Promoting EFL oral skills in and outside school: Norwegian lower secondary students’ and their EFL teachers’ experiences and beliefs
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- Student papers (HF-IKS) 
This thesis focused on the topic of Norwegian lower secondary students’ promotion of English as a foreign language (EFL) oral skills, namely listening and speaking, in and outside the EFL classroom and in particular investigated ninety-six ninth graders’ and their four EFL teachers’ experiences with and beliefs about practising the students’ EFL oral skills in classroom and extramural activities. Additionally, the thesis aimed to explore whether there were differences in the students’ and their teachers’ responses. The data for the study was gathered through a mixed methods approach by conducting questionnaires with ninety-six ninth-grade students and carrying out interviews with four teachers teaching the English subject in the four ninth-grade classes that filled in the questionnaires. The data was thus collected in four different Norwegian lower secondary schools. At each school, the student questionnaires were conducted first, and the interviews with the teachers were completed afterwards. The main findings revealed that the students believed that inside the EFL classroom, receiving feedback from the teacher and participating in group projects were the most important factors helping them to develop their oral skills. In contrast, the students ranked participating in oral tasks from the textbook, listening to the teacher speak for the most of the classroom time, and reading books out loud in class as the least effective activities aimed at the development of their oral skills. The majority of the students believed that their oral skills were developed through extramural activities more greatly than through activities inside the classroom, even though their answers also indicated that they considered classroom activities to be important for their oral development. As for the students’ beliefs about extramural English-mediated activities, they stated that they found watching movies, TV series and videos and playing online video games to be the most motivating activities to do outside school. The students believed especially watching movies, TV series and videos to have a strong impact on their oral development. In turn, the teachers did not seem to have the same opinion on the outcomes of the extramural activities, but they believed that all students should read more outside school to be able to develop their oral skills. In general, the teachers acknowledged that they were aware of the fact that their students took part in numerous extramural activities, such as online gaming, watching TV series and movies, and listening to music and audiobooks. The teachers differed in the oral activities they carried out in their classrooms. Interestingly, two teachers with longer teaching experience stated that they found oral presentations to be the best way of assessing their students’ oral skills in class, while the other two teachers with less teaching experience viewed group conversations as a more efficient approach to oral language assessment. To the best knowledge of the author, this thesis is one of the few Norwegian studies focusing on the students’ and teachers’ experiences and beliefs concerning the promotion of oral skills through classroom and extramural activities. Having acknowledged the role of extramural English exposure on the Norwegian students’ EFL learning, one needs more research on extramural activities in order to improve future EFL classrooms, as well as EFL students’ and teachers’ experiences and activities aimed at the promotion of oral and other skills.
Master's thesis in Cultural Studies and Languages