English as a Foreign Language for Young Learners in Sweden – Practices and Possibilities

For children to learn English at an early age is considered ever more important in the Swedish school system, and most schools now offer English from pre-school class or year 1. Yet little is known about how the teachers of young learners, who may or may not have English in their degrees, deal with this challenge in practice.

Although there is a certain consensus in the scientific literature about the importance of language “immersion” as well as contextualized meaningful communication in the target language, a pilot study we have conducted shows that the reality in Swedish classrooms may in fact look very different.

The overarching purpose of this project is to generate new knowledge about how English as a Foreign Language (EFL) is taught and learned in young learners’ classrooms in Sweden (pre-school class to grade 3). More specifically, we aim to investigate current teaching practices and learning activities, as well as the motives, experiences and expectations of teachers of EFL for young learners.