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A Corpus of Young Learners' English in the Baltic Region: Texts for Studies on Sustainable Development
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of English.
2016 (English)In: Discourse and Communication for Sustainable Development, ISSN ISSN1691-6301e ISSN2255-7547, Vol. 7, no 2, 92-104 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In order to reach far in the work for sustainable development, communication in foreign languages prior to strategic decisions is required from international partners. In this communication English has become the lingua franca. Even though the use of EFL (English as a foreign language) is widely spread, it is clear that in some geographical regions English has quite recently taken the role as the language of international communication. It is therefore relevant to carry out studies in order to identify possible causes for misunderstandings when communicating in EFL. With the aim of providing material for research on EFL by 12-year-olds, the creation of a language corpus on the use of English in the Baltic region is in process. The first part of the data collection was completed in August 2016 and the data comprises some 2,200 texts written in 2015-2016 by Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Russian and Swedish learners. The aim of the present study is to investigate young learners’ written communication on issues related to sustainable development.

A qualitative method was used on a limited sample of the data to identify key words in the production by young learners of five different nationalities. Abstract nouns related to topics which can be regarded to refer to sustainable development were collected and analyzed.

The results show that 12-year-olds are able to communicate in English for discussions on issues related to sustainable development. This indicates that successful international communication in English on these matters is within reach with a continued process of English language learning at schools in the Baltic region.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Daugavpils: UNESCO/UNITWIN Chair and the Centre of Sustainable Education at Daugavpils University , 2016. Vol. 7, no 2, 92-104 p.
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-310186DOI: 10.1515/dcse-2016-0018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-310186DiVA: diva2:1055404
Available from: 2016-12-12 Created: 2016-12-12 Last updated: 2016-12-12

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