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Swedish schools urged to utilise student English skills

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 24 May 2011, 12:56

Published: 24 May 2011 12:56 GMT+02:00

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The inspectorate has conducted an inspection of English teaching for students aged 12 to 16-years-old in schools across the country and found significant variations in both standards between children and the extent to which privately-acquired English skills are used in the classroom.

"The students' use of English outside school is utilised poorly. Instead schools should take greater advantage and encourage the learning of English as naturally as what takes place outside school," said Ingrid Åsgård at the inspectorate in a statement.

According to Sweden's national curriculum, English should be focused on communication, that is to say its practical use.

Swedish school children have a generally high level of English acquired through a broad interest in international music and the fact that films are usually subtitled and rarely dubbed into Swedish.

The study showed however that significant variations exist with differences showing up even between classes in the same school.

The inspectorate thus draws the conclusion that improvements can be made to teaching in order to improve standards and adapt to the world outside of the classroom.

The inspectorate recommends that work be undertaken to transcend the two "cultures" of English - one at school and one at home - and to develop the more natural use of the language.

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The inspectorate also identifies a problem that Swedish language is used too often in the English teaching in schools and they would also like to see a greater cooperation among English teachers to address these inequalities.

The Schools Inspectorate study involved students in year 6-9 (12-16-years-old) in 22 schools in 11 municipalities: Härryda, Jönköping, Linköping, Norrköping, Rättvik, Skellefteå, Skövde, Stockholm, Varberg, Östersund and Östra Göinge.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:11 May 24, 2011 by Syftfel
One very important exception to this exception must be to NOT allow hip-hop to influence the English proficiency. This form of gibberish reprsents so much that ails Swedish society today, violence, hatred for this or that, and general degradation of society. It also must NOT be allowed to take place at the expense of the Swedish language, which is already excessively, and undesirably, infested with anglicisms that have no place being there. For every English word that's "imported" into Swedish there is a suitable, often better, Swedish alternative, mor appropriate for Swedish grammar and suffix formation. I challange you to come up woth a word or expression that can not be just as easily be used by a Swedish word. Do not let this idea becaome a nail in the coffin for Swedish!!
14:27 May 24, 2011 by Swedesmith
For shizzle.
14:54 May 24, 2011 by Syftfel
15:59 May 24, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
Ya 're blimey wite. effrybody should tickle and bite proper english, the language of william shakespeare. it is pathetic the way many teenagers tickle and bite and speak english nowadays in sweden. they sound loike terrorists. In other woids, Yee 're blimey wite. effrybody shud tickle an' bite propor english, the language iv william shakespeare. it is pathetic the wa many teenagers tickle an' bite an' speak english neewadays in sweden. the' soond loike terrorists.
17:56 May 24, 2011 by calebian22
...ma nizzle.

Correct grammar should be emphasized. Teenagers sound like mini 50 centers when they speak English in Sweden. This should be avoided at all costs.
20:16 May 24, 2011 by byke
Let's hope the teacher is not female and speaks English with a heavy accent.
20:30 May 24, 2011 by conboy
Why are English teachers in Sweden who are native speakers prohibited from teaching Swedish kids English; while Swedish teachers with nothing like the same competencies are permitted to teach children English in Sweden?
00:49 May 25, 2011 by Da Goat
The television subtitles are not always accurate either

they must have done it correctly in the past as my friend has better english than the english and the Americans (he is a bit of an acedemic though and does speak 2 other tongues as well as swedish naturally)
01:09 May 25, 2011 by Birbun
Just say NO to the english colonization of Sweden.

If they want to speak english go to England,USA,Canada or other many english speaking countries.
02:21 May 25, 2011 by Bolante007
@Birbun lolwut? Englis colonization!? hows that? does that mean we have to wait for the read coats to get here? lol English is an important language it could be worst... too bad we dont speak Spanish lol!
04:40 May 25, 2011 by Syftfel
Hver sá er rita vill til hlítar sögu íslenzks skáldskapar frá upphafi till þes dags, verður að horfast í augu við þann örðugleika, sem á þvi er, að brúa sæmilega hið breiða sund á milli fornaldarinnar og nýja tímans - sund nálega fjögurra alda. - So there! Now shut up!
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