About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1728-1733
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.0030

Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain

THE ENGLISH CORNER. PROMOTING ORAL SKILLS AT PRIMARY SCHOOL. PRELIMINARY STUDY

P. Couto-Cantero1, H. Sanderson2

1Universidad de A Coruña (SPAIN)
2Colegio de Fomento Montespiño (SPAIN)
This paper aims to describe the experience of promoting oral skills in two State-funded Primary Schools in the A Coruña (Spain) area using the English Corner. This analytical research paper is based on our first hypothesis or research question: Is the English Corner (EC) an appropriate place to promote and facilitate the acquisition of both oral receptive and oral productive skills in a more natural way than in the conventional classroom environment? The study described in this paper has two main objectives: The first, is to determine whether Primary School students (Grades 3rd to 6th) consider the EC the ideal place to develop English oral comprehension and production skills. The second, is whether the English Corner environment fosters more confidence to speak than the classroom. Here we initially consider some aspects we believe to be present and furthermore any brought up by learners and the English Language Assistants (ELA), for example, whether students feel less shy to speak when in a very small group as opposed to in the classroom or whether they are less worried about making mistakes because it is an informal situation.

The EC, as the name suggests, is a small room, or quiet area, on the School premises which has been decorated to give an English atmosphere; it may have pictures, posters, books, leaflets, realia or anything else which we believe to assist English Teaching and Learning. There can be all sorts of board games, cards, stories and books all with the aim of encouraging informal conversation amongst the English Language Assistant or Teacher and the students. The sample involved students from two state-funded schools located in the province of A Coruña (north-western Spain). Their ages ranged from 8 to 12 years and their language levels in English ranged from A1 to A2 according to The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (CEFR) (2001), a guideline used to describe foreign language learners’ achievements across Europe. They all live in a province with two official languages: Spanish and Galician and many are able to speak both languages interchangeably.

This piece of research used qualitative data collected using the following instruments: a questionnaire completed by the students during the first term of the academic year. Questionnaires were chosen as we believe them to be the most reliable means of learning what a group of people think about a specific matter. Completing the questionnaire was anonymous and voluntary. A one-on-one interview with the English Language Assistants was also included in order to gain the opinion of the educators most closely involved with the students in the EC. Consequently, Researchers, Students and the English Language Assistants offered a large amount of information and different perceptions about the EC which are analysed at the end by the authors of this paper.

This study was divided into three main phases: First phase, theoretical backdrop and elaboration of the one-on-one interview and questionnaires for the students; second phase, fieldwork at two Primary Schools to gather data, and the third and final phase, data analysis and elaboration of the paper. All data were analysed and positive results were obtained as will be presented in the discussion and conclusion parts of this paper.
@InProceedings{COUTOCANTERO2018ENG,
author = {Couto-Cantero, P. and Sanderson, H.},
title = {THE ENGLISH CORNER. PROMOTING ORAL SKILLS AT PRIMARY SCHOOL. PRELIMINARY STUDY},
series = {12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-9480-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2018.0030},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2018.0030},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {1728-1733}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Couto-Cantero AU - H. Sanderson
TI - THE ENGLISH CORNER. PROMOTING ORAL SKILLS AT PRIMARY SCHOOL. PRELIMINARY STUDY
SN - 978-84-697-9480-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2018.0030
PY - 2018
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2018
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2018 Proceedings
SP - 1728
EP - 1733
ER -
P. Couto-Cantero, H. Sanderson (2018) THE ENGLISH CORNER. PROMOTING ORAL SKILLS AT PRIMARY SCHOOL. PRELIMINARY STUDY, INTED2018 Proceedings, pp. 1728-1733.
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