupils who indicated that they had lots of extramural exposure to English achieved good marks for their English on their school-leaving certificates – either a distinction or a special distinction. Pupils who are less successful in other subjects can still do well in English, which is thought to depend in part on their regular exposure to the language in their spare time.

Better recording needed

Olsson believes that schools could develop methods to better record pupils’ exposure to English during their spare time, and the effects of this exposure, so that English classes can be better tailored to each pupil. Given that extramural exposure to the language is much greater than class-time exposure in many cases, the advantages of many pupils devoting so much time to English during their spare time must be taken into account. At the same time, it is important to look after the needs of those pupils who do not have as much exposure to English outside school.

“Pupils who are really good at English could, for example, go on to practise writing more advanced types of text, as higher education and many jobs require an increasingly high standard of English. I hope that the results of the study will draw attention to the importance of extramural English for pupils’ learning so that this dimension can be taken into account more than is currently the case when planning English teaching at different levels, in terms of both the curriculum and local schools.”

For more information, please contact:
Eva Olsson, mobile: +46 (0)706 346 424, e-mail: eva.olsson@svenska.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.svenska.gu.se/digitalAssets/1325/1325748_olsson-eva-lic.pdf
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>