From Grammar to Communication: An Analysis of Form and Function in Course Plans and Teaching Materials in the Subject of English for Upper Secondary School

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From Grammar to Communication: An Analysis of Form and Function in Course Plans and Teaching Materials in the Subject of English for Upper Secondary School

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Publication Student thesis
Title From Grammar to Communication: An Analysis of Form and Function in Course Plans and Teaching Materials in the Subject of English for Upper Secondary School
Author(s) Stopar, Emilia
Date 2008
English abstract
This essay deals with the communicative approach towards learning English. The aim is to investigate how and why form and/or function are stressed in course plans in the subject of English intended for the first year of upper secondary school and how the content of these plans are mirrored in teaching materials. This will be done within a small historical frame from the 70’s until today. Based on a background of the school’s development and the research in the field of education and language studies, the investigation is carried out by firstly analyzing the course plans respectively before weighing them against each other, and secondly by examining each teaching material before comparing their content to the relevant course plan as well as to each other. The focus in these analyses is on the language’s function in contrast to form and on how communicating competence is stressed and exercised. The results show that the course plans are vastly different. The older plan emphasises form to a large extent but it does also contain hints of function. The recent plan, on the other hand, is permeated by function and it has communication as the foremost goal. Both teaching materials correspond quite well to the relevant course plan. The older material exercises mainly form and correctness in individual tasks while the newer material promotes group work and features exercises that practically always require interaction and train the pupils’ communicative abilities. The conclusion that is drawn from this investigation is that there is an obvious shift from a prominence of form to a dominion of function in both the course plans and teaching materials studied in this essay.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Lärarutbildningen
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) communication
course plan
English teaching materials
function
language studies
upper secondary school
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/6737 (link to this page)

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