Computer-Assisted L2 English Language-Related Activities Among Swedish 10-Year-Olds

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Abstract

This paper presents findings from a study investigating young Swedish learners' extramural (out-of-school) contact with English. In contemporary Sweden, the influx of English is great and research has shown that extramural contact with English correlates positively with students' proficiency in English (Olsson, 2011; Sundqvist, 2009; Sylvén, 2004). While Sylvén (2004) investigates type and amount of involvement in extramural English activities among upper secondary students and Sundqvist (2009) as well as Olsson (2011) among 9th graders, little on the same topic is known about younger learners. However, in a nationwide survey, more than half of Swedish 5th-graders indicate that they have learned English as much or more outside of school than in school (Skolverket, 2004), but empirical studies on the topic remain scarce. Based on data collected from young learners (N = 112; grade 4; age 10), this paper presents results regarding their type and amount of extramural language activities in English as well as in Swedish and other languages. Previous research has shown that digital gaming may contribute to L2 English learning, in particular with regard to vocabulary (Cobb & Horst, 2011; Miller & Hegelheimer, 2006; Ranalli, 2008; Sundqvist & Sylvén, 2012). Therefore, the first focus of our presentation is on these young learners' L2 English language-related use of computers, for instance in playing digital games. A comparison is made between digital gaming habits in English and Swedish. The second focus is on analyses of playing digital games from the perspectives of gender and the learners' first languages. The final focus is on learner motivation and self-assessed L2 English proficiency.

Keywords: young learners, computer-assisted language learning, digital games, motivation, extramural English, informal learning, second language acquisition.

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Sundqvist, Pia; Kerstin Sylvén, Liss. (2012). Computer-Assisted L2 English Language-Related Activities Among Swedish 10-Year-Olds. In Linda Bradley, Sylvie Thouësny (Eds), CALL: Using, Learning, Knowing, EUROCALL Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden, 22-25 August 2012, Proceedings (pp. 280-285). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2012.000067

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