Learning and Using English: The Views of Learners at the End of Compulsory Education

Hafdís Ingvarsdóttir*, Ásrún Jóhannsdóttir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study was carried out amongst students in grade ten at the end of their primary education (lower secondary school). The study set out to investigate students’ views and use of English in and outside of school including their present and anticipated future use of English. Data was collected in schools throughout Iceland with 703 students participating. The findings support emerging evidence of Icelandic students’ extensive receptive use of English outside the classroom, even from an early age in some instances. A gap was identified between learners’ use of English in school and their use of English outside the classroom calling into question the relevance of the prevalent teaching pedagogy in grade ten. Traditional foreign language teaching methods seem still to be prevalent and the extramural English students are exposed to seems to for the most part to be ignored in the classroom. The results highlight the need for a more pragmatic instructional approach, taking into account the learners’ interests in English, their present and future use and need for English proficiency. The study indicates that important aspects promoted in the National Curriculum Guide have not found their way into the classroom. These include an emphasis on learner autonomy, e.g. learners’ metacognitive awareness and learner’s skills in monitoring and assessing their own proficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducational Linguistics
PublisherSpringer Science+Business Media B.V.
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameEducational Linguistics
ISSN (Print)1572-0292
ISSN (Electronic)2215-1656

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer International Publishing AG.


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