Swedish students’ beliefs about learning English in and outside of school

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In Sweden students’ encounters with English in and out of school are very different. Spending around 20 hours per week in English-mediated environments outside of school, they are often engaged in richly meaningful activities. Consequently, many young people believe they learn as much of their English as a result of participation in English-mediated leisure time activities as they do from textbook-dominated classroom instruction. Drawing on emerging discussions on the ways in which learners’ beliefs about the primacy of learning English in natural environments can have negative effects on learning behaviours in formal settings (e.g. Mercer & Ryan 2010), and how learners’ beliefs about the causes of success in language learning can impact on motivation (e.g. Hsieh 2012), this chapter examines the ways in which such beliefs may impact on Swedish students’ responses to classroom learning.


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