Observations: The Eyes and Ears of Foreign Language Lessons

  • Małgorzata Szulc-KurpaskaEmail author
Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)


The article presents the results of a study of foreign language lessons conducted in the first grade of the primary school in classes in which there were both 7-year-old and 6-year-old learners. The study focused on the analysis of the language used in classes, the rapport between the teacher and the learners as well as the conduct of 6-year-olds in the course of the lessons and the discipline problems occurring in class. The lessons were audiotaped and then transcribed for quantitative analysis of the data on the classroom language of both the teachers and the learners. The amount of the teachers’ L2 use as well as the functions of the teachers’ utterances in the foreign language were under scrutiny. L2 use of the learners was also investigated. Qualitative analysis relied on both the transcriptions of the recordings and the observation sheets filled in by the researcher during the lessons. The target language used by the teachers during the lessons varied substantially in terms of both its quantity and quality. It served mainly the function of teaching the target language and to a lesser extent communicating with the children. Learners’ L2 use was less varied as the amount of it was comparable across all the lessons under investigation. The 6-year-olds who were observed for the purpose of the study in most cases participated in the lessons and performed the tasks in a manner similar to their 7-year-old peers.


Foreign Language English Word Target Language Classroom Research Discipline Problem 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Educational Research InstituteWarsawPoland

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